Modern day Iran borders a number of other nation states which naturally share similar cultural influences whilst having their own distinct personality.
Here are just a few:
The small nation of Azerbaijan is sandwiched between Iran and southern Russia but nonetheless has a distinctive history. Access to Caspian Sea through the capital city of Baku has been essential for the country’s growth.
A remarkable part of Azerbaijani art is that involving wooden carvings and rock paintings. Whilst rock paintings are naturally unavailable for display in the home, carvings are not. A popular medium for carving was wood which over hundreds of years isn’t able to stand the test of time in which case replicas that follow the form and design of pieces discovered by archeology are just as charming as a decorative piece in the home which would naturally compliment a Persian rug.
From the Soviet occupation in the 1920s, art in Azerbaijan took on a more European theme.
Turkish art history is largely influenced by the Ottoman Empire’s focus on Islam. Decorative manuscripts decorated by the lavish, cursive characters of the Arabic alphabet are a common sight when looking back through the centuries. Across the whole Middle East region and the then Ottoman Empire this was common, but Turkey has been noted to have a particularly strong form that sets it aside since the 16th/17th century
Turkey by itself has had a strong influence across the full range of furniture pieces and it’s quite possible to use ‘Turkish’ as an overall theme. This is often characterised by subtle but fine decoration that makes a large impact throughout the room without being overpowering.
Other than contemporary art in Afghanistan which is flourishing since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, the nation is well-known for what became to be called Ghandhara art which is largely based on Greco-Buddhist art between the 1st and 7th centuries. This art form lasted in the nation until the Islamic conquest.
The artform often features human depictions of Buddha which are commonly include a prominent head. Given its adaptation from Greco-Buddhist art, it’s very similar to ornaments sold as having a Greek or South Asian origin.
Geographic regions often share themes and styles but with their own local twists which simply add to the uniqueness of the piece. The Middle East is no exception to this and a good interior design habit is to explore themes that overlap your intended ideas and see if a unique combination can be found.