Aubusson rugs were first made in the 17th century for members of the French aristocracy who were forbidden from buying Savonnerie carpets as the latter were reserved exclusively for the Kings palaces. Aubusson rugs became so popular with the French aristocracy that by the 18th and 19th centuries their fame had spread all across Europe and Russia and then to America. Today we look at how two top decorators, one based in New York and the other in London decorate with Aubusson rugs. The rooms featured in today’s post are grand without going over the top, regal without being showy. In each room the Aubusson rug pulls all the elements in the room into a unified whole and makes the room look sophisticated and well balanced.
Create a Dining Room Fit for Royalty
An Empire Aubusson rug anchors this stately dining room in the Fifth Avenue apartment of Howard Slatkin. The ornate neoclassical walls and ceiling and French Empire furniture resonate with the Aubusson rug and create a look that is truly fit for royalty. Photo courtesy of The Handbook Authority.
The green and gold room has a painted ceiling and walls that create a look that is authentically French Empire, but it is the genius of New York decorator Howard Slatkin that these rooms are a lot warmer and livable than the French Empire rooms in the Grand Trianon at Versailles. Curtains with crystal teardrop pendants and a crystal chandelier complement French side chairs and gold candelabra around the room.
Create a Stately and Grand Living Room with Aubusson Rug and Tapestry
A cream Aubusson with circular medallions in red, green and gold anchors this comfortable living room by Alidad and provides a light contrast to the heavy Louis XV tapestry and keeps it from becoming overpowering. Photo courtesy The Interior Archive.
A gold velvet sofa with gold tassels sits beneath the tapestry, with gorgeous red and gold accent pillows to complement the room. A gold coffee table and armchair complete the conversation area, which is scattered with ornate pieces on side tables. Gold candle sconces mounted on the tapestry amplify the light and make the room feel larger.
Mix Aubusson Rug with Chinoiserie to Create a Romantic Atmosphere
The same cream Aubusson rug anchors Chinoiserie wall covering, a Chinoiserie secretary, French chair and a gilded rococo mirror. Photo courtesy Alidad Design.
A white neoclassical fireplace creates a contrast with the yellow wall covering and the ornate gilded mirror, creating a dramatic centerpiece. The pink chair creates pop and the pink is picked up in the accent colors in the Aubusson rug and the wall covering. The gold chair and sofa fabric connect with the gold wall covering. Small, ornate sculptures scattered around the room complete the look.
Use Complementary Patterns and Colors to Create an Interesting Palette
A cream and beige Aubusson rug with faded top colors anchors blue and white fabrics in this romantic bedroom by Alidad Design. Photo courtesy Alidad Design.
Alidad once again mixes patterns and textures to create a layered effect. The walls have a blue floral pattern that complements the luxurious blue drapes, and an ornate writing desk dominates one corner of the room, paired with a simple orange armchair. The cream floral Aubusson rug resonates beautifully with the tall secretary. A white neoclassical ceiling provides contrast. Comfortable bedding and a small bench draped in blue and gold floral fabric complete the look.
If you are looking for a way to create grand and glamorous interiors that are also tasteful and sophisticated, Aubusson rugs are an essential foundation. Aubusson rugs are less formal than Savonnerie carpets and will make the room feel more inviting. Find an Aubusson rug that speaks to you and let it guide your fabric, paint and furniture selection.