Customers, Lisa & Bill Tate, came to us with the task of finding several new Oriental rugs that would replace their old rugs that no longer worked with their apartment's decor — a total of 4 spaces needed to be updated: the piano room, dining room, sitting room, and entry hall. The goal was to find new rugs that would complement a piece of colorful, abstract artwork that displays above the mantel.
(a painting created by a family friend that Mrs. Tate wanted to highlight in the apartment)
Also, the new rugs needed to have color palettes that would brighten the semi-open floorplan and add a lightness to each space.
(The rugs that were originally in the home were too dark with colors that weren't ideal)
With the vast array of rug options available, Mrs. Tate opted to engage our in-home design service to minimize some of the overwhelm that can come with shopping for new, quality area rugs; Main Street Oriental Rug's in-home design service takes all of the work out of rug shopping for our customers, allowing them to simply provide us with some notes on the desired outcome and then we do the rest! Including room measuring to determine the right size of rug(s) needed, finding specific designs and colors to perfectly enhance and coordinate with the customers existing decor, and finally, professional placement of the rug(s) with padding.
We began with visiting Mrs. Tate's home for measurements and photos.
Next, with the help of photo-editing software, we created mock-ups of each room with different rug options. The mock-ups are a great way to get an idea of how a rug will look in the space and helps us narrow down the choices.
With Mrs. Tate's feedback and only a few visits, we happily settled on a vintage, geometric gallery hall runner.
A semi-antique genuine Persian Tabriz for the dining room with an overdyed finish for a fresher look and feel.
A fine Peshawar for the sitting room with soft accents of green to match the upholstered seating.
And lastly, a peaceful soft blue, fine Mahal rug for the piano room, where Mrs. Tate spends some of her time playing classical music on her grand piano.
After final placement, Mr. & Mrs. Tate's apartment is full of light and now has a complete, cohesive flow of harmonious colors throughout; all of us here at Main Street Oriental Rugs are happy with the finished project and, most importantly, our customers are pleased!
Continue reading for a short chat between Mrs. Tate and myself about her classical sense of style, her experience shopping with Main Street Oriental Rugs, and how her travels abroad have influenced her affinity for vintage and handmade decor.
Main Street Oriental Rugs: Mrs. Tate, the first thing I noticed in your well-appointed apartment is your beautiful grand piano, which perfectly fits with your classically-styled home decor; Oriental rugs are a quintessential element of most classic design. So, my first question is, where did your appreciation for handmade Oriental Rugs originate And what brought you to Main Street Oriental Rugs?
Lisa Tate: I was introduced to a classically-styled home décor via my Mother In Law. She had exposure to classically-styled décor as a young wife through her business travels with her husband. While the men were networking and learning how to run a business, the wives attended lectures that focused on the arts and literature. This was right after WWII, and the young couples at this time had opportunities for growth and exposure that were not available during the war years or the Depression years prior to the war. This was also PRIME TIME for Mid Century Modern. She hated it. Previous generations had brown furniture and Oriental rugs. Then, as now, the younger generation didn't want the old stuff. But she did. So, based on what she was learning in her 'wife classes', she hung out in Good Wills and other vintage furniture shops and got started. She had a wonderful eye and, with time and travel exposure, developed a look that was hers.
My own mother had a wonderful eye. I grew up in a lovely home. My mother's style was more Early American, which was also popular in the 50's and 60's. So between these two women, I learned how to put a home together.
MSOR: When we began this project, you expressed that the rugs we were looking for would have to work with and complement an abstract painting that hangs above your mantel. Can you tell us more about the painting and how it inspired the 'feel' you wanted to achieve with your apartment's design and color palette?
LT: My first Oriental rug was a Chinese rug from the '80's. Not sure you saw it. It's in the Master Bedroom. The color is celadon green. I fell in love with that color. It just made me happy. My son's friend painted the painting above the mantle. He did a series of those paintings. About 12, I think. That painting called out to me because of the colors. Again . . . that green.
Our building imitates French apartment buildings in Paris, a place I've visited and I fell madly in love with all of it. When we were fortunate enough to purchase our apartment, I wanted it to be light and airy and fresh. The painting anchors the apartment. It's a little bit of Gertrude Stein or Cohn Sisters splash (Baltimore ladies) in a rather formal, traditional setting. But. The color theme isn't traditional. That's my personal stamp.
MSOR: Your apartment displays many interesting pieces of vintage/antique decor and furniture -- I believe you'd mentioned some of which had been acquired during your travels abroad.
LT: Some of our pieces are inherited. Some are consignment shop purchases reupholstered. Some are Lazy Boy. Some odds and ends were raided from my husband's parent's basement or my parent's former home. Some stuff I found on Ebay. Its a mish mosh. But, through my Mother-in-Law's eye, I learned how to put everything together.
MSOR: How have your travels influenced your style? What draws you to vintage, handmade furniture/decor/rugs?
LT: My travels have influenced my appreciation of beauty and old. European cities are old. The statues, architecture and furnishings are old and elegant. It's a look that lasts. I never get tired of it. Decorative styles come and go. But Classical everything is always beautiful and pleases the eye. Vintage/handmade furniture/décor/rugs are personal. Someone made them. A craftsman, trained in a particular art, has applied their training and talent into making something beautiful. It's personal and has it's own voice. Like music. I enjoy being surrounded by all these beautiful things. They sing to me and make me happy. Silly, maybe, but there it is.
MSOR: You mentioned that you'd decided to downsize by selling your family home in Towson and moved to a lovely, single-level, historically preserved apartment in Downtown Baltimore. What challenges did you encounter when you chose to downsize, if any? And do you have any tips to pass on to others who're planning a similar sort of transition?
LT: Oh, goodness. My husband and I are Baby Boomers reared in the suburbs. City Living, no garage, no yard, no porch, multi-family building presented endless challenges and opportunities. We moved to the cultural heart of Baltimore. Lots of theatre, music and art. It's a vibrant multi-cultural community that provides endless opportunities to meet interesting people with an entirely different background than ours. We're making wonderful friends and enjoying our new lifestyle. We have been sailors for years, and we keep our boat at a marina in the harbor. We have met a whole new set of friends who sold a house and live on their boat! My advice is, "DO IT". It's a fresh start that can be quite exciting.
MSOR: Shopping for new area rugs can be overwhelming because of the big, wide array of options that are available, which is why we offer in-home design service to take away some of the stress of trying to find the right rugs among the all of stacks. With our design service, we're also able to find specific sizes, colors, and designs for our customers, if we don't happen to have the rugs in our inventory. How would you describe your experience with our in-home design service?
LT: It was wonderful. I needed a number of rugs and they all had to blend from room to room. My eye's not that good. Your in-home design service took the panic out of the experience. The ability to photo shop a considered carpet into a room with existing furnishings was enormously helpful. Within a short period of time we were able to find the rugs that worked. What I thought would be difficult quickly became a fun adventure.
MSOR: Lastly, during one of my visits, I arrived to the sound of you masterfully playing your piano as I approached your door. What is your favorite piece to play?
LT: Generally the piece I'm learning. The piano repertoire contains an embarrassment of riches. The easier question to answer is who is my favorite piano composer. At the moment I would say Mozart and Schumann. I was practicing a Mozart/Violin Sonata during one of your visits. ◆
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