July 10, 2017
I recently enjoyed helping a client and good friend of many years select a beautiful carpet for their newly decorated Toronto condominium. After creating a floor plan and decorating the space with modern furniture pieces in dark wood tones and soft white and gold accents, we agreed the carpet choice should match the airy, modern vibe yet timeless appeal of the room.
My client and her husband live busy lives, toggling between several residences, and their home in the Shangri La residence is surrounded by some of Toronto’s most iconic buildings like Roy Thompson Hall and the CN Tower. The luxurious setting is nestled in the rich nuances of city living and provides a quiet place for them to unwind after a busy day or entertain guests.
To find the perfect carpet, I sought the assistance of ELTE area rug/carpeting consultant Linda Payton. ELTE offers a wide selection of furniture and related home accessories sourced from around the world. I shared my purpose with Linda: to find a spectacular rug that would add a welcome splash of color to my client’s minimalist design scheme.
Carpets make a huge difference in the way a room feels. Like a great belt or the perfect pair of shoes, carpets help to outfit a room. They add a visual layer of interest while also providing a soft, comfortable way to frame a space. I sent Linda a photo of a prominently placed painting in the room, hoping to bring in some of its rich jewel tones. The large 60”x60” painting of Marilyn Monroe by Pietro Adamo provided an inspirational starting point.
I enjoy working with sales consultants in wholesale and retail businesses and maintaining great relationships with them. They help me to stay connected to the latest trends and save time when I bring clients to a showroom. When I arrived at the ELTE showroom on a rainy afternoon with my client, Linda had already curated a rich selection of carpets for us to preview. The pile included a variety of colours that matched our existing colour scheme, including a special one-of-a-kind Silk Orchid collection of carpets.
Linda took the time to explain some of the important buying considerations to my client including size, type and quality of the thread knotting, fabrication process used, and other factors affecting the price and history of each carpet. But when my client saw the mystical patterned swoops from one of the Silk Orchid carpets, she knew immediately this was it. I completely agreed. The size was perfect and the bright hot pinks, soft blues, and earthy greens were a welcome color underneath the simple white sofa.
The photos above show the difference a carpet can make and I’m sharing a few additional details about this special carpet because its production is so unique. The carpets are created from silk scarves and saris deconstructed and repurposed as rugs. No two carpets in the Silk Orchid collection are the same, and customers appreciate their green footprint as well as their beauty.
The April 2017 House and Home magazine published an article about their production, entitled “The Silk Road: An Essential Part of India’s Social Fabric.” Writer Wendy Jacob shared the collaborative process between ELTE’s Toronto buyer and general manager, Jamie Metrick, and third generation rug makers in India. The labour-intensive process sources silk threads from vintage scarves and saris, and pools the threads into like colors before they are re spun into carpets. Traditional Turkish or Persian knotting techniques are used but the artful process undergoes yet another step. They are laid out in the sun, sometimes for days, before they are washed and bleached in the sun. The entire process of washing and bleaching is repeated until the perfect colour is achieved.
My client’s 8’x10’ rug used more than 100 silk saris that were grouped, unraveled and re spun over the course of 8-10 weeks. The carpet was washed 3-6 times and the entire process took 10 months to a year to complete. Please enjoy this video link to Jamie Metrick and the Silk Orchid manufacturing process in India. It captures a unique, old world meets new world, design and a glimpse into the some of ELTE’s finest interior design products. If you’d like to read more about the women weavers of India, visit WomanScape.com