Considering the rich history of Savonnerie carpets, it is easy to become intimidated at the idea of using them for your interior design project.
This is the sort of setting many of us first encounter Savonnerie rugs in- extravagant, rich with details, and embellished with gilding. This is the King’s Bedchamber at Windsor Castle. Surrounded by a grouping of Canaletto paintings purchased on behalf of King George III and flanked by a chest of drawers from Louis XVI’s bedroom, the stunning bed was originally designed for George III and refitted by Queen Victoria for the 1855 State Visit of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie. All of this finery rests upon a vibrant Savonnerie rug, originally from Versailles. It’s an aspirational interior to say the very least.
Using Savonnerie Rugs for Your Interior Design Project
Photo by Christopher Sturman
Now we’ve got the Royal angle covered, we can look at some more livable examples of how Savonnerie rugs are being used in rich interior spaces. We can learn a lot about decorating with Savonnerie carpets by studying rooms by great interior designers.
The intricacies of Savonnerie rugs are like magic, allowing them to infuse a space with a particular vibe where collected pieces shine. Here we catch a glimpse of fashion and design celebrity, Oscar de la Renta in his Park Avenue apartment. His collection of old and new objects comes together atop a rich Savonnerie rug in tones of red and gold. There’s no denying the sense of presence a Savonnerie carpet can bring to a room.
Before you start to think that this interior look and feel is impossible to achieve, consider this living room:
Simple, spacious, and contemporary salon featuring warmer metallics and an exceptional air of sophistication thanks to the complementary tones of the Seville Savonnerie carpet at the room’s core. Interior design and photo by Koch Studio. Rug design C Asmara, Inc.
Anything but Ordinary Interiors with Savonnerie Rugs
I hope you’re feeling a bit more comfortable with the idea of incorporating Savonnerie rugs in your home. I will leave you with three stunning examples of chic, contemporary interiors featuring Savonnerie rugs.
First, a warm and welcoming living room that has a unique personality
The green and gold hues in this Savonnerie rug echo the mature trees seen outside this South Hampton home by Scott Snyder. The feel of Savonnerie rugs, paired with their detailed nature, lets visitors feel enveloped in the natural world, encircled by calm and more than welcome to stay a while. Image courtesy Scott Snyder.
Second, this stunning pairing of clean lines and perfect patterns. Image courtesy Bill Blass.
The Sutton Place apartment of design titan Bill Blass was a treasure trove. And while I could tell you all about how the contrasting lines and patterns bring energy to the place, it’s a statement best made by the man himself: “The way I decorated here was to surround myself with the things I love…and they all have great dignity. And although I choose all the furniture and pictures, I did, as a bachelor, seek out a woman to put it all together…I had the advice of Chessy Rayner.” Of course, the infusion of color at the heart of this space comes from a Savonnerie rug.
And finally, this Manhattan living room featured in Elle Décor belongs to fashion designer Michelle Smith and is an excellent example of using a Savonnerie carpet to help a fairly ordinary collection of retro pieces create a unique space that oozes charm and sophistication. Following renovation by Anik Pearson, Shaun Jackson led the decorating effort. The living room showcases vintage chairs covered in zebra-striped silk by Jim Thompson, a 1940s églomisé mirror, a 1950s crystal chandelier, a vintage Dovecote cocktail table, and a 19th-century Chinese cabinet.