Rugs and carpets can change the entire feel of a home. Yet choosing the right style, a colour to work with your décor and the ideal size to fit a room can all have their challenges. From contemporary rugs to Eastern carpets, these readers tell us who they turned to for invaluable advice on transforming their living spaces.
Neha Singh, Indian/Canadian
When we moved into our new shophouse, I knew we wanted to freshen up the look! The new space was large and open-plan – so I wanted to create “zones” with different colours and styles while incorporating my collection of antiques and colonial décor with a more contemporary feel. When I spotted The Cinnamon Room’s rug collection in Expat Living, I knew I needed to check them out in person.
Visha was incredibly helpful throughout the process and even came to my house for a private consultation. Her creative eye helped me tackle the intimidation of the big space and successfully style it. I explained to her that I wanted to soften the tiled flooring in the living area since we have young children. We also entertain a lot, so we needed rugs that are hardwearing and easily maintained. When Visha told me that everything from red wine and coffee to chocolate milk wipes off easily, I was instantly sold!
I ended up buying three carpets; including a round mermaid grey silver hide rug that creates a cosy and stylish corner, and a neutral laser-etched off-white contemporary hide rug that beautifully complements the original Peranakan tiles. My favourite, however, is the vibrant blue statement piece that brings my living room to life!
If you’re newcomers to Singapore or looking to boost your space, do some research into the many talented stylists we have here. Once you find one that matches your style, engage them for a consultation. Contrary to popular belief, consultations are often not expensive and really help with the process.
A lot of new expat families come with the idea of a “temporary stint” when they start their journey here. But don’t hesitate to invest in your surroundings as it gives a very settled feeling as you commit to enjoying your new adventure fully. Quality pieces will always follow you and make any space beautiful, even if you return home!
Jayne Kuriakose, Singaporean
I came across Nasser Nishaburi carpets at a furniture store last year but, to my dismay, they were display pieces and weren’t for sale. After querying the shop assistant for a name, I began to follow him on Instagram. His passion for his carpets is striking and inspiring!
With a toddler and baby twins at home, we’d been on the lookout for a hand-knotted wool tribal carpet for some time. Wool is easier to maintain than silk and is thick enough for little ones to comfortably play and crawl on. When we finally made it to Nasser’s store, we came away with not one, but three carpets! We bought a Qashghai, a Bakhtiari and a Lori-Qashghai piece, all hand-knotted wool carpets with hand-spun yarn coloured with natural vegetable dyes and one-of-a-kind designs.
We were attracted to each piece for different reasons; for example the prussian blue colour that appears in the Qashghai carpet is a result of a technique pioneered by the father of traditional dyeing in Iran, Mr Abbas Sayyah. Moreover, the weaver created the rug entirely from memory, which makes this, like many tribal pieces, a unique design. Our colourful living room carpet (pictured) is approximately 70 years old, woven at the foot of Mount Zardkuh in central Iran. It’s thought to be a Lori tribal carpet with influences of Qashgai, possibly woven by a Qashgai girl who was married to a Lori man. The colours are unique and vivid; we thought it would be stimulating for our babies to play on.
Nasser’s patience and expertise played a huge part in our purchase. He talked us through several pieces explaining the origin and history of each. There was no pressure to purchase, and he was even happy to visit our home with carpets so that we could see them in our space.
Joseph Cheng, Taiwanese
I’ve been a keen carpet collector for more than a decade. In recent years, I’ve taken a real interest in the Hedger’s Carpet Gallery auctions at The American Club. They’re the only company in Singapore that conducts regular carpet auctions, and not only have I ended up with some great purchases, but I find them to be incredibly fun and entertaining! Peter is a fantastic and engaging auction host – full of knowledge and expertise.
I’ve always appreciated carpets as an art form and a piece of history. They can light up any room and I love that each person appreciates their story, appearance and textures differently. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about how to spot a quality carpet and a great deal. When I renovated and expanded my house, my carpet collection grew with it. To date, I have a large collection of Persian, Pakistani, Indian and Afghan carpets, ten of which I’ve purchased from Hedger’s Carpet Gallery. I love that each of them is a masterpiece with its own character and story, yet they all still come together harmoniously in any home interior. I highly recommend anyone to pay Peter a visit at Hedger’s Carpet Gallery, if you’re looking to start your own collection!
This article first appeared in the January 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!