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Create a Far Eastern snug with The Richard Harvey Collection

16:36 24 March 2015

Promotional feature: Richard and Louise Harvey from The Richard Harvey Collection whisk us off on a journey to the Far East with their collection of Kilims, Swat Valley chests, Spice Boxes, Altar Tables and Honey Pot lamps, among other jewels to create a peaceful haven in your home.

As lives are becoming increasingly hectic and fast-paced, we try to offset this by creating a tranquil breathing space to recharge our batteries. So if you are looking to escape into your own Aladdin’s Cave of blissful peace, we have just the items you are looking for.

First off is the Kilim. Kilims date back to the fourth or fifth century, and were first found in China. They are rugs, produced by tightly interweaving the warp and weft strands of the weave to produce a flat surface with no pile. They feel reminiscent of hardy jute rugs more commonly found in the Highlands and Island of Scotland, so right away you are reassured of quality. The name ‘Kilim’ is actually of Persian descent, literally meaning ‘to spread roughly.’ And as such, each piece delivers just that, with a range of rugs starting at prayer mat size, and working right up to a runner or a complete floor covering.

There are various different types of Kilim, depending on where the item is from. More recently, weavers have begun to favour more geometric patterns, and have also added colours such as turquoise and purple. Traditionally Kilims have tended to be pink, red, ivory, green and blue. For example ordinary Kilims, such as the pieces offered in our collection are woven with hemp cotton and wool threads. A gunny Kilim is woven with various coloured pieces of cloth. There are needlework Kilims, Palas Kilims, Zilu, Khorjin, Rah Rah, the list goes on! And it doesn’t stop there – the Kilim has migrated across Eastern Europe into Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland, Turkey and the Ukraine. The jute and wool fabric fuses beautifully to create a hardy but heartfelt piece deserving of a place in your home. And the Kilim fabric has been cleverly adapted to form other soft furnishings too.

Try on a few scatter cushions for size, or perhaps one of the colourful and cosy draught excluders to shield your home from the chills of Winter for a couple more months. For a bit of added comfort, settle yourself down on a sumptuous floor cushion and watch a DVD or rest your feet on one of our plumped up pouffes – did you know that the pouffe originated from France in the late 19th Century, and refers to anything ‘puffed’ such as a dress or even a hairstyle? We source our Kilims, Swat Valley chests, platters and pots from a passionate supplier who we have worked seamlessly with for almost 10 years, and whose tantalising task it is to travel to India, and bring their bounty back to our shores for us to try out!

Moving on to our Swat Valley Chests, these pieces are beautifully original with their ornate carved surfaces, intricate detailing and unusual fixtures and fittings. They originate from the Swat Valley in Pakistan, otherwise known as ‘The Switzerland of the East.’ and They are both practical and pretty, personifying the ruggedness of the mountainous valley with intricate craftsmanship of the locals. They are also a little more petite than your average chest or coffee table. Indeed you will find yourself instantly conflicted over which one to choose – they are all so stunning! Our Altar tables are a little more commanding, although they lose nothing of the intricate detail and quality. They originate from the Harbin region of China and are made from Antique Pine and Elm, a collaboration which makes them both rustic and thick. The name Harbin means ‘a place for drying fishing nets.’ And as the village is situated on the Songhua River, the phraseology is no happy accident. These tables are a real high quality investment for your home. Richard lovingly polishes each piece with wax which enhances the colour of the wood beautifully. The Chinese people developed long, narrow tables to hold musical instruments or to display items of wealth and beauty such as jade, porcelain or flower arrangements. Sometimes the table is used simply to display family photographs. A more unconventional but acceptable use would be to put your telly on top – each to their own!

Our Himalayan honeypot lamps are both delicate and robust, starting out as an individually turned, then hollowed out pot, jar or storage container and used by villagers in the Kashmir region of the Himalayas, to store honey, spices, rice and other dried foods. The pots are made from a range of local woods including sheesham, mango and teak but when asked, most locals simply call the wood “junglewood”! They will add an intimate glow to any cosy abode. Or perhaps accessorise by scattering a couple of spice boxes around the room? Whatever you choose to blend together, you can be assured that any East and West fusion is sure to make a bold but beautiful statement in your home…

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Louise & Richard have a wide selection of rugs, furniture and accessories which can be seen in their shop and converted Chapel showroom. So if you have any questions or would simply like to discuss your interior then they would be delighted to hear from you. They are able to offer home visits to customers within a local radius to discuss design requirements and can offer a ‘try in situ’ service.

The Richard Harvey Collection, 28 Church Street, Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire CV36 4AP Tel: 01608 662168 www.rhcollection.co.uk

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