Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Spy . . .

With my little eye, something in my house . . . 
That bears a striking resemblance to this . . . 
This is "The Best" list from the April issue of House Beautiful.

I was a bit taken aback that the humble little rug that sits in front of my sink is mentioned in one of my favorite magazines, House Beautiful.

According to HB, "the ancient tradition of Shyrdak rugs -- handcrafted from felt -- dates back centuries, to nomadic yurts in Kyrgyzstan." 

I'm assuming that what I have is also a Shyrdak rug. If not, maybe it's just a distant cousin. Here's the illustrious history of my particular rug, as I know it. My dad went on one of his mountain-climbing trips (he started this particular hobby when I was 12) to Mongolia years ago and purchased two of these small rugs as well as a large wall-hanging. He believes he may have paid $10 for each rug. That's quite a bargain considering the one listed in HB was $500 (of course, the flight over there and back probably cost a bit). The rugs gathered dust in my parents' spare room until I rescued the one above from obscurity several months ago and brought it into its current incarnation -- as a kitchen rug.

Now, I realize Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan are not the same country but they're pretty close (I looked it up), and apparently in Mongolia they live in gers instead of yurts, but close enough (they're both tents basically).

Whatever it's called, I love my soft felt rug with the fun pattern. I'm glad House Beautiful agrees. Thanks, Dad . . . you predicted a trend years in advance!

Sources: MIL, House Beautiful, www.shyrdak-felt-rugs.com

8 comments:

Susan said...

I saw that rug too and thought dammit my sister has it in her house. Question....you said there were two. Where is the other? And I am sure our father knew full well that those rugs were going to be a hit years down the road. Strange that his collection of antique daggers hasn't yet hit the pages of HB.

Matt said...

so let me get this straight... we have a rug in our kitchen from borat's country? cool.

bluehydrangea said...

How awesome is that??!! Love the rug..it has my favorite colors, blue and brown. Even better it has a story!! I need to encourage my father to travel more!!

My Interior Life said...

Yes, Susan, dad is quite the trend-spotter. And there are 2 of them, but I think the other one is more tone-on-tone. I liked the colors in this one better.

Matt, Borat's from Kazakhstan not Kyrgyzstan, but they do border each other (see map).

Thanks, Sissy. Yes, traveling parents are great resources for treasures. Although, now I'm starting to think I should do some traveling and treasure hunting!

Haven and Home said...

I wish that rug was sitting in my house. What a cool story about your Dad.

Susan said...

Still haven't found the other rug yet. :(

Dirtball Daddy said...

Yes! That is a shyrdak! The earth tones of your shyrdak are different than others you've seen because the crafts-women who make them were told that western tourists like earth tones over bright colors. One of the best places to find more of them is at www.altyn-kol.com or check out Altyn Kol Women's Handicraft NGO on facebook. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan for 2 years and worked with them on business development.

My Interior Life said...

Thanks, DD. That's really interesting - I'll have to look up that website. And I'm very impressed with your Peace Corps background - how cool!