For clients of Jan David Winitz, President and Founder of the Claremont Rug Company, a home with a spectacular ocean view must have equally spectacular rugs. And as I learned recently, his clients seek him out because he brings encylopedic knowledge, artistic style and over 40 years experience to every project. He also knows the light quality in different parts of the world. The needs of architectural styles from modern to historic. And even how to express the range of moods that ocean homes can evoke with…carpets.
“Pairing stunning antique carpets with breathtaking ocean views is a rewarding endeavor for my clients and myself,” he says. “There is often a call for ‘sea and sand tones’, or glistening wool that matches the shimmer on the waves, or carpets with significant color striation, an attribute in antique carpets much like watercolor, that evokes the water and sky’s shifting hues.”
Winitz’s clients love him because he draws from Claremont’s large inventory of hard-to-find antique Persian carpets and Near Eastern tribal rugs that has been built primarily through the acquisition of long-held private collections. Winitz often places antique Persian village rugs styles known as Bakshaish and Serapi for residences on beach and dune environments for their distinctly informal artistry. “These carpets are not what people think of when they think of ‘Persian carpets,’ he adds. “They are quite the opposite: asymmetrical and earth-toned, with evocative geometric motifs.”
One home on the Central California coast he furnished was a cutting edge glass and steel home including a gangplank over the large living room that afforded a stunning interior view of the client’s major rug acquisition—an oversize antique carpet made of undyed golden camel hair and a particular tonal range known by aficionados as Bakshaish blue. “This was not a traditional home and needed the spontaneous artistry of this incredibly unique genre to accentuate, rather than dilute, the brilliance of the architecture,” he says like a museum curator speaks about a well loved exhibit. “Plus looking down on the rug and out the window to the immensity of the blue ocean and back again to the rug shimmering in the sunlight was truly stirring.”
Many of his clients are also interested in floral designs that underscore the unmatched beauty of their home’s oceanfront location. Persian formal carpets that offer beautiful blues which he often suggests in these cases are Hadji Jallili Tabriz, Laver Kirman, and an even rarer style known as Motasham Kashan.
One client who worked with Winitz on four homes, called him when they had acquired their 12,000 square-foot ocean-front home on the Atlantic to provide the floor coverings for her marble floors. In the major entertaining areas with the most palatial views, this client chose a suite of light-toned Laver Kirmans because, in her words, “they are compatible with the refinement of the marble floors and are elegant in a natural way–they are not overly commanding”. Laver Kirmans also offer a great variety of sizes including palace sizes up to 16×28-feet.
From La Jolla in California, the Cayman Islands, the Hamptons to Seattle’s coastline, Winitz says, “The rug connoisseurs I know put no limits on beauty and find the balance and harmony that is innate in the best examples of antique carpets to be entirely copacetic with the environments they create.”