Posted on: April 9, 2018

Inspiration Everywhere

Our Reflections carpet, designed by owner Bahram Shabahang, is a transitional design with an Art Nouveau style that draws its inspiration from the Everglades.

On a visit to our friends at Thomas Riley Studio in Naples, owner Bahram Shabahang took some time to visit Everglades National Park. While there, he was taken aback by the beauty of this rugged yet delicate ecosystem. As a lover of nature and everything outdoors, Shabahang took inspiration from the landscape and translated it into a unique carpet design.


One can notice a repeated floral motif that creates a border at the top and bottom of the rug. These flowers allude to the water lilies that float near the shores of the ponds and streams that make up this vast wetland. They are placed on either side of a rippling body of water. The natural striation, or abrash, of the blue background is given additional dimension with freeform bubbles of two supplementary colors that represent the depth and reflection of the vast body of water. The outlining of the darker curved lines gives further definition of movement to these pockets of color. The visual understanding of motion is enhanced by a worm-like shape that imitates the breaking waves of the gentle ripples.

Not only is the composition of this design unique, but so too is the stylistic approach. Reflections uses modern graphics, but represents them with a strong traditional influence. For example, the organic curves that flow throughout the entire piece recall the Art Nouveau style of art and architecture. The expression of the floral pattern shows a similarity to the work of Mucha and Mackintosh in the curvilinear outlining of each part of the flower. Because Art Nouveau draws some of its inspiration from traditional Eastern design, however, there is crossover with these elements in classic Persian carpet-making as well. One will see all of the shapes and motifs in an antique Persian carpet outlined by a darker color, which is also the case for Reflections. But what makes this Orley Shabahang original truly transitional is the geometric quality of the flowers and the symmetry of the piece as a whole. Similar to the patterns in transitional Bijars  and Oushaks, Reflections conveys a geometrically stylized representation of a flower, but it takes a more minimalist approach. And following the rules of classical Persian carpet design, the symmetry of this particular rug symbolizes stability and balance.

Traditional Home, July 2011

Like all Orley Shabahang rugs, Reflections is made completely by hand using only natural materials and processes. From our flock of sheep that produce the finest wool for carpet making to our organic vegetable dyes, our rugs are made like the antiques of past with no manmade chemicals. That was why Orley Shabahang rugs were exclusively featured in Susan Fedman’s design for the Healthy Home show house in 2010. Focusing on creating a comfortable space for a family that would be void of toxins and off-gassing that goes hand in hand with new construction, Fredman decided on a Reflections rug for the living room space. The blue background compliments the dark wood floors spectacularly, and the red walls call out the accent color found in the flowers. Come visit Orley Shabahang today to find the perfect naturally made rug for any space!