Mystery Package Reveal #1

August 6th, 2009

As you may recall, we spent most of June thrifting our way across Scandinavia and with each new country, we added another bag (or two) to our entourage. By the time we were on our way to Finland, we looked extremely ridiculous.


The above makeshift suitcase did not help.

But it was what was in this heavy garbage bag suitcase that made the whole endeavor worth it (I presume, as I was not the one who had to endure lugging it around).


What’s this? Could it be an illusive Berber Rug??? Like most fans of mid-century modern, we have the Berber bug. Sadly, Berbers are hard to come by, especially at affordable prices. We found some beauties up at Elte awhile back, but of course despite their massive 50% off store-wide sale, the Berbers were business as usual. Alas at $5000, we shuffled off empty handed.

In Stockholm, serendipity made us stumble upon a beautiful vintage and antique rug shop that is kept by an interesting and knowledgeable gentleman. He noticed we were keen to learn about textiles and showed us binders full of Scandinavian rugs and Berbers (our two principal interests). By the end of it all, we just couldn’t leave without buying not one, but two rugs.

John and I firmly believe that a rug is a vital component that anchors a room. If there is anything you should spend extra money on, as an investment, is an amazing rug that you love. Rugs are like art (often they are art). They create visual impact, they can tell a story, they provide texture and you can change them up and move them about.

Buying a rug should be a special experience (nerd alert). It’s always so tempting to buy some cheap mass produced rug (I’ve had fits in IKEA, but John is so steadfast, which in the long run I appreciate) but they lack pizazz and specialness—you know everyone has it. Vintage on the other hand has that one in a million feeling, something that’s been loved and handled by others, that holds onto a journey, that incorporates the thrill of the hunt. Our Berber rug is 40 years old. It may have served as flooring in a Berber’s tent. It was hand made, the pattern formed at the whim of its maker. How special is that?

Our rug is a little worse for wear because we didn’t want to spend TOO much money—it cost about $1200, a far cry from the $5000 versions on offer in Toronto.


Grover insisted on being in a detail shot (though hilariously he ended up being the detail in focus). Actually, he’s just testing out the rug because I temporarily moved his ugly-mashed up-hairy PetSmart bed.


Berbers and similar graphic carpets really do go amazingly with mid-century modern furniture. Here it is with the chrome and pony hide Le Corbusier chair (ok technically earlier than mid-century but you know what I mean).


One edge has this random bit of blue thread and long fringe, while the other edge has a short, thin fringe.


The diamond shapes mimic the Eiffel base of the coffee table.

The Berber sadly still doesn’t have a place to be in our home. We usually have a gorgeous red and black Afghan that anchors our living room, and it will continue to do so for now because it looks amazing with the sofa. Plus, our cats like to barf all over the place, especially on carpets, and with the longer pile of the Berber and delicate nature of it’s condition, we can’t risk it. It may make it’s way up to the cottage for the time being (a no cat zone), to join our mystery bag reveal #2 rug—which is quite frankly, even better than the Berber…coming soon.

Filed under: Home Reno,Thrifting | 7 comments