The Carpathian Mountains form an arc across Central and Eastern Europe. It’s a region rich in folk traditions; including architecture, handcrafts, food, music, dance, costumes, and storytelling. This is the backdrop for the Carpathian Cottage Collection.
charming cottage has quietly rested on a slope in the Carpathian Mountains for over one hundred years. It has withstood the occupation of the country by the Nazis and the Soviets. However the cottage still retains its folk art charm. The owner of this domicile keeps the traditions of her region alive – even in modern times. She raises sheep, spins their wool, and weaves it into traditional style rugs which she sells to tourist shops in the city.
During the Summer, her grandchildren leave the heat of the city to stay in the little cottage with "Babka." She loves to spoil her grandchildren with homemade blueberry jam and bread that she bakes in the old-fashioned, wood oven. The children play with the dolls and cradle that are now family heirlooms. They enjoy climbing into the box beds and cuddling under the fluffy, embroidered covers. They listen to the crackle of the fire in the stove as they fall asleep. The cat, "Miška" (it means "little mouse," and was named by the youngest grandchild) sits atop the stove and watches for... well, you can guess!
Babka prefers to keep the cottage the way it was built – without plumbing and electricity. Her son in the city tries to reason with her, but has learned to think of his mother as "living off the grid." The privy is a novelty for the grandchildren when they visit.
Babka's house is full of pretty flowers painted on the walls and ceilings. Special pieces of furniture — the beds, armchairs, and the tall hutch — have also been adorned with traditional floral designs. She has skillfully painted bouquets on the walls, ceilings and beams, and even on the stoves inside of her cozy cottage. These bright flowers help to keep her cheerful during the cold, dark months of Winter.
Thumping noises often emanate from the attic where Babka keeps her weaving loom. Next to the loom sit a spinning stool and distaff. They remind Babka of her grandmother. The brightly painted distaff was a gift to her young grandmother from her great-grandmother. The traditional gift of the distaff ensured that young girls had time to spin fiber and create enough linens for married life.
As a child, Babka learned embroidery from her mother. Now, she teaches her grandchildren how to embroider the bright red motifs onto linens and tells the children the meaning of the shapes found in the designs. The circle means the sun; grapes signify family happiness. Babka has embroidered all of the bed linens, pillows, the kitchen tablecloth, and the pretty framed pictures on the wall above her sewing machine.
A visit to Babka's cottage is a reminder that traditions help to define our past and shape who we are today
Full of folk art charm, the Carpathian Cottage Collection contains old-fashioned, Eastern European style details.
The structure, lighting, and interior kits are available below. The interior pieces are available in the Full Furnishings Kit, as well as individual kits.