APT HUNTING – Part 1
A Tale Of Floor To Wall Carpeted Apartments
During my search fro the perfect home, I happen to visit a few flats which to my disbelieve had carpets on the wall. Yes you heard right, WALL CARPETS. I just couldn’t believe it, another thing on my list of “You must be kidding me” on Russia.
So i did a bit of digging and struggled to get enough info on the English websites, but managed to get enough to explain this somewhat strange object display.
I found out that this is in fact a Russian tradition. ladies and gentleman, I introduce to you The Wall Carpet.
The wall carpet is over the top in nature, I mean come on if you put a huge colored, rectangular mat on the wall, you can’t miss it, it’s there in its ornateness. I mean you can’t miss it and the first time you see it’s omnipresence, you’re taken aback, your eyes just open wide with disbelief and then you can’t stop looking at it. This big rusty red dyed (sometimes it looks oriental) rectangular piece, nailed up proudly in the living room behind the sofa, or in my case in every studio apartment i visited pinned right above the bed.
Like everything in this city all I could say was What The Fuck?. Sometimes i saw the kitsch side of things and although the Russians understand their weather and are prepared for it(at least in the flats I visited), they were still just OTT, sometimes dark, depressing and way too CLUTTERED! I’m a hoarder but really, the last time i saw that much clutter was at my grannies house in the late 80’s in Soweto, South Africa. I wish I had photo’s because back kin those days, you had your best silverware and china on display in a huge brown, depressing oak unit with glass. Sofa’s with flowers that almost matched the curtains and pillows, I mean seriously just NOT MY STYLE!
Anyway back to the wall carpets,
“During the Soviet era (USSR) carpets became popular in the 1950’s with the ear of “khruschevkas” (of low-cost panelled or brick three to five-storied apartment buildings). Apparently the reason they hung on walls was to make rooms warmer and quieter as the walls were usually thin. While you’re getting over the carpet on the wall you realise that the carpet on the floor also matches the carpet on the wall. (yes that is a lot of carpet)”.
Also they weren’t cheap, and it was believed that if a family has at least carpet is was doing well, and if it had more than one, neighbors could suspect the family of being too prosperous.
Having been in Moscow for a few weeks, i sort of understand why perhaps having a huge oriental looking carpet could be seen as a sign of wealth, luxury and functional (always functional), because this place is depressing. I can’t imagine what it was like in the Soviet era, i mean just today, you see people on the streets just morose and the building just so dilapidated and depressing. (while on the opposite side you have the beauty of the Kremlin and some beautiful buildings. But you still see the ugly ones too).
Now i have a little theory as to why they had so many carpets. I mean think about this: if you were in the Russian Mafia or were doing something wrong or you were a wife who caught her husband cheating or your wife was annoying you and you needed to get rid of her. You could kill them, not get the house dirty with blood, wrap the bodies in the carpets, and poof, disappear. No-one would find out.
Because seriously, WALL CARPETS! I hope noone brings them back en vogue.