Decorating With Black Rugs: Faux Pas, or Très Bien?

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Here's the thing: decorating with black rugs is not a fantasy dreamed up by some color and design-challenged person who doesn't know an Aubusson rug from an Oushak rug. Your first thought about a black rug may put you in mind of a massive black hole in the center of a room that sucks everything into it. Black rugs can change bland rooms into gorgeous havens and plain spaces into exciting ones. Depending on the type of black rug you choose, decorating with black rugs may very well be the answer to any lingering and frustrating design dilemmas. Read More

Bring the Romance of the Sea to Your Living Room with Chic Blue Rugs

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Think of long morning walks, the sound of seabirds, the soft lapping of water at low tide, the scent of wild rose bushes and glorious sunsets. Now imagine walking back home from the beach and before you enter the living room, you stop and dream of how you want your living room to look. You visualize comfortable seating in colors that flow seamlessly from the outdoors- a favorite chair by the window where you would nestle with a book and then a comfortable sofa to stretch out on.  You would have mementos, pictures of family, reminders from favorite travels and works of art. Now I invite you to view the living room design I created after these musings. Read More

5 Glamorous Ways to Dress Up Rooms with Savonnerie Carpets

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Picture it. It's 2008, and you're walking through Brussel's Grand Place, munching on some pomme frites after having downed a white beer at a La Becasse. You suddenly happen upon what looks like miles and miles of fragrant...carpet? As your eyes adjust, you realize that you are looking at thousands upon thousands (700,000) of carefully arranged begonias. A few quick questions in your high school French later, and you learn that you are in the presence of the work of hundreds of artists and volunteers who worked tirelessly through the heat of day and the chill of night in order to create what must be the world's largest-ever replica of a Savonnerie carpet. It is then that you realize that Savonnerie carpets are truly something special. Read More

How Celebrities Set their Personal Style with Bessarabian Carpets

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What Is a Bessarabian Carpet? Ralph Lauren once said, "Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever." Keep this quote in mind when you're trying to design an exceptionally stylish home. Celebrities such as Lee Radziwill and Brooke Astor chose Bessarabian carpets to impart a distinguished personality to their homes. The best Bessarabian carpets were made for Russian royalty in the 19th century and are still preserved in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. These magnificent Bessarabian carpets combine French and English aesthetics with eastern hand weaving traditions. They stand right on the cusp of European and Oriental aesthetics and they feel exotic and familiar at the same time. They seamlessly blend high-end French court style, provincial design and Asian influences. The final results were beautiful rugs with highly distinctive designs that felt more relaxed than their European counterparts and this combination of refined aesthetics with a worn out handmade quality made them irresistible to European and American celebrities. Read More

5 Design Tips: How to Make Interiors with Blue Rugs Warm and Inviting

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If you are searching for ideas on how to decorate with blue rugs, you will have to look for a long time before you find an example of a blue room that feels warm and inviting. I discovered this today. I had to search through more than 400 images before I found two rooms that were genuinely warm and inviting. I found hundreds of beautiful interiors with blue rugs and blue fabrics, but they all looked cold. I wouldn't want to spend much time in them, except during the hottest summer days. If you live in the northern half of the country, you will find these rooms feel cold and un-welcoming during the spring, fall and winter. And yet, each summer Design magazines fill their pages with blue and white rooms. These rooms will be used for at most three months of the year and stay unused for most of the year. The surprising thing is that it is not at all difficult to design rooms with blue rugs that feel warm and welcoming all year round. I feature two masterpieces today, one is by Billy Baldwin and the other by Walter Lees. These interiors are great illustrations of our five design tips for making interiors with blue rugs feel warm and inviting all year round.   Read More

How to Give Rooms a Young Energy: Use Gold Rugs and Joyful Color

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When interior designer Susan Nelson was asked to design the living room in Washington Design Center's prestigious DreamHome, she immediately recalled seeing a gold rug with bright colors that she thought would be perfect for infusing the room with youthful energy, "My goal was to design a pretty living room that would bring a smile to anyone who entered", said Nelson. "The first design decision was to use the Asmara Pamplona gold Savonnerie rug to center the furniture. I just love this geometric, architectural rug and can’t help but smile when I look at all those colors – yellow, green, coral, turquoise, lavender..." Interior designer Christina Murphy a member of House Beautiful's "America's Top 100 Designers," would have agreed. Murphy popular quote reproduced here says, "Punches of color keep a room feeling youthful and engaging." The best way to create vibrant punches of color is to use a gold rug as a backdrop. Because fabrics and accessories look fresher and more vibrant when placed on a gold rug. Susan Nelson's show house living room is a great way to learn our 5 Tips: How to Give  Rooms a Young Energy: Use Gold Rugs and Joyful Color. Read More

How to Decorate with Brunschwig & Fils Paisley Fabrics and Blue Rugs

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A common mistake people make when decorating with blue paisley fabrics such as Brunschwig & Fils Izmir Paisley, is to pair them with blue rugs that are too similar to the fabric. The result is a room that looks un-exciting, even though everything is perfectly matched. What is missing is the energy and beauty that arises when you decorate to create contrasts in pattern, scale, color and texture. When you focus entirely on looking for rugs with the exact shade of blue or rugs with patterns similar to the fabric, you overlook the rugs that could have made the room look stunning. You can avoid these common mistakes if you keep four criteria in mind: Firstly, look for rugs with patterns that contrast with the pattern of the fabric. Second, pay attention to scale- the scale of the blue rug's pattern should either be larger or smaller, but not the same as the scale of the fabric's pattern. Thirdly, look for blue rugs that contain several shades of blue as well as some warm colors to balance the cold blues. Finally, look for blue rugs with a texture that is different from the fabric's texture. If you keep these four criteria in mind, you are more likely to find a blue rug that you really like and that will also enhances the overall look and feel of the room. I will illustrate the four criteria in detail with the help of an example. Read More