A Gem of a Rug Destination by Kieara Crisp

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My plan was to do my next blog  on a store that was completely opposite to the places I visited before. Consequently, Centro, the center for the Gucci and Louis Vutton brands of the home furnishing world located in the Central West End, was my original destination.  Literally 30 seconds before arriving I was sidetracked by Buddha; he was sitting calmly on the middle of a table facing me as though he was patiently awaiting my arrival. A skylight located above him directed soft natural light around him and a gorgeous 9 x 12 oriental rug hanging directly behind him.

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I find most oriental rugs to be too distracting for my taste, but this one was different; negative space was a part of the design and not just the outcome of left over space from the motifs.The colors on this rug had a distinct hue to them that made it appear bright and alive without demanding attention. From my experience, rug shops are suppose to be large warehouses with huge piles lying everywhere. This store is only a tenth of the size of a small warehouse and uses half of the space and prime real estate to display only five rugs.

Intrigued, I walked into the store and was instantly welcomed by a yorkshire terrier. After I was cleared entrance, I was allowed to go behind Buddha and interviewed again, this time by a  standard poodle, while another one watched sleepily on a pile of rugs. Note your second interview will not go by as smoothly as the first since the poodle is still a ‘baby’ but you will be saved by Greg Halbert the owner. Mr. Halbert is the reason I am now in love with blogging. Talking to someone with so much passion, love, and knowledge fills you with the same emotions, even if you do not feel the same about the subject. His emotions were contagious!

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Halbert’s rugs are collectables you could use in your space for decades, without loosing any value because they are ‘bullet proof’. They are made the exact way rugs were made 2,500 years ago. With yarn and dyes, rugs made by hand and natural materials. It takes up to six months to complete one rug. Halbert says they are an investment unlike synthetic rugs which do not increase in value over time and will not last as long. All of Halbert’s rugs come from a closed market. This means the designers and artisans of these rugs have total control over what they create; they send him a picture of what they made and the price.

Halbert told me a story about the Ford Granada that was built in the 1970’s to look like a Mercedes to compare his rugs to most of the rugs on the market. His simple question afterwards was, which car do you think people are still driving around today? If you appreciate art, craftsmanship,  and beauty, I highly encourage a visit. That is if your not allergic to  dogs and are not afraid of a standard poodle constantly showing you love and affection. ( that is, after winning his approval).

For more information, please visit…

www.halbertrugs.com

#STL365 – What’s it all about?

#STL365  – Our campaign to highlight local gems this summer & beyond!

It’s no secret that all of us here at DesignSpeak love our city, and we know you do too. We frequently hear about so many great local places around town; places that make St. Louis a unique and vibrant community. Since we depend on so many of these small businesses in our day to day lives, we feel that they deserve to be highlighted for what makes them stand out.  Using our twitter hashtag, #STL365, and by posting highlights on our blog, we will endeavor to share these small businesses with you.

These aren’t your “big box” type of stores; these are going to be small local boutiques and businesses that are open to the public. Whether it’s a brand new local restaurant that just opened with an amazing design, a boutique that has a great selection or service, or a small city park that you might have forgotten about, we want to help our friends discover the city. Especially the designers, craftspeople, and local building resources we know and love.   If there is a place around town you would like for us to scout out, please let us know, as we might already have a connection there.

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We will be posting our finds on Fridays to give everyone a bit of inspiration for those weekend home improvement projects, or for a place to kick back after the work is done. If you love our city also, and want to support local businesses, we encourage you to connect with us and join the conversation as we go out and explore what makes St. Louis unique.

Connect with us here!
Blog: http://www.designspeakstl.com
Twitter: @DesignSpeakSTL
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/designspeakstl

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