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The Magic of Spain - In The Press

Latest Homes - 1st Dec 2006

When I met Karen Puerta at her elegant home in Round Hill Crescent, Brighton. I found her surrounded by piles of rugs. Not just any old rugs but beautiful hand-loomed rugs, made out of recycled cotton, which had just arrived from Andalusia.


Karen couldn′t stop enthusing about this unique style of reversible cotton rug that datesback to the Moorish occupation of Spain over 1,000 years ago. Karen told me the story of how she discovered the rugs and also promised a discount to Latest Homes readers!

I developed wanderlust at a fairly early age. On impulse, when I′d just turned 20, I decided to follow in the footsteps of Laurie Lee and his 1930s famous journey through Spain described in his book, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning.


This was back in 1977. So I walked out by train, ferry, mule and bus and ended up in a place called Castell de Ferro on the coast south of the Moorish city of Granada in Andalusia. Much of south-east Andalusia was still poor and isolated, steeped in way of life that had changed little in hundreds of years. It was like going back in time.


On my journey to the coast beautiful rugs hanging off the balconies of houses in mountain villages between Granada and the sea caught my eye. Later I sought out and bought some of these soft and hardwearing rugs to cover the terracotta floors of the home I made in Castell de Ferro.

 

Being reversible they were extremely practical, and machine washable which was perfect for me because I was by then bringing up two children who just loved to get dirty.

 

Rug making is a cottage industry and the process of hand looming and finishing is fascinating to watch. This unique style of weaving rugs to recycle cotton offcuts has developed in isolation and is different to any other I′ve come across. It′s been passed from generation to generation, probably for hundreds of years.


Circumstances changed and, after 14 years I returned to live in England. Brighton with the sea, its Bohemian air and beautiful architecture seemed a perfect place to settle. I hadn′t forgotten about the rugs but couldn′t find any in the UK so I decided to import them to sell here. My partner Tim (an old school friend) and I set up a company called The Magic of Spain to do this.


And we′ve just had our second batch delivered, which is why I′m so excited, explained Karen. Because of the lengthy production process we can currently only get a few hundred a year. This batch mainly consists of rugs with a natural off-white colour, which goes really well with anything, but do look especially stunning on bare wood floors. There are also some which are off-white with a subtle brown mix.

 

Karen couldn′t resist a quick commercial as I prepared to leave. I′m thrilled that the rugs are being featured in Latest Homes and to celebrate we′re offering a 10 per cent discount to readers.

We′re sending them out via courier and offer a four day service for internet orders. If you′re looking for a gift the online order form gives you the option to send direct to the recipient. Packing and delivery is included in the price.

The Magic of Spain, 01273 382263, PO Box 5082, Brighton, BN50 9QA. www.themagicofspain.com/latesthomes

 
 
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