When I rented my first apartment on my own, without roommates, my first purchase for it, even before I bought a bed, was a rug, a beautiful Karastan with a tree of life pattern in predominantly blue and red. I bought it as a hand-me-down from an eccentric friend who was a window dresser for Saks Fifth Avenue who decorated and re-decorated his apartment frequently, and I was a beneficiary of his discards.

In the many years since that impulsive purchase that ate up a month of my salary, impulsive because I had to sleep on that carpet until I could afford a bed, I’ve purchased many rugs as my digs grew from that first studio in the city to a large home in the suburbs, and I always bought oriental and privately, second-hand, until now when my wife and I wanted all new for an all new home.

When asking around for a good place to buy, I was referred to Kalaydjian Oriental Carpets in Bedford Hills where mother/daughter team Alice and Lisa Kalaydjian hold sway and, I was told, offer the greatest experience and service in oriental rugs.

“Yes my family has been in the business for more than 185 years,” mother Alice of Armenian descent told me, whose father had factories throughout Iran that manufactured fine quality rugs and other facilities that cleaned them. “In those days, the industry there was quite different,” added daughter Lisa, “but since the revolution in the 80s, production has moved to other countries, including China which does a good job in replicating Persian rugs.”

If my shopping experience has anything to do with the home, I always ask questions, and this time around, we talked about current trends in rug buying.  “We used to see hand-made purchases of heirloom quality, works of art that could take five or six years to make,” said Alice, “but today, people are more price oriented toward rugs that may have a certain look but lack durability because buyers feel that in five or 10 years they are going to want to change their décor anyway.”

“A major part of our business has become the restoration, cleaning and repair of fine quality rugs,” Lisa said. Lisa explained that their facility, which had housed her father’s car dealership before they set up shop 17 years ago (“We went from ‘cars’ to ‘car – pets,’” Lisa said with a grin) now accommodates a major operation devoted to rug sales, restoration and cleaning. “As far as I know, we are the only rug dealer in the region that does hand cleaning on our own premises. And, we don’t use any harsh chemicals,” Lisa said.

“Also we have a restorer who does magnificent museum quality restoration work,” Lisa said,  “And if a fine rug has been too badly damaged, we can salvage it for runners or pillows.”

What impressed me most about Kalaydjian was the service offered, which I needed because of my own little quirk that my taste in oriental carpets is contrary to popular preferences which are now trending toward neutral tones, the browns, while I still like the traditional bright reds and blues, a leftover from that first carpet I slept on.

I did find one such carpet in a smaller size among the racks in the store, and Lisa is now on a search to find larger carpets for me from that color palette and in a tree of life pattern.  When she finds it for me, this time around, I won’t be sleeping on it. Then again, because I will be placing it in front of one of those incredible new electric fireplaces which I defy anyone to guess is a fabulous fake, so you never know. I just may stretch out on a plush rug in front of it and doze off.

To experience many generations of rug expertise for either purchase, cleaning or repair, visit Kalaydjian at 761 North Bedford Rd., Bedford Hills. Telephone: 914-666-7571.

Bill Primavera is a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc., the longest running public relations agency in Westchester (www.PrimaveraPR.com), specializing in lifestyles, real estate and development. His real estate site is: www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com and his blog is: www.TheHomeGuru.com.  To engage the services of The Home Guru and his team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.

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