Investment for Generations – Choosing the Perfect Persian Rug & Chandelier
January 5, 2017
Top interior designers know that every home can benefit from a show-stopping centrepiece. Two of the most eye-catching interior furnishings you could invest in are Persian rugs and chandeliers. Both items have a rich history and associations with aristocracy and both exude an inimitable sophistication that alters the ambience of a room. These are the type of items that will be handed down through the generations as heirlooms to bring pleasure, beauty and comfort to your family’s surroundings for countless years. Luxury interior designers can help you choose the best Persian rug and chandeliers for a long-term investment, but this guide will also offer some tips.
Chandeliers have always been in fashion and they are considered to be one of the most elegant accessories a home can exhibit. Originating from the French word “chandelle,” chandelier literally means “candle holder,” and that’s what they were during the 14th century when they were made from wood. Chandeliers were predominantly used in religious buildings, palaces and halls, but they were so expensive that only the wealthiest citizens could afford to hang them at home. Elsewhere, the extravagance and opulence of chandeliers made them popular in ballrooms.
Things have moved on a lot since then and now there are thousands of chandeliers available on the market in a variety of different sizes and styles. They are normally placed in the middle of large sumptuous rooms, but they sometimes fit well into a simple modern room or one with an eclectic Bohemian vibe. This is demonstrated by the vintage chandelier that lights up a chic penthouse in Shoreditch, London.
Those who prefer classic chandeliers will probably be more interested in crystal due to its mesmerising sparkle and ornate construction. Purchasing a crystal chandelier takes a little more preparation than most people expect due to the intricacies of specific types of crystals and the measurements needed. Although crystal chandeliers are known to be large and grand, it’s the quality rather than the size of the jewels that matters. The chandelier needs to highlight the room without being overbearing and if the fixture is too big, it will make the room seem small and cramped, whereas a small one will fade into the background or look out of place.
It’s worth investing more in a chandelier in a living room or dining area rather than a foyer or hall since people don’t spend as much time in entrances. For those areas where people just pass through, you can commit to less of an investment, such as chandeliers that simply use a transparent polymer (but to great effect). It’s worth splashing out on a top-of-the-line brand such as Swarovski for the places where you spend the most time. However, it’s important to remember that chandeliers are just as much about making a statement as they are a means of illumination, and it will be a good idea to invest in more lighting, such as lamps, to meet your lighting needs.
The best Oriental rugs are hand woven and fall under the category of artwork. Although they have the beauty and prestige of paintings and sculptures, rugs are practical as well as eye-catching and represent a savvy investment for discerning shoppers. They make unique and beautiful heirlooms since they can be passed down through the generations and appreciate in value over time. For example, at 50 years old, a rug is semi-antique and at a century old, it is considered antique. Machine-made rugs might also look good but it’s worth noting that their life is shorter – usually around 20 years.
Before you start shopping for a Persian rug, take a little time to think about size and colour, and don’t forget to note the dimensions of your room and placed furniture. For example, if you’re shopping for a dining room rug, you should know the size of the table. Since there are more colours and designs than ever before, it is helpful if you take a photo of the rooms to the showroom. Buy from a dealer who offers good after-sales services, which include cleaning and restoration. A reputable dealer will take the time to listen to what you need and answer your questions; they should also allow you to try the rug at home to see how it looks with no obligation.
Two fundamental things to check when choosing your Persian rug are whether it lays smoothly on the floor and if the weave looks consistent. You should also check its origin, with Iranian, Turkish and Moroccan rugs being the preferred choice, but the surrounding ‘oriental’ countries such as Afghanistan and China are also good options. The standard of knot count is another factor; the tighter the knot and higher the knot count can increase its value in many cases. However, the quality of the weave and wool are more important, and the weave should be fine enough to clearly express the motifs of the design. High-quality wool and dyes determine the resilience and lasting patina of a rug. If you take these aspects of buying a rug into account, the experience should be enjoyable and you’ll find your Persian rug perfectly complements its new home and continues to do so for generations.