The three kings came from the east bearing gifts, so it is written. Exactly where in the east I’m unsure, however, since man began travelling and trading with eastern countries, it has had a huge influence on western interior decor. The beautiful colour’s and designs of Persian and Turkish carpets the merchants shipped to our shores, were especially popular during the Victorian period, and have stood the test of time as a classic addition to many interiors today.If you own such a rug, it is a great starting point when choosing colour’s for the rest of the room. Ornately decorated ceramics and furniture from China and Japan, carved wood furniture from India and Thailand (Siam) were all eagerly purchased for homes too.
As transport has improved and opened up the world to everyone, people have been inspired by artifacts, furnishings and furniture discovered on their travels to add to their home creating an eclectic mix. Be it a carved wooden coffee table, African masks displayed on a wall or Kelim upholstered chairs. The prices in Antique pieces has soured since the western demand grew. People’s interpretations and uses for old Arabic doors displayed in interiors, carved Indian wooden screens used as bedheads, window shutters or bath panels. Of course silks or Antique rugs are hung on walls instead of being laid on a floor. Beautifully woven silks, intricately embroidered used for bedcovers and curtains, or samples framed into pictures. The softest cashmere wool woven into snugly throws. The time and skills involved producing these wonderful artifacts are items to treasure forever. I was very fortunate to spend a night at the Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal http://dwarikasgroup.com/. The hotel has been made from reclaimed traditional Newari houses using thirteenth century carved timber window and door frames, which conservationist Dwarika Das Shresta saved from being destroyed in the 1950’s.
The Aladdin’s cave of Souks are an inspirational feast for the eyes, if you dare to look at anything that catches them, for fear of being pounced upon and pressed to buy at the ‘very best price’ offered by the eager stall holder in some countries. I’m constantly being reminded about flight weight restrictions by my husband, especially when buying Christmas presents. How delighted family and friends are to see you bearing gifts from the east, to receive ‘Singing Bowls’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singing_bowl for it’s intended use or display, or cashmere scarfs you have seen woven in a mountain village, all of which have stories behind them.