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Modern Twist on a Classic

Posted in: Interior Design & Installations Method & Making Oushak rugs The Making of King's House

Revisiting the Caldwell-Flake King’s House rug collaboration for the Kappa Delta House at the University of Alabama ….     



I have been working on a project with the ultra talented design team of Caldwell-Flake the past few months that we are so excited to share!!   We cannot wait until the installation is complete to show you the photos…

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It all started with one gorgeous Antique Oushak, (photo above, rug details at the bottom of this post) and the Interior design team of Mary Ruth Caldwell and Lisa Flake (below).

Mary Ruth   Lisa Flake

Mary Ruth and Lisa approached us early last summer with a project for the Kappa Delta Sorority House at the University of Alabama that was going to be needing a large, no make that HUGE oriental rug.  The size needed to be ideally 18×25′.  It needed to be beautiful, practical and again HUGE!

While we were in the shop looking at oversize rugs, they noticed this gorgeous oushak, pictured above, out in the showroom.  As soon as Mary Ruth and Lisa saw this rug, they knew it was perfect for this project.  This was the rug that was going to make the room…along with the fabulous fabrics and accessories they are putting with it.  (You will have to wait a little longer for those photos!)

kd house pic

The antique Oushak circa 1910 is 9.4×11.4′ and we needed 18×25′, we were able through our extensive travels overseas and close relationships with the most talented and capable artisans to offer this gorgeous oushak as an option in their “Palace” size.   Not only could we offer it in their size, but we could make the weave even more durable than the original while still using the traditional Turkish knots that have been woven in the village of Usak for centuries.

Barganier Davis Sims Architects Associated in Montgomery, Alabama was retained by the house corporation to assist the building committee in designing the new KD house in the same Georgian Revival style as the previous house.  In fact, the First Circle façade is a reproportioned, larger-scale version of the previous house.  The overall design was also influenced by the beautiful Georgian mansions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Of particular influence was Westbury House in New York, a 1906 Charles II mansion.  The interior architectural detailing is simplified Georgian style with ionic pilasters and a graceful curving stair.  The new KD house is designed to provide its members and alumnae an elegant, inviting, functional, and safe home away from home.  We can’t wait to see Mary Ruth and Lisa’s final influence on this project.

We love the timing and symmetry between the antique Oushak, the founding of the chapter, and the Westbury House influence.  There were weavers in Turkey starting to work on the antique “prototype” around the same time that both the chapter was being established at the University and the construction of the Westbury House, and there were weavers in Turkey starting to work on the palace rug when the new chapter house was being constructed.  Isn’t it amazing how the classics stand the test of time!

Kappa Delta Marker

Check out the photos below.  We can’t keep our eyes off these oushaks.  Absolutely stunning!


Measuring for scale and matching colors.



Christin inspecting our wool in Central Anatolia (above) and samples made for color approval (below.

Ready for shearing and the beautiful Turkish sun!

It’s like one of those generational pictures where the Great Grandmother has the little girl in her lap – “100 years of Beautiful Oushaks”


We feel almost maternal that it had a chance to socialize with its older colleagues before going into storage, only to reveal itself again upon installation when the new school year begins.  Like a fine wine, it will only get better with time!

This is what makes my job so much fun.  I get to work with the most professional, talented interior designers along with the most talented artisans in the world to create one of a kind, beautiful carpets for our clients to enjoy for years to come.  The design firm of Caldwell Flake Interiors is only a click away.


You might also like:

From the Inventory: Alexis, Turkish Oushak
Farmer Collection: Beautiful and Chic Farmer Collection Oushak “Chandelle”

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