New Year, New Leather

Kevin’s Travel Log: Sunflowers and other Wonders- Mae Hong Son Thailand

Haunted Mansion: Vintage Inspired Decor for a Spooky Autumn

Travel Tuesday: The Pink City of Jaipur, India

Rug Foliage

Travel Tuesday: The Blue City of Morocco

California Boho in 5 Steps

Wiki Wednesday: Abrash

Stone Age People: The Tribe of North Sentinel Island

Wiki Wednesday: Kilim, Flatweave, Pile

Home | 2015

Yearly Archives: 2015

New Year, New Leather

 Here are some of our favorite pieces from the New Leather line, available now at both Mohr & McPherson locations for a limited time. Also for a limited time they will be marked at 20% off retails for our new arrival leather promotion!* These fresh colors are sure to bring new life to your own collection, just in time for 2016.

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Leather Tub Chair in Racing Green, Vienna, Grey (left to right)

 

 

sofa etc

 

Patchwork Ottoman, Linen/Vienna Sofa, Low bench, Leather/linen side table

 

 

office leather

Cantilever Dining ChairCantilever Arm Chair

 

 

vienna chairs

Vienna/Linen Arm Chair, Vienna High Back Chair, Low Arm Chair

 

 

pretty chairs

Vienna Wing Chair, Grey Wing Chair

 

Like any, or all of the styles you see here? View the entire collection on our website by clicking here or on and of the style names below their corresponding pictures in this post. We would also love to see you in person at either of our shops.

*Offer good through the end of January 2016 only, cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers

 

 

Kevin’s Travel Log: Sunflowers and other Wonders- Mae Hong Son Thailand

 Our founder Kevin McPherson has relocated to Thailand. As Kevin explores his new home, he is snapping some photos for all of us back here in New England.

Here are some photos and notes from Kevin’s recent adventures, as well as some additional information about one place he and Nok visited-Northern Thailand. Read on to learn about the popular destination of Mae Hong which is famous for its exquisite and bountiful Sunflowers.

Travel Log

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Kevin and Nok traveling

IMG_1200“View in Pai, a hippy town in Thailand near the Laos border.”

 

FullSizeRender-5“Village clinic in San Patong just outside Chiang Mai.
We met A lady in her late 70s who ran it.”

 

IMG_1203“Sunflowers in Mae Hong Son”

Learn about Mae Hong Son

Northern Thailand is known for its beautiful scenery all year round, but from November to December things get even more extraordinary. This is the time of the famous sunflowers. One particularly lovely Sunflower hotspot is Mae Hong son. This is Thailand’s second Northernmost provincial capital. The town is sheltered by high mountains and had once been isolated from the rest of the world due to poor accessibility.  There is a strong Burmese influence here, which is exemplified in the many temples and Burmese style architecture. 

The drive to Mae Hong Son is the best way to catch some of the countries most rewarding views, but also includes navigating many narrow, bendy roads through the mountainside. If you’re up for the trip, you will  also be able to stop along the way to see some worthy road side attractions, such as the Long-Necked Women. These women belong to the  Pa Dong Karens tribe. This is a community of rice, tea and tobacco farmers, who are known for their exotic aesthetics. Women in this tribe wear many brass coils around their necks, a practice which is begun at an early age. More coils are added over time, which elongates the neck and is believed to enhance beauty. Older women may wear as many as 20 coils.

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Another popular attraction is the Pai River. People love to raft, boat and hike along this river.  Mae Sam Laep, a  hamlet off the Salawein River, is also popular for rafting. This area of the Salawein divides Thailand and Myanmar.

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Mae Sam Laep

North of Mae Sanang are the Mae Ha Cave and Mae Na Hot springs. The Namtopk Mae Surin National Park is home to the Mae Surin Waterfalls, believed to be the highest waterfall in Thailand.  The forests of Doi Mae U-Kho are made up of 250 acres of Sunflowers, which you can see in the photos below.

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Doi Mae U-Kho

 

 

 

Travel Tuesday: The Pink City of Jaipur, India

 

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Our founder Kevin is busy exploring India, finding cool, new stuff for our showroom. He sent us a video today from his latest travels in the  city of Jaipur, which you can watch here:

http://www.mohr-mcpherson.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Jaipur.mov

Here are some quick facts about this magnificent place.

Jaipur is known as the “Pink City of India”, and is a fitting capital for the charismatic state of Rajasthan. It is the largest city in Rajasthan, as well as the 10th largest city in India, with a population of 6.66 million. The city is named after its founder, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, who founded it in 1727.

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Unlike other Pre-modern day Indian Cities, the streets of Jaipur are quite regulated, and the city is divided by broad streets into six sectors. The urban parts are further divided by a grid network of streets. Jaipur is a very popular tourist destination in India. It is included on the Golden Triangle Tourist Circuit, in addition to Delhi and Agra.

The former royal family continues to live in the city palace at the heart of Jaipur. The royal observatory is also here, part of the world heritage, and In the hills surrounding the city is Jaipur’s star attraction, Amber Fort.  Jaipur is known for its bustling, full of life atmosphere and lively streets. Its culture is colorful, flamboyant and warm. It is also a prime spot for shopping, its markets overflowing with pottery, jewelry, silks and textiles, iron-ware,  carpets, and all kinds of other handmade goods. 

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Rug Foliage

What Better way to get your home ready for fall than with a cozy and luxurious rug?  Here are some of our fall favorites, that will also work all year round. Choose from brilliant, highly pigmented hues, to rich, calming neutrals.

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RR42537b__11003.1416434553.1280.1280

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RR43769__68937.1436457592.500.659

RR42540b__50653.1416434556.500.659R4941__80465.1416433831.1280.1280

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Travel Tuesday: The Blue City of Morocco

 

a woman with her washing in the blue walled town of Chefchaouen, Morocco

The  city of Chefchaouen is tucked away in the Riff mountains of northern Morocco.It is located about four hours from the city of Fez, and is remote and well hidden.It was founded in 1471, when Jewish and Moorish refugees fled the Spanish Reconquista, and was used as a sort of base while hiding from the invading Portuguese. Chefchaouen once again became a safe haven in the 1930’s when Jews were fleeing Europe. It was during this time that the city was painted entirely in  Blue.  

The color blue, in addition to being beautiful, represents the sky and the Heavens in Judaism. Painting homes blue for spiritual inspiration had been a practice of the first refugees in the 1400’s, but became widespread in the 1930’s. The  families of Muslims,Berbers, and Jews lived here in peace for hundreds of years.  However in 1948, most of the Jewish families left for Israel. The people Chefchaouen today still keep the Jewish tradition alive, and continue to paint their building blue, applying fresh paint seasonally. The local government supplies paint and brushes to the people as well. 

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chefchaouen

Another fun fact about the blue paint is that it is rumored to keep away mosquitos. Mosquitos dislike flowing water, and from a distance that is what the city appears to be. Many visitors say that while walking through the narrow, cavelike streets, it can start to feel like you are swimming

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Like many other parts of Morocco, This city is colorful! Not only are there countless variations of blue to gaze at, other colors are celebrated too. Bags of pigment fill the markets, and vibrant, handwoven rugs are a big part of cultural tradition here.

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While most of us won’t be visiting this heavenly city any time soon, we can dream about it, and better yet we can shop about it.  Here are some of the most Chefchaouen and  inspired pieces at Mohr and McPherson.

43738__66334.1436726173.500.65943736__90490.1436726173.1280.1280Iron Stools

43979__40598.1440534229.1280.1280

 

rugs

 

blue shelves

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RR43764__50664.1436457586.1280.1280

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California Boho in 5 Steps

California Boho is a fairly new phrase, applied to some very classic aesthetics.You might ask, what does this word pairing really mean? How does one california-ize their boho?   Of course the concept of bohemia has never been far in people’s minds from California. The ideologies of both words conjure other words- surf, sand, salt-soft. Waves in the ocean, waves in your hair. Waves in the patterns of your textiles. Still, this is not your standard Haight/Ashbury fan fare. We’re talking sleek lines. Were talking sophisticated neutrals dusted with specific, sparkling odes to boho; ethic patterns, layered textures, organic materials, nature inspired pieces. Regular old hippie dippie  style can exist anywhere. The key to California Boho is modernization. Heres how to get to the land of chic: Steer with great restraint away from over doing it with the boho part, take a slight left at minimalism, and straight on till morning through mid century modern.

 

1.A Vibrant, Tribal inspired Rug
A rug is a great first step. You can choose one to compliment the furniture you already have, or if you’re starting from scratch, you can choose whatever you want and design the rest of the room around the rug. Flat weaves are great for  this look, and the Kilim is at the top of the list.

rugs

Red Kilim RugBlack and White Rug, Multi Colored Diamond Rug

 

2.Mid Century Modern
Look for low profile neutrals to offset the bright colors and busy patterns of your boho pieces.

 

mid centry modern

Taylor Chair with Rush Seat, Avery Mini Buffet, Louis Sofa

 

3.Poufs, Pillows, and Boho Accents
Here’s the place to go crazy! Since you have kept it neutral with the larger items, the interchangeable accents can be some what of a free-for-all without compromising  sophistication. You are encouraged to layer patterns and textures, which will give dimension and  warmth.

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Poufs

4.Live Edge
Live edge furniture is a great way to introduce nature inspired themes into your decor, without turning your living room into a summer camp log cabin.  you can keep it simple with a small stump used as a stool or side table, or make a statement with a larger piece.

live edge


Live Edge Bench
, Acacia Console, Live Edge Coffee Table

5.Unique, Antique or One of a Kind Pieces
This step is important for adding  character and authenticity to your space.


unique finds

 

Tile Inlay Cabinet, Blue Trunk, Drum Coffee Table-Out of stock

Other Ideas

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gold

Silver Lantern,Ganesh,   Brass Singing Bowls, Marble Bowls

Wiki Wednesday: Abrash


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Abrash

The natural and variable change in color that occurs in an Oriental rug. 

Abrash typically occurs for two main reasons

*Variations in different batches of Dye.

*Different batches of wool.

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When a rug requires an additional lot of dye to be produced, the dye is not usually a perfect match. Often times the dye is all from the same batch, but the rug requires more wool, which means more sheep. Fascinatingly, Dye takes differently to wool, depending on the particular sheep. Also, when the wool is hand-spun, certain areas are spun more tightly than others, making that section less able to absorb dye. The result is a less intense color.

Although this makes the rug imperfect, it is the unavoidable variations due to human error that make the rug beautiful.  In fact, Abrash is so well admired that it is not uncommon  for a rug maker to purposefully create imperfections. It is also a cultural practice and sign of respect to God, believed to imply that “no one is perfect except for God.

 

 

 

 

Stone Age People: The Tribe of North Sentinel Island

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The Andaman Islands lie in the Bay of Bengal, between India and Thailand. One of these islands is known as North Sentinel, and is inhabited by a tribe made up of an estimated 50-400 people. Very little is known about the Sentinelese people because they have a reputation for killing, attacking, and chasing off any outsider to step foot on their shore. Because of this, the Sentinel are one of the last  groups of people who remain untouched by, and basically unaware of the outside world.

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What is known

The Sentinelese people have been living on their island for an estimated 60,000 years and are thought to be descendants of the first people to migrate from Africa.

The language of the Sentinelese is so different,  even from the language of other Andaman people, that it is likely they have had no outside contact for thousands of years.

They do not know how to make fire. They have been observed to wait for lightening to set fire to a branch or tree, and then keep the embers burning for as long as possible.

There is no proof of any farming or agriculture and the Sentinelese are thought to survive mainly on fishing, hunting and gathering.

They make weapons and tools using metal, which they recover from shipwrecks around the coral reefs. This means they are not entirely “Stone age” in their lifestyle.

They have managed to protect their lifestyle from war, disease, famine,  colonization, and all threats that come with modern civilization. They have also survived countless Tsunamis, including the massive one in 2004.

 

History of attempted contact

1880-An armed British expedition sails to Sentenel Island to conduct Surveys. Their goal was also to take a prisoner, who would be treated well, and given gifts, and then released back to the tribe. This was a practice believed to prove friendliness and willingness to trade. The expedition had a hard time finding any one to take prisoner however, because the people vanished into the jungle at the first sight of the British. Eventually, the men came across an elderly couple and four children. They captured all 6 of these Sentinelese people and took them to Port Blair, on one of the other Andaman Islands. The elderly couple became sick and died quickly, and the British returned the four children to their home with many gifts. The children quickly ran into the jungle. The British focused on other islands after this incident and did not return to Sentinel.

Sentinelese-People

1967-Indian Government began a series of contact expeditions. These were led by an anthropologist T.N. Pandit who brought police and naval officers. The Sentinelese fled for the jungle many times and the expeditions failed to make any contact.Eventually the anthropologists were able to make brief contact with the tribe, bringing them gifts of coconuts and bananas, which do not grow on the Island. Most photos and knowledge of the Sentinelese were accumulated during this time.

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1975– A National Geographic film crew went to  Sentinel Island and the director was shot in the thigh with an arrow. The Sentinel warrior who shot him was seen laughing.

Early 1990’s-Sentinese started to once again allow boats to come closer to shore and sometimes greeted the boats unarmed. Every time however, the people would eventually begin making violent and rude gestures, and shooting arrows with no arrow heads, seemingly warning the boats away.

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1996– Indian government ended the contact expeditions. This was due to several deaths and hostile encounters with the Jarawa people on some of the other Andaman Islands. The Indian government also feared spreading disease to the Island people. They instituted a 3 mile mandatory distance of the Island. This is one reason that all photos after the 1970’s are from a distance, or from helicopter.

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2006– Two men were fishing and their boat accidentally drifted close to Sentinel Island and the men were killed. A helicopter was sent to retrieve the bodies but was chased away by the Sentinelese, who shot it with arrows.

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Below is  a photo of the Jawar people from another nearby island, accepting gifts of coconuts.
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Wiki Wednesday: Kilim, Flatweave, Pile

For more information on Kilims and other carpet and rug terms, check out our Rug Glossary Here

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Kilim
(Flatweave) (Persia, Turkey, Balkans and Eastern Europe)
This style dates back to the 5th century, and is a flat weave with no pile. The patterns are based in a geometric style, often featuring medallions, diamonds, and the famous Mahi (Herati) design which is a diamond medallion with a small fish through in. Unlike the Mamluk, the rug is not always focused on one, large and central diamond. The pattern may be free form and repeating. The more modern versions of the Kilim sometimes incorporate turquoise, and purple with the traditional reds, green, blue and white. The boldness and geometric quality of the patterns have also become more strong and distinct with modern times. Rug collectors often start with Kilims, because they are cheaper than Pile rugs. It is sometimes thought that because Kilims tend to be less expensive that they are also less substantial in quality or status. This is not true, and Kilims have become increasingly popular in recent years. The lower price was originally based on the Kilims being produced for indigenous use, instead of on a commercial level. Kilims gained popularity when collectors started to value authentic village weavings.

Flatweave
A type of rug, which is woven, rather than knotted. They are much flatter and thinner than knotted rugs because they do not have pile. This makes the rugs easier to transport, and they are therefore still utilized all over the world as wall tapestries, for prayer rugs, and as saddle pads. Many middle eastern countries still weave these by hand, while other rug manufacturers have switched to machinery and tools to produce rugs faster, which also makes the rugs less expensive than the hand woven ones. (note: Mohr & McPherson does not specialize in machine made rugs.)

Pile
A type of rug which is knotted rather than woven on a loom. It consists of three layers- the base threads, normally made of cotton which, are the foundation, a woven layer that acts as a cushion, and the final layer, which is the ends of each individual knot after being cut and is called the pile of a rug. You can run your hand over the top layer of this rug, and the pile will brush back and forth. This is where sheen may come into play.