Multiple awards including an Oscar were bestowed on the 2004 film Sideways. Its two hapless anti-heroes are aspiring wine connoisseurs on a tour of San Ynez Valley vineyards. One of the film’s infamous scenes occurs when failed writer Miles Raymond douses himself with a bucket of red wine. There were no rugs underfoot when he did so, but if the book’s sequel Vertical is made into a film, your scribe hopes the set designer gives a prominent role to designer Vera Za’arour’s award winning rug Bleachers. Why? Read on.

Bleachers rug by Vera Za’arour. Photograph courtesy Vera Za’arour

Vera Za’arour is the owner designer of her eponymous California-based company. (And her wonderful name reminds your scribe of the famously exotic Florida mansion Ca’ d’Zan.) Hand knotted in Nepal of hemp and wool, Bleachers may look like a simple striped rug, but Za’arour designed it for the “red wine lover”.

As Za’arour explained to your scribe, “when you spill red wine on it, it can be easily cleaned by pouring bleach on it [and some soapy water]. The carpet will look like new. I made this in a simple stripe, but any design can be produced using these colors.” As someone who once had to pay for specialist cleaning after her arm was jostled at a party and she splashed Cabernet on a white sofa, this is an idea not before its time. Beauty and utility are too often kept apart.

Vera Za’arour rugs are represented by several companies including venerable firm David Sutherland whose website states, “Vera weaves the richness and beauty of many cultures from around the world into her signature carpets. Her designs are exquisitely hand made with one-of-kind patterns, exotic colors & unique textures.”

Za’arour’s rug Stream – designed for Florida clients who wanted a rug to look like water flowed into their water front house – is hand knotted in Tibetan wool & silk. Stream employs multiple subtle colours to create the look of water. When the light hits it in certain ways, Za’arour says “it looks like it is in motion”. Stream (below) also can be viewed here in a Sutherland showroom installation. More rug delights from Za’arour will be posted soon. DJ

Stream by Vera Za’arour. Photograph courtesy Vera Za’arour

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