4 Glamorous Ways to Decorate with Medallion Aubusson Rugs

Aubusson rugs with central medallions are some of the most glamorous Aubusson rugs ever created, but many people miss out on the opportunity of creating fabulous rooms around them, because they think it is hard to deal with the medallion. Fortunately, great interior designers have already forged a beautiful trail that we can learn a great deal from. Today we we will look at four exciting ways that will add glamor to any room by making imaginative use of an Aubusson rug’s central medallion. The four ways illustrated in this post will inspire you to come up with your own creative way to bringing glamor to your rooms with Aubusson rugs with central medallions.

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1. The room above has a very grand feel with its high ceiling and magnificent Aubusson rug. This room works with the medallion, presenting it as the focal point of the room by placing a round glass coffee table over it. Normally, the fireplace in such a room would be the focal point but, going so far as to place an ottoman in front of the fireplace and tilting seating away from it, the medallion takes center stage. arranging seating in a circle, as in this room, is a wonderful way to facilitate lively conversation and make guests feel at home. Interior design by Bruce Bierman, Image courtesy Alix Perrachon, The Decorative Carpet

1. Make the Aubusson Rug’s Medallion the Star of the Room

By placing a round table, either glass or slender and tall, on the medallion of an Aubusson rug and strategically placing furniture around the room, facing the medallion, but at a distance, the Aubusson rug will be highlighted. The table will bring the focus to the medallion and the furniture will underline this. Interior designer Bruce Bierman has done a splendid job of illustrating how to make an Aubusson rugs medallion bring glamour to a room and to also make guests feel comfortable and welcome. This method of decorating works very well in living rooms, libraries, and trophy rooms, with the most prized trophy sitting on the center table.

ferguson & shamamian, living room, shaker heights, ohio 600p resized 600

2. This living room in a house in Shaker Heights, Ohio works with the medallion as well, although in a less intuitive way. Two sitting areas are present on either side of the medallion and none of the furniture is directed at the medallion, but without anything sitting on it and directly below the chandelier, the medallion still sits at the center of the rooms attention, even though it wouldn’t be the center of attention for those seated. Interior design and image by Ferguson & Shamamian.

2. Show off the Medallion in the Aubusson Rug without Making it a Focal Point

To show off the medallion of an Aubusson rug without making it a focal point of the room, place nothing over the medallion. Use it as more of a pivot point in your room. In this method, furniture will be grouped in clusters placed around the medallion, like the room above. This method is limited to rooms big enough to have separate groupings of of furniture.

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3. Koch Studio placed a huge dining room table on the medallion of the LaSarre Aubusson rug. The gold design in this Aubusson rug revolves around the center and now if revolves around the table and the medallion is not missed at all. The chandelier is aligned with the medallion which creates a subtle balance. Interior design and photo by Koch Studio.


3. Place Furniture on the Medallion and Highlight the Remaining Design of the Aubusson Rug

If you’ve found an Aubusson rug that you love, and you do not like the first two decorating approaches, here is a third galmorous decorating choice that works particularly well for dining rooms where the question arises “What to do with the central medallion?” 

Designer Jim Koch shows that it pays to be fearless and just place the dining table right over the medallion. Now you can forget about the medallion and enjoy the rest of the pattern of the Aubusson rug! Of course it helps a great deal if you have a glass topped dining table as in the above dining room.

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4A. Design legend David Easton has long experience in decorating with priceless Aubusson rugs for his high profile clients. In this neoclassical bedroom, Easton places the bed right over the medallion of a Directoire Aubusson rug. Since the bed is not large enough to cover half of the medallion, a bookshelf was placed at the end of the bed and a stool in front of it. The shape of the bed, slightly smaller bookshelf, and stool now cover half the oval  medallion of the Aubusson rug. Interior design by David Easton and image courtesy David Easton.

4. Treat the Medallion as Part of the Overall Design of the Aubusson Rug

Great American designers like David Easton and Michael S. Smith are so comfortable with medallions in Aubusson rugs, they treat the medallion as part of the overall design of the Aubusson rug in which case it doesn’t matter if a portion of the medallion is covered by furniture. The advantage of this approach is that it makes the room feel more relaxed and more modern as we see in the below image of Michael S. Smith living room in his newly renovated Manhattan penthouse that was on the cover of the September 2012 Architectural Digest.

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4B. Michael S. Smith treated the medallion in this colorful Aubusson rug in his Manhattan penthouse living room as if it were part of the overall design of the Aubusson rug and arranged the seating where it made the most sense, without showing any regard for whether the medallion was covered or not covered. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.

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4C. Michael Smith’s bedroom in his newly updated New York penthouse has a 1805 Aubusson rug with a large circular medallion with multiple floral wreaths which he was not afraid to cover with the bed. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.

Michael S. Smith’s “Informed Simplicity” Leads to Sophisticated Glamour

Interior designer Barry Dixon described the essence of Michael Smith’s decorating approach in this way,  “. . . . (Smith) Takes serious things, and in his hands they don’t appear overly serious, but they are still reverent to our aesthetic history.”

Michael Smith, is now called the “President’s Decorator” after his recent decoration of the White House. Smith gave this decorating advice in his book “Michael S. Smith: Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design”: “One of the secrets of good decorating is not to be afraid to be simple…”

By covering the ornate central medallion of an antique Aubusson rug with a bed, Smith is being simple, but in an informed way and this kind of simplicity is the ultimate in glamour.

The four Aubusson rugs feature different types of central medallions. In each case the colors of the medallion echo the colors of the field or the border.

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The LaSarre Aubusson Rug in the dining room in image 3 has a central medallion, but because it is in the same colors as the field and the border the medalion can easily be considered as part of the overall design of the rug. This makes it easy to decorate with any of the four approaches described in this post. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.

1995GD Giselle pr 500p resized 600

The Giselle Needlepoint Rug‘s design is inspired by a romantic 19th century French Aubusson rug. The oval central medallion has cream background which makes it subtle and soft. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.


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5100GD Tosca pr 500p resized 600 

The Tosca Aubusson Rug has fresh summery colors of white and green on a pale yellow background. The medallion has a soft coloration. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.


Buy yellow and green Aubusson rug


5002G6 Chambery 10x14 pr 500p

The Chambery Aubusson Rug‘s oval medallion echoes the colors of the border which makes it blend in with the overall design of the rug. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.


Buy Gold Aubusson Rug, Buy Aubusson rug
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 Discover more great ideas for decorting with Aubusson rugs in these posts:

10 Stunning Rooms: How to Decorate with Aubusson Rugs with Medallions

6 Tips for Decorating with Aubusson Rugs



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