Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Day at the Kasbah

An invitation from ABC Carpet and Home

Dear Postcard from New York Reader,

When my fourteen-year-old goddaughter recently moved to a new home, her dad decided she was old enough to decorate her bedroom. She began by painting the walls a brilliant yellow/burnt orange. Such a flair for the dramatic made a Fantasy Island shopping spree to ABC Carpet and Home a necessary first stop.

Merchandise in the cavernous store is laid out like a great marketplace, a kasbah one would expect to find in a North African or Middle Eastern city like Casablanca, Marrakech or Istanbul. The mix of exotic fabrics, bold colors, art objects, antiques and decorative items from notebooks in unusual bindings to jeweled novelty boxes and odd-shaped lamps make shopping here an exciting adventure. Nothing is more dazzling than the maze of glittering chandeliers hanging from the first floor ceiling.

It's an easy place to while away an afternoon and spend a small fortune, if you don't go into the store with a plan. Almost immediately, we separated; I was tempted from my purpose by breathtaking photographs in a book on luxury hotels of the Far East. While Wassila got lost in rows and rows of sequined silk pillows in the most delicious colors like watermelon, tangerine, coral and honeydew.

Determined to stay on track I tore myself away from the book, found my goddaughter and we made our way downstairs to look at window treatments. A couple hours and bolts of fabric later, Wassila decided on two choices she would take home and test against her walls. Swatches secured, our next stop was bed linens.

Although the model beds in white, tan, and pastel-colored linens were luxurious and inviting, the exquisite colors of Anna Sova Linens captured Wassila's eye. Not only are these fabrics ablaze with brilliant color, but they are healthy for the environment and our bodies. Boutique Manager, Rachel Welsh gave us an education in organic fabrics. Toxins from PCP's left in clothing after washing with detergents, chemicals in bath water, and herbicides, pesticides, and carcinogens used in the growing of the cotton plant can be absorbed through our skin. Anna Sova fabrics are unique in that they contain Eco-safe dyes, no formaldehyde sizing, and is 100% SKAL certified organic from soil to fine finish. Click here to learn more and catch a glimpse of her luxurious fabrics and colors. Going for something bold and daring, Wassila selected brilliant saffron sheets, pillowcases and shams for her Dad to come back and purchase.

As an Art Dealer, I thought our decorating project offered an ideal opportunity to introduce Wassila to buying antiques at auction as well as a great way to save money. We decided to walk through the antique furniture galleries, so she could get some ideas for a chair and window seat. There we found the Althorp Collection and images of Princess Diana immediately came to mind.

Diana grew up at Althorp, the ancestral home of the Spencer family. Her brother, the 9th Earl of Spencer, recently began to produce a line of furniture reproductions based on his family's formidable collection of rare antiques.

To be continued.

Jacqueline Cable
For Postcards from New York

Address to remember: ABC Carpet and Home, 888 Broadway at 19th Street. New York, NY 10003. 212-473-3000, http://www.abchome.com/.

Hours: Monday - Friday 10 AM - 8 PM, Saturday 10 AM - 7 PM, Sunday 11 AM- 6:30 PM.

Directions: From Times Square MTA, N, R or W to 23rd Street. Bus M2, M3, and M5.

Photo by Joseph Knight

©Copyright 2007 The Cable Group