Apart from the wooden Matrjoschka doll on the shelf, there is definitely one conspicuity that appears extremely characteristic and prominent in a typical Russian household: oriental looking carpets. Nevertheless, the eye-catching rugs do not only decorate the floor to keep the feet warm. Instead Russians seem to prefer attaching the carpets to the walls, which makes a kind of bizarre eye catcher.  Considering this very interesting interior design concept that happens to appear on Russian social networking sites in extremely hilarious photos, the observer however cannot deny one thing: At least it looks comfortably warm in Russian homes.

To the western world, the love for lavishly patterned wall rugs seems slightly weird. However, before you wannabe critics out there pass judgement on this bizarre phenomenon, you should ask for the reasons. Don’t be surprised when you start realizing that the wherefores for this Russian obsession appear way more profound than expected. As a cultural souvenir and gift given to the czars from eastern ambassadors, rugs invaded the homes of the rich and the noble in the 16th and 17th century, while most poor peasants probably didn’t even get the chance to touch one of these expensive handmade rugs produced in Middle Eastern countries.

Although rugs became a staple in wealthier bourgeois households in the 19th century, they stayed luxury goods during Soviet times. To get your hands on one carpet, you needed to write your name on a special list and wait several months to be able to buy one of those luxurious carpets. Although carpets became quite affordable and lost their status as a luxury good and status object today, they apparently didn’t lose their charm, as they have become an everyday object today – a symbol of Russian culture.

The tangible and symbolic value of carpets in Russian culture may explain the commonness and omnipresence of rugs in Russian households, but you are right – it does not quite illustrate why they are attached to the walls and ceilings and not to the floor. The answer once again is connected to Russia’s unique climatic conditions. During the massive urbanization in the 60ies, millions of people flogged into the cities and lived in cheap city apartments, today known as industrialized apartment blocks. Imagine the following scenario: Thin walls, crippling cold temperatures and entire families living next to you, underneath and above you, only separated from each other by mere concrete walls. Taking these living conditions into consideration, it seems almost logical to attach your rugs to your ceilings and walls for the purpose of insulation and sound isolation.

If you too want to decorate your walls with rugs, click here.