There’s nothing like the beauty of Aubusson rugs in boldly colored rooms. Aubusson rugs, themselves bold or simple, can either help balance rooms filled with bold colors or they can join the party in all of their colorful glory. Here’s how two highly esteemed designers used them in spaces they’ve designed.
Aubusson Rugs in Ambassadorial Residences
A pale tone on tone Aubusson rug anchors chartreuse Chinoiserie wallcovering and upholstery in the glorious William Haines-designed Garden Room at Winfield House, London, the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to England. Image courtesy Stil.Ikone.
“I would rather have taste than love or money.” William Hanes
There are few interior designers with as fascinating a past as the celebrated William Haines. His is a story that seems ripped from the pages of a screenplay at the Weinstein Company. There aren’t many – or any – designers who can count “number one Hollywood box office star” amongst their many accomplishments, but in 1930, William Haines was exactly that. He led a very colorful life and eventually left Hollywood on his own terms when he refused to conform to Hollywood’s rules and expectations of how he should define himself. The unapologetically and openly gay self-taught interior decorator started what would become a wildly successful design company with his life-partner, Jimmie Shields. Lucky for him, his client roster was pure A-list. Everyone from Joan Crawford to Gloria Swanson turned to the designer for his chic, contemporary designs, a welcome respite from the overly ornate home designs of the time. He worked with top architects like A. Quincy Jones to create homes that offered the perfect balance between Hollywood glamour and sleek modernism. He not only designed rooms but created furniture that matched his chic contemporary aesthetic. These pieces went gloriously with classic pieces like Aubusson rugs.
This resplendent room is an example of Haines’s exquisite touch. Winfield House, the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to England, is filled with many glorious rooms, but the aptly named Garden Room is truly a sight to behold. In 1969, Haines was hired by Ambassador Annenberg and his wife to redesign the property. What better place to lay Aubusson rugs than this chartreuse-colored room with hand-painted 18th-century Chinoiserie wallpaper patterned with flittering birds, butterflies and almond trees? The wallpaper originated from Townley Hall in Ireland. The cornice boards on the windows and the trim on the drapes play perfectly against Aubusson rugs like this cream tone on tone rug. Three distinct seating areas encourage chatting amongst small groups, while a canapé covered in silk trapunto adds the perfect touch of Hollywood glamour.
Aubusson Rugs in Opulent Parisian Homes
A cream, red, gold and green floral Aubusson rug adorns an ultra-luxurious drawing room designed by the fabulous Alidad. Image courtesy World of Interiors.
An Aubusson rug and the designer Alidad is a match made in heaven. The luxurious details found in vintage Aubusson rugs seem tailor made for this Persian-born designer who was raised and educated in London and Switzerland. His science degree from London University led him to Sotheby’s where he was in charge of the company’s Islamic art and textiles department. He started his design company in 1985 and became famous for his ultra-luxurious interiors filled with layers of colors, fabrics and textures. His science and historical background aids him as he weaves together a diverse blend of design styles, from Islamic to Hollywood Regency. His goal is to design rooms that provide an escape and soothe the soul.
Aubusson rugs, many of them vintage, play a frequent role in Alidad’s designs. This Parisian pied-à-terre features golden patterned wallpaper that provides a stark contrast to the dramatic white fireplace mantel. The Louis XV Nogaret chairs are covered in original tapestry fabrics and rest beautifully atop the cream Aubusson rug covered with floral medallions in red, gold and green, creating a lavish but cozy seating area.