In the last issue of COVER we took a look at the fabulous new showroom of Hamburg rug brand Lila Valadan, a company that knows how to create the perfect atmosphere for rug appreciation. Here we present the full article with additional images.
In an interview with COVER five years ago, Lila Valadan commented ‘Once you find your own style, you should really become that style, take it to the next level’. With the beautiful new La Maison Valadan in Hamburg, which has been three years in the making, Valadan manages to achieve just that. In the past, her installations have always told an alluring story about rugs and the history of craftsmanship. This narrative runs throughout Valadan’s new home, every room containing its own story.
Describing her new location, Valadan says it is home to ‘the finest carpets, artistic craftsmanship and a mystical and aesthetic neo-orientalism’. But what is hidden behind the small black door at Neue ABC-Street 7?
Iran meets Hamburg as one enters the space to be greeted by a floor made of Lashotor marble from the royal mines of Isfahan, and the Persian travertine rosso.The first floor’s library is brimming with books about the Orient, Iran, carpets, design and art, and its walls are adorned with Persian miniature paintings. Containing over 400 bronze mirrors from Iran, the adjacent room is a space for self-reflection. The red walls of the Oriental Room sport hand tools presented like objects of art and design, while the window installation features ornate brass oriental sun catchers (mashrabiya).The spaces dazzle. Here Lila Valadan shares her journey to the opening of La Maison Valadan with COVER.
On 10 November 2022, a dream came true. I opened the doors of my new home to the world. It is the result of half a century of travels, drawings, sweat and tears. I still remember when I first came to Germany. I was driving with my husband around Europe to sell vintage rugs from the trunk of our big white van to dealers. How I wished to have a fine gallery in the Neue ABC-Straße one day! It was the pinnacle of class to me. Almost like a ‘secret tip’, a secret door in the busy streets—fine, elegant and timeless, but confident. Instead of screaming for attention, it was a seductive pull. A charm like no other. With the old townhouses in the centre of the city, it felt like a different world to me.
And this is also my intention for this new showroom: my new home. I want it to be a gateway to another world. A place for inspiration. I want people to come in, explore, touch and feel. I would like to educate people about our art, where it comes from, how it is made and why it brings grace and joy into life. I want to tell you about my country. The mystery, the people, the art. I want to unite the East and the West.
We have spent three years renovating the house and bringing back its old charm. Each floor leaves room for discovery, with different details and different moods. I didn’t want to create a retail store, I wanted to create a journey—to smell the fragrance of saffron, to read a poem in our library, to fall in love with a rug and to be showered not only with beauty but with wisdom, for the depth in our culture. When designing this house, I was not thinking about today, I was thinking about forever, for it to be a cultural legacy, a gateway to the Persian land, the Iran of my fantasy.
Especially—in times where everything is fast, mass consumed, digital and dictated by algorithms—I wanted to show courage towards beauty. I wanted to show that there is a beauty that science fails to explain. One can measure beauty, train in drawing, weaving, crafting, and art, but if you are an artist you have to work with your spirit. And when others discover your soul in your artwork, then you build a true connection. You start to feel the love. The only thing that matters. Love and beauty can save mankind. Love is a journey. All travellers whether they want or not are changed. No one can travel into love and remain the same.
I want this house to become a destination place for all the art lovers, the worshippers of craftsmanship, the professionals in design and interiors. Our doors are open. And when you are here, take a moment to become quieter than silence. Don’t see with your eyes; see with your soul, your entire being.
On 10 November 2022, a dream came true. There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning. My name is Lila Valadan and this is my beginning.