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Oriental Rugs Are Back, According to Designers, and They’re Being Sold in Unexpected Places

Barberry Hill Farm in Madison, CT, is known for hosting weddings throughout the year and selling pumpkins during the fall before Halloween. They also offer heirloom tomatoes and around 72 different varieties of cut flowers for locals in the New Haven area. But these things aren’t the reasons why the family-owned farm is drawing big […]

Oriental Rugs Are Back, According to Designers, and They’re Being Sold in Unexpected Places

precious Middle Eastern rugs Handmade wool for sale in the antiqBarberry Hill Farm in Madison, CT, is known for hosting weddings throughout the year and selling pumpkins during the fall before Halloween. They also offer heirloom tomatoes and around 72 different varieties of cut flowers for locals in the New Haven area.

But these things aren’t the reasons why the family-owned farm is drawing big crowds. Instead, people are gathering beneath the large white tents and walking through the grounds of the 18-acre farm for its “Rug Weekend.”

The farm isn’t just selling any carpets, either: they offer handmade Oriental rugs as part of their business. These days, owner Kelly Goddard said, family farms have to diversify a bit to make money.

Goddard and her partner Laura Jarrett, a psychologist and rug collector, decided to augment the family business by offering these home furnishings, as well. In addition to operating the farm, they also own their rug business, KLT Rugs LLC.

According to the Shoreline Times in New Haven, the farm’s customer base grows by word-of-mouth, and buyers travel from all over Connecticut and beyond, including Boston and New York City.

The owners procure the rugs from all over the Middle East, and they’ve been selling the unique carpets for 13 years now. In the autumn, the rugs are displayed outside and almost blend in with the foliage.

There are two types of fabric that are most commonly used to create Oriental rugs like the ones at Barberry Hill Farm: wool and silk. Because those materials can be easily damaged by water, and because Oriental rug cleaning can be a complex process, the rugs can only be hung out on display on dry days.

The farm’s rugs may be gaining attention now for other reasons. Rugs sold by auction house Christie’s London can fetch an estimated £20,000 to £30,000, or about $30,000 to $45,000 USD.

And according to some design experts, Oriental rugs may be back in a big way.

The Daily Herald in Chicago reported that a tangerine and brick-red Persian rug appeared on the September issue cover of House Beautiful, marking the first time an Oriental rug has appeared on the cover since June 2008.

Sophie Donelson, House Beautiful’s editor-in-chief, selected the cozy-looking cover, which was also shot in New England at a Vermont farmhouse. “Orientals add a lot of warmth and sophistication to a room,” she told the Daily Herald.

What’s their appeal? According to Donelson, the warm colors of the rugs can turn a house into a home.

“They are really wild, gorgeous and intricate patterns — no two the same. They’re a friendly, non-obtrusive ground for a room,” Donelson said. “They’re part of filling a home with soulful objects.”

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