February 25, 2010

Suzani Heaven!!

blog-1-embroidery-editedThere’s a difference between Kelly and I, and maybe some of you have noticed… Kelly has a wonderful eye for decor, colour and interior style and it shows in the projects she completes and the posts she writes. Me? I like anything that has to do with home renovation and remodelling - particularly DIY - and all the mess, mayhem and dramatic success that results from the hard work. I can talk to you about walls that need to be removed/moved and finishes that can make a room sing… heck, I get excited about new doors and windows! (Note: Kelly’s super great at DIY projects too, but I’m trying to make a point here! HaHa!)

So is it any wonder that my knowledge of beautiful things is woefully limited?

Hey! I’m not saying I don’t see or can’t appreciate the beauty!! But what I am saying is that chances are high that you’ve heard and know all about a current style or trend while I’m sadly oblivious. By the time I take notice it’s probably not in style any more! Ha!!

7 Silk SuzaniThat’s my excuse. That’s why – until yesterday – until I watched Episode 14 of Canadian House & Home’s “Online TV” – until Linda Reeves told me all about them - I knew nothing about Suzanis.

How could I have NOT known about these stunning, traditional Uzbekistani textiles??!! I’m in absolute wonder at the beauty of their design and colour, their history and tradition.

And I can’t tell you how much I want one… or two… or more!!

House & Home

Above: The home of Emily Walker with suzani-inspired prints above her sofa (beautiful!!), showcased in Canadian House & Home Magazine – click on this beautiful room to be taken to H&H’s “On-Line TV: Episode 14” where Linda Reeves talks about the history and design impact of the Suzani.

suzani_textiles_f1600Let me tell you a wee bit about suzanis. A suzani is an Uzbekistani equivalent of your grandmother’s heirloom quilt. Usually a bridal gift for bed covers or wall hangings, it is elaborately hand embroidered on linen or silk. The intricate patterns are often made in vibrant colours from nature and are said to have mystical properties. The craft of creating suzanis is steeped in centuries of tradition with each artist interpreting a fresh new element to an earlier pattern. 

suzaniFrom what I’ve learned, talented needlewomen have produced this brilliant folk art for centuries. The oldest ones we know of are from the 18th century. Their designs, however — those meandering grapevines and tulips — suggest motifs from ancient Greece and the Ottoman empire. 

And these special, lovely, artful, dazzling and useful suzanis are more then a design trend… they’re a must have!!

Take a look at some of the beautiful suzanis I found…

bedroom 181_Standard

They make wonderful pillows… and bed coverings


domino_suzani Elle DecorKathryn Ireland bedroom

Suzani textiles as upholstery make stunning, unique furniture…

Donghia's Suzani Jacquard fabric in Blue Bliss - Jeffery Bilhuber  House Beautiful 2 Ssuzanimakeover-coffee-table-overall(Lauren, web editor for Style at Home magazine online, shared a link in our comments [below] to this fantastic bench – made from a coffee table. I love it!!! Click on the photo to read all about it. Thanks Lauren!! It’s funny… I’ve seen this bench before [on the S@H site], loved it, but never realized it was a suzani. Now that I know what a suzani is, I’d know for sure. My “design savvy-ness” is growing!! HaHa!!)

Or how about a wonderful suzani throw…

Annette Tatuml'aviva-suzani-quilt img7l House Beautiful

Suzani’s make lovely table cloths

cotedetexas - wine tasting table 


A wall hanging… love it!


Or simply displayed as a beautiful part of honoured history


So tell me… are you more decor savvy them me; did YOU know about suzanis? Be kind to me and lie!! I’m teasing!!

Do you own a suzani or, like me, do you want one?

I’ll be searching for mine!!


Greet Lefèvre said...

This is a great post!!! I adore Suzanis! They are so beautiful and adding them into a home, you create that special feeling of elegance! The colours are always so beautiful!
Thanks for this inspiring post!

qerat said...

Love them. I have been collecting suzanis for 7-8 years now. It is a nice coincidence that we have been preparing a post about some o them.

Lauren said...

Hi ladies!

Check out this suzani-inspired bench Kevin Austin created for Style at Home ... it used to be a coffee table!

-Lauren, Style at Home web editor

Kathysue said...

I now have a new appreciation for Suzani's. that was a great post full of wonderful info and images, I will not look at them much more closely, have a great day,kathysue

Vanessa@decor happy said...

Love your self-deprecating humour Victoria! I'm sure a lot of people don't know what they are.

I have wanted a Suzani for awhile and have been checking on ebay. Have to laugh though when one seller from Uzbekistan notes "Please consider any imperfections such as smell, holes and spots as a proof of its authenticity." I'm sure you can have them professionally cleaned though!

Paul Anater said...

Wow! They are news to me too; you're not alone Victoria. Thanks for pointing them out.

Donna @ Paisley and Perspective said...

So that's what they're called - I've seen them but didn't know what they were. Thanks for enlightening me Victoria!

I love the vibrant colours and history behind them. Hmmm - I'm going to have to put one of these on my list of "must haves"!

C.J. said...

thanks for the education! I love them, so colorful and exciting, you girls..... :)

Cristin // Simplified Bee said...

Love them too!!! Great to mix with other contemporary and modern styles.


Susan said...

Ahhh I love it when someone writes to inform and inform you did. I love how colourful and dramatic yet fun they are. I particularly love the pair of framed ones in the first image.

I noted Laurens comment on the coffee table turned into a bench from Style at Home. I love repurposed furniture. Recently clients of mine showed me the picture, and asked me to find fabric and have their table turned into a bench. It's currently at being upholstered for a whole new look and purpose.

The differences in both of your styles are what make your blog interesting. Two different perspectives with a love of design to tie them together. Gee wonder how you got your blog name :)

Gayle said...

Wow, Victoria, those are beautiful! I am sadly decor dumb! I've never seen them before.

"Yeah, that works..!" said...

Holy suzanis!!! Well, I was clueless about these and now I'm so grateful to say I'm not! These are amazing and beautiful with such a meaningful history. Thanks so much for this post!

"Yeah, that works..!" said...

I'm back! I just had to return and share that I just received an email from a friend who shared a link with me for ABC Home...and wouldn't you know it there are some awesome pieces with suzanis! I was so excited a)that I was able to be such a smarty pants in recognizing it b)at how beautiful their stuff is.

Here' the link:

xinex said...

These are so pretty, Victoria. They kinda remind me os batik except they have prettier and bolder designs...Christine


Great entry!

Of course you have a refined eye otherwise you will never appreciate the rustic beauty of the Suzanis.

Danica said...

These are all so beautiful!

By the way, I've changed my blog url.

Designwali said...


mrsben said...

The craftsmanship is extra ordinary! Great post Victory.

Karena said...

Victoria, I adore suzanni textiles. There are so many fabulous color combinations, and designs. They are fabulous. I don't have one yet, would love to hang one in my entry!


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DEVON said...

I thought you'd love this suzani inspired print!

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