Head home for a magic carpet ride

By Zoe Walker

Kilim sellers Pip Maxwell and Lisa Reid share their aesthetic tastes.

Kilim sellers Pip Maxwell (left) and Lisa Reid of Siggada. Photo / Babiche Martens
Kilim sellers Pip Maxwell (left) and Lisa Reid of Siggada. Photo / Babiche Martens

Pip Maxwell and Lisa Reid hope to encourage a new generation of kilim fans, with their collection of traditional textiles. The friends, and neighbours, run Siggada (which means carpets in Arabic) from Reid's Grey Lynn home, with a large collection of handmade kilims, traditional flat-weave carpets with a rich history.

Reid's background is in graphic design and Maxwell's in interior design (she previously worked as a visual merchandiser for Louis Vuitton).

They combined these talents to launch Siggada earlier this year after purchasing the business from Elly and Phil Smith of Talk of Turkey - who had been sourcing textiles from Middle Eastern and central Asian markets since the 1980s.

Maxwell loves that each kilim is unique, with its own take on colour and texture.

"They are pieces of art, a treasure, and we love the stories told with motifs and the history of the carpets and the regions they are from."

The pair tell us about some of their favourite things, from stencil art to traditional wooden shutters.

10 FAVOURITE THINGS

1. Street stencil art by Kool

Lisa: When we lived in Kingsland there was an apartment development on New North Rd. The developer had erected a plywood wall around it and what developed was what we referred to as the Kingsland art wall, where a lot of street artists made their mark. My husband and I thought it was pretty amazing so I photographed it, then approached the developer for a section of it. He was going to take the wall down and paint over it and use it for his next development. Heartbreaking, but he agreed to give me one sheet for $60 and it was potluck which one I got, but I was very happy with it. And still am to this day. It takes pride of place over our fireplace.

2. Hands of Africa

Pip: Nelson Mandela's hand and the children's handprints are kids he had helped in Africa, said to have been about 2-3 years of age.

I purchased this about 10 years ago in London, after walking past it every day for about six months in a gallery window on my way to work. At the time I worked for Lady Saatchi (Maurice's wife); she told me if I had any spare money, to invest in art. I brought it the next day. I love it and don't know if I could ever part with it. My husband wants to sell it to fund our swimming pool.

3. Mum and Dad's wedding silver

Lisa: I treasure this set because its elegantly monogrammed with E & P, for Ellen and Peter, and was given to them on their wedding day. They are both in heaven so it's a memento of their love.

4. Brass birds

Pip: I purchased these on my first real overseas trip (other than Australia) to Greece aged 21. I didn't want a party, I wanted to travel. I have them in our bedroom as pairs of birds are very good feng shui for relationships.

5. Blanche's plate

Lisa: When I was a kid I would play up at the tree line on our farm (on the coast of Taranaki), about a paddock away from our main house. It was an adventure, big mature trees, a camellia orchard, concrete foundation ruins in the grass, and a large barn with an old dilapidated grapevine house attached. I found this plate there. Later I was told that the original farmhouse that sat there among those trees burnt down and my great-grandmother Blanche was a mad keen gardener. Hence the amazing collection of camellias. I love the name Blanche.

6. Turquoise tile

Pip: I have carried a turquoise tile around for years as I love the colour and have always wanted a bathroom with all walls done in it. I love the movement in these tiles as it reminds me of the ocean. They are handmade they are not perfect and this gives it character. We are about to build a house and I feel my excitement brewing at the thought of finally using these tiles.

7. Yastik remnant

Lisa: Yastik means cushion in Turkish. When I first saw this yastik remnant I thought, "Wow. Vibrant. Gorgeous". Its punchy purple and light gold combination is so appealing to me, I think it rocks.

It was part of the stock we got from Talk of Turkey. While it is for sale I've got my eye on it, and I can frequently be found in the studio shaking my head saying "I can't believe no one has bought that yet".

8. Kilim

Pip: The first kilim I ever purchased, not knowing one day I would be selling them. Purchased in Turkey about 12 years ago, it is another bedroom piece. I love the animals and colour in it and that my feet touch it every morning instead of the cold floor when I get out of bed.

9. Karen Walker earrings

Lisa: What I love about these is that my lovely husband Trevor picked these out for my last birthday. It was a complete surprise. He knows I love her jewellery, so I guess he knew he couldn't go too far wrong. And I dig the design, little hands holding pearls, he knows I wouldn't wear pearls normally but this quirkiness is cool.

10. Wooden shutters

Pip: Good old-fashioned, yet still fashionable white-painted wooden shutters. Love them - simple, yet elegant, versatile, go in any situation and they serve a purpose.

Funnily enough these are perfect, in every way, man-made, straight lines ... different from my usual style/look.

* Siggada, 45 Hakanoa St, Grey Lynn.

- NZ Herald

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