Art and Practicality Converge in Gabbeh Rugs

Gabbeh (pronounced “gah-BAY”) is the Farsi word for natural or raw. In this case, it describes the coarse materials used to create early tribal rugs in Persia. The Gabbeh weaving tradition dates back as far as 3500 BC. Those first Gabbeh rugs were made by nomadic women to protect tender feet and to decorate bare homes. While they were practical, they also inspired. The artisans who wove those ancient rugs infused their designs with symbols that displayed their spirit, artistic talents, and love for family. In time, certain symbols evolved to impart love, prosperity, and good fortune to their families.

Modern families can grace their homes with those same sentiments with a beautifully hand-knotted Gabbeh rug from either India or Iran. Since both hand-weavers and modern manufacturers incorporate the emblematic characters found in early Gabbeh rugs, you can find the symbols on all-wool hand-tufted rugs and even in the synthetics used in machine-made rugs.

Each character woven in a Gabbeh rug has its own unique meaning. Some of the most common symbols found on today’s Gabbeh rugs include:

  • The Cypress Tree stands for life after death.
  • The Lion boasts of honor and victory.
  • A Camel is a common symbol for wealth and happiness.
  • Peacocks are holy birds that symbolize the spiritual nature of man.
  • The Dog serves as man’s protector, saving him from his own misdeeds and harm from others.
  • The Cock represents the devil; it’s woven into rugs to protect the owner from outside evil.
  • A Comb suggests cleanliness and brings wishes of health to the family.
  • The Hourglass reminds the family that time passes for everyone.
  • A strip of Clouds sends happiness to the family.
  • A Pomegranate is the ancient symbol of abundant wealth.
  • The Tree of Life, one of the most common symbols, expresses the belief in eternal life.

The characters are woven as small geometric shapes, caricatures of the symbols they portray. On some rugs, they are lined up in no particular sequence, bringing a wealth of wishes to the bearer. Other rugs focus on a primary wish, such as the popular Lion Gabbeh rug that contains one or two bigger lions surrounded by smaller lions in a horizontal pattern, ideal for a family of warriors. Gabbeh symbols may be also woven into a larger pattern made of a floral motif. In these rugs, you may have to look closely to see the artistic symbols imbedded in the overall pattern.

No matter which kind of Gabbeh rug you purchase, the original thoughts and heart-felt symbols can bring an aura of love and good intentions to your home. You may recognize the symbols and be able to interpret their meanings, but even if you can’t, a Gabbeh rug has an uncanny way of snuggling up to your heart and making you feel good somehow. Perhaps it’s the ghosts of the tribal Persian women who loved and cared for their families, or perhaps it’s the actual resonance of the symbols themselves.

Fall for the New Fall Colors

Bring a ray of optimism into your décor with Pantone’s fall pick for 2012 – Tangerine Tango

They do it every season. Pantone, the leading authority on color, releases new colors that you will see in every product where color is a variable: in fashion, in furniture, in automobiles … and in rugs. Dedicated followers of fashion look forward to the hot new colors every season. But even if following trends doesn’t inspire your personal choices, chances are you will find a new color to love.

So let’s examine the new colors for Fall 2012.

Pantone tells us that Tangerine Tango is the number one hot color for this season, followed by French Roast, Honey Gold, Pink Flamingo, and Ultramarine Green. The color trends for fall are not surprising since they follow closely the trends we saw in the spring that suited the mood of the country — optimistic, yet reserved.

Consumer confidence continues to climb as 2012 nears its end, clearly demonstrated in the orange, pink, and green colors that are so lively and vibrant. At the same time, the country is taking it slow and moderating its optimism, obvious in the complementary earth tones of deep brown and gold.

What does this mean for you? These colors are strong, yet familiar. If you like being on the cutting edge, you’ll be able to comfortably slip into this color-way while trying something new. There are sure to be fashion-forward ideas for updating a room or decorating your first home. If you know what you like and don’t want to change, you might find these colors make excellent highlights, complementing your current favorites.

Place these modern glass vases to add a pop of vibrant color.

What does this mean for your home? If you decorate (or redecorate) with these trends in mind, you’ll find it easier to match complementary accessories in your local retail outlets. Stick with a basic brown and gold base for your furnishings. Then add the bright, optimistic colors in your rugs, pictures, pillows, and window treatments.

Set a bright tangerine orange rug in your den under your deep brown leather sectional. Go ahead and bring a loud, happy pink plush shag rug into your bedroom to brighten up a room that’s held traditional dark wood furniture and kept you stuck in yesterday.

Start small if you’re anxious about making big changes. Add orange, pink, and green pillows to every room, for example, or switch out your dried flower dining table centerpiece with a modern glass vase in one of the new colors. These optimistic tones speak of renewed vitality, prosperity and fun. Fall is a season of change. Make yours one to inspire!

Pantone is the company that sets the color trends year after year. The business was originally founded by Lawrence Herbert in 1963 to solve problems encountered by graphic artists who needed help producing the most accurate color matches in their work. Herbert came up with a spectrum of coordinating and matching colors that artists could rely on when faced with difficult choices. The innovative fan color format has since morphed the company into the global authority on colors. Industries ranging from fashion to paint, from digital design to plastics, and from textiles to advertising rely on Pantone and its renowned language of color to set the pace for trends.

Feng Shui for Your Floors

Bring prosperity to your business with a rug that incorporates teal and square patterns.

To fill our world with happiness and fulfillment, we strive to get ahead, find love, laugh and stay healthy. Part of that satisfaction comes from making our homes comfortable. And it’s true: the colors and patterns in your home can affect your world. You can create an environment to help you be happy and fulfilled in your home by incorporating a little feng shui into your decorating plan.

Feng shui (pronounced fung schway) is the ancient Chinese technique of arranging your surroundings to bring you into harmony with the natural order of things. Feng shui operates on design principles. By adding certain colors to a room or rearranging your furniture, you can bring prosperity, peace, fame, wisdom, creativity, and well-being into your life.

There are five basic elements in nature that compose the feng shui practice: fire, metal, water, wood, and earth. Each carries complementary shapes and colors to bring desired effects. Incorporate those colors and shapes accordingly, and you can immediately begin to feel the changes in your life. By following a few simple tenets of the practice, you can create peace in places you currently find distress.

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