#18406 Tabriz – Haji Jalili: As Seen in House Beautiful

Rug # 18406

Rug Type: Tabriz – Haji Jalili

Origin: Persia

Size: 21’6″ x 33’0″

Circa: 1890

Material: wool


Purchased by Rahmanan Antique & Decorative Rugs in 2001 from the authorized agent of the former Wallace Groves Estate in Freeport, on Grand Bahama Island; the Tabriz carpet is a late 19th century copy of a 16th century Persian design.  Mr Wallace Groves purchased the rug from his sister, circa 1961, in Baltimore.  At this time the rug was shown installed in the house, which was designed by Alfred Browning Parker, an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright.  The Wallace Groves Estate was featured in House Beautiful vol. 106 in January 1964 (full article is shown and quoted below – bold text is photo descriptions).

The stretched-out floor plan of this house is revealed in view from the front.  All the main rooms of the house, under the long roof in the rear, may be opened to terraces on this side and the ocean on the far side.  At the same time, the house protects the terraces from gusty winds off the ocean.  The roof seen in the right foreground covers the service areas.

If a house is only one room deep

Every room can be a breezeway

In tropical climates, where breeze is a key factor in creating a comfortable environment, a spread out-plan gives you the best chance at cross ventilation.  In the house shown on these six pages all the major rooms run the depth of the house and may be opened on both sides.

The floor plan of a house in the tropics can often make or break a total climate-control system.  If you are not careful, the room arrangements themselves can hamper the vital flow of air, creating dead spaces where hot, damp air will just sit.  The compactness of the normal temperate-zone house must give way to a new exploded-plan concept.

Under this concept the plan is stretched out (or divided into components) so that as many of the walls of a room as possible are exposed tot he outside.  Each room is then able to control its own breeze-making openings without being dependent upon or affecting the situation in other rooms.

The house shown here is a case in point.  Designed by Alfred Browning Parker for an ocean-front site on Grand Bahama Island, the main leg of the house (housing everything except the service areas) runs about 200 feet in length, yet is rarely more than 30 feet in depth.  All the important rooms in the house are open to the ocean on one side and to terraces, pool, or patio on the other (see plan on page 85).

This is, of course, a large house, but the principal of the stretched-out, or exploded, plan can apply just as well to a small house and is perhaps even (please turn the page)

The pool at the right is really in what we normally call the front yard.  It is just inside the privacy wall and grille seen in view at the top of the page.  It was placed here so that the house would serve as a baffle for the prevailing winds off the ocean.  Two story glass wall creates dramatic stairwell (seen from inside at left).  Front door is recessed at the right of the glass wall, reached by an arcaded walk from the outside gate.

Another climate-control device built into the house is the planter positioned just under the windows on the second floor.  The line of greenery keeps reflected heat and glare to a minimum as well as adding it’s own cooling moisture to the area.  From just inside the entry gate you look through the arcaded walk to the front door beyond.  At the right is a densely planted area with a water garden and small sitting patio.  It’s intimacy is a contrast to the grand scale of the pool terrace.


more crucial in such a case.  The interior partitioning of boxlike space in the typical small-house plan would defeat the best efforts to achieve natural ventilation.

The approach side of this house is protected by a stone wall and ceramic grillework.  This creates private outdoor living areas in what is normally the front yard.  In this enclosed space between the house and the wall are the large swimming pool, with it’s surrounding terrace, and a smaller, densely planted tropical garden, with  a decorative pool and small sitting patio.  The pool and it’s larger entertaining terrace are adjacent tot he playroom and guest facilities.  The more intimate patio is just outside the living room.

From the outside gate you enter the house through an arcaded walk that divides these two outdoor areas (photograph at right, above).  The richness of the marble underfoot, the lushness of the tropical growth to your right, and the careful detailing of the surrounding wood and stonework all prepare you for the magnificent interior to come.

From the entrance hall you can move left to the dramatic stairwell leading ot the upper floor (please turn the page)

The house is build in two tiers, so that each story has a deep overhang to protect the walls (the door and window openings in particular) from the heat of the sun.  In this view of the rear side, you can see how well shaded these recessed areas are.

The one-room-deep idea can be seen at a glance in the plans above.  All the major rooms have exposures to the ocean (at the right) and to inland (at the left).  Each room can control cross-draft as desired.  Though this is a large house designed for a large family, the same principal could be applied to a small house.  Photograph on cover shows deck off master bedroom.

On these two pages are three views of the richly appointed living room in the Groves house.  At one end is a raised sitting area (seen in the background), which encircles the hearth as a separate cloistered space.  Two walls of the room are completely openable by the use of full-height persiana doors, allowing an easy blow-through of even the slightest breeze.


or beyond to the playroom.  Ahead of you is the sequestered corner surronding the fireplace.  At night, with the blinds drawn, this becomes a warm, intimate spot.  It is almost a room within a room, an enlarged version of the old-fashioned English inglenook.  Down four steps in the central living space, a large 27′-by-41′ room that serves as the major entertaining center.  At each side are five pairs of full-height persiana doors that open the rooms completely if desired or otherwize control light and air (see full explanation of those doors on page 88).

In this house, where much entertaining is done, the service facilities are in keeping with the scale of the rest of the house.  They occupy a wind that forms the fourth side of the entrance patio.  Here are a pantry, kitchen, separate food-storage room, and servants’ quarters.

Upstairs is divided into two wings, one holding the master suite, the other housing three other family bedrooms.  The master suite, in addition to a large bedroom and generous dressing and bathroom facilities, has a fully equipped study with a fireplace.  Outside the bedroom, on the roof over the living room, is a sun-bathing deck that is completely private and shut off from the world.  This deck, with it’s magnificent view of the ocean, can be seen on our cover.

Only materials time-proved in the tropics were used in the building of the house.  The stone is the indigenous limestone of the Bahamas, cut on the island.  The woods are primarily teak and cypress, which weather well.  The ceramic tile is a bright blue-green similar to the ocean color seen from so many rooms of the house.  All of the metal work on the exterior is copper, which has weathered to a blue-green patina.

Below.  The built-in seating around the hearth froms a sheltered corner that was often called an inglenook in old English homes.  Lower ceiling (since this space is four steps up) contributes to it’s sense of intimacy.

Above.  View from the inglenook toward the central area of the living room.  Five pairs of doors at the right open to the tropical garden in the entry court.  Divider screen and cabinets at far end mark off dining area.


About Rahmanan Antique & Decorative Rugs

Rahmanan deals with the sales and service of antique rugs, tapestries, and kilims. Inventory includes, but is not limited to, Turkish, Persian, Indian, Chinese, Mongolian, Moroccan, European, Caucasian, American, and Navajo pieces. We also have antique quilts.
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One Response to #18406 Tabriz – Haji Jalili: As Seen in House Beautiful

  1. Brenda Copeland says:

    I was so lucky to actually have been inside and enjoyed this fantastic home. I have walked on the Tabriz rug, (as has a crab that sidled in one night from the beach), I have swam in the pool, stayed overnight, dined at the antique table with the incomparable Grove’s family. This house had a ‘feel’ about it that I have never experienced before nor since in a home. I think it was the best design ever, because you were transported to a magical place. And then, the view of the blue green Caribbean, and the sound of the waves at night. A heavenly home.

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