|painting by Apollinari Mikhailovich Vasnetsov|
There are few things in life which we love in our youth and feel the same affection for years later. When we downsized one of the items we could not quite bear to part with was a collection of what we called our 'magic carpets'.
|Source: From Moon to Moon|
These vintage carpets (and cushions and hangings) had been lovingly sourced from charity and antique shops, given to us by family and bought in markets on trips to Iran.
For over a decade we had lived in houses which needed them. They had lain on long wood corridors and been lain upon by a series of cats, some past and some present who had also graced our homes.
|Our favourite Bohemian cat|
|All of our cats have dreamed of flying on the Magic Carpets|
Meanwhile we were struggling to decorate a small garden room. 'Garden' seemed to equate to soft romantic colours, as in the shabby chic signature style of Rachel Ashwell. Lots of white, pale pink, blue, lilac and of course green. We tried to get the room together around some Wedgewood majolica leaf plates we have although they were at least two shades darker than pale.
|Antique Wedgewood Majolica|
Bar them, pretty though it was, the 'shabby chic' look for us would require all new items. And what were we to do with our old 'dark decor' things that had kept our company through our youth?
And then as so often happens, an old photograph of something we loved from the past inspired us. Rudolf the most perfect of Bohemians with the kelims he loved so much. (More about him and his carpets in a later post).
| Source: House and Garden magazine, 1992, a few months before Nureyev died. |
With some of his beloved carpets at his home on Li Galli, off the Amalfi coast.
And once we saw it, we knew. The garden room, with the tiled floor, studio pottery, oak table, peacock chair and blissful light, was in fact the perfect place for the rest of our old carpets. And, as our conservatory is nothing ancient or grand the carpets would give a much needed 'lived in' air to the modern space.
Instead - viola! We can have an orange and blue garden room which picks up the colour of these wonderful magic carpets, with the green Wedgewood as accent. This room overlooks a 150 year old red brick bakehouse with terracotta roof tiles and the colours outside complement inside. If summer ever arrives we plan to plant the garden view full of jewel coloured flowers.
|Tennyson's blanket on the carved oak bench in the conservatory,|
with an Edwardian carpet underneath.
|Never too many cushions.|
|Mrs Black loves her old carpets.|
Garden rooms do not have to be pastel! Wouldn't this be a wonderful stimulating place ?