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New Showroom in Houston Design Center Draws a Crowd With Its Turkish Rugs — More Than 5,000 and Fanciful Wreaths

Vast Space Becomes a Showcase and the Salvation Army Benefits

BY // 12.07.23

Guests arriving at the celebration of Turkish Rug Company’s new showroom in Houston Design Center were torn between ogling the assortment of holiday wreaths that adorned the walls and pouring over the vast collection of handwoven, vintage and unique rugs, more than 5,000 to be exact.

The grand opening doubled as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army. A coterie of talented interior designers created fanciful wreaths that were up for auction and for judging.

Wreath design winner Beth Dow, Julie Sacco at the Turkish Rug Company showroom grand opening party benefiting the Salvation Army.
Wreath design winner Beth Dow, Julie Sacco at the Turkish Rug Company showroom grand opening party benefiting the Salvation Army.

A bit of background: Turkish Rug Company was established in 2016 when young Veli Soylemez, in Houston to study languages, turned to importing Turkish pillows and vintage Turkish rugs. His family had been designing and producing Turkish Oushak and modern flat weave rugs for more than 35 years. Today, Soylemez advises his father, who is producing the rugs back in Turkey, on color ways and patterns that speak to contemporary tastes in the United States market.

Seven years into the business, it was time to move from the warehouse location on Fondren into a proper showroom. Even though it’s been only a few weeks, business has been booming as the easy access of the Design Center is more appealing to designers and retail clients.

Joining Soylemez in welcoming guests was affable sales manager Mark Odom, appropriately dressed in a holiday red sweater. The perfect attire for serving as emcee of the awards announcement.

Knox Westmoreland, Aaron and Lindsey Furlong II
Knox Westmoreland, Aaron & Lindsey Furlong at the Turkish Rug Company showroom grand opening party benefiting the Salvation Army.

There were 18 holiday and Christmas wreaths lining the walls of the vast 10,000-square-foot showroom. The creations by designers and artists were on the auction block with all proceeds going to the Salvation Army. Many of the auxiliary members joined the party. A Red Kettle bell ringer added to the holiday spirit.

With this writer judging, first place went to Beth Dow, whose wreath featured a faux deer head, purchased at the Blue Bird Circle resale shop, sprayed gold and flanked by berries and ribbons. Nicole Zarr won second place with her wreath of fresh greenery, designer trim and a pheasant feather. Ruben Salazar received third place honors for his “Bug in a Box” wreath that featured white orchids and two globes, each hosting a butterfly.

Marisol Jimenez-Aranda, founder and design principal at Posh Interior Design, received most nostalgic honors for her wreath. We have to give a nod to artists Chris Bachman and Nichole Petrie for their outrageously colorful and creative interpretation of an artist’s wreath.

PC Seen: Vicki West, Linda McReynolds, Debbie Leighton, Stef Levy, Clare Leppert, Marla Briscoe, Lori Wolff, Monica Bickers, Julie Sacco, Stephen Smith, and Shafik Rifaat.

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