Aubusson Rugs Adorn Coco Chanel’s and Valentino’s Homes

We expect iconic fashion designers homes to be as fabulous as the clothes they design, and they never disappoint. Aubusson rugs figure prominently in the homes of many of the most important fashion designers in history. The elegant patterns of Aubusson rugs make them a perfect accessory in the homes of people who pay great attention to style.

How Coco Chanel Decorated with Aubusson Rug

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The living room of Chanel’s apartment atop 31 Rue Cambon, Paris features an unusual Aubusson rug. Image courtesy Chanel.

31 Rue Cambon in Paris is an address that has been frozen in time. Ordinarily, décor frozen in time is a really bad thing, and instructions would follow about how to bring the home into the contemporary milieu, but when you’re talking about the home of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, or Chanel, suspended time is awesome. Aubusson rugs are just a few of the precious items that you’ll find in this apartment that has been left exactly as it was since the day that Chanel passed away in 1971.

Coco Chanel said, “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” She probably wasn’t referring to her apartment. Decorated much more elaborately than the way she designed her clothing, Rue Cambon was never an apartment meant for sleeping, hence the absence of a bedroom. The space rests above the original flagship Chanel store, and many people come to this particular Chanel because it’s the only one that gives the brand’s quintessential white shopping bag with the store address on it (the other stores give the standard black and white bags). They also get to stare at the mirrored spiral staircase that leads up to Chanel’s three-room apartment. Others are lucky enough to actually use the staircase and visit the rooms that Chanel escaped to while working her days away in the store. In the evenings, she traipsed across the Place Vendome to a suite at the Ritz.

Her living room, pictured here, is a confluence of her favorite styles. Aubusson rugs, elaborate in their design, would fare well here, as this green one did with aplomb. She wasn’t afraid to mix styles and textures, a practice that was still pretty foreign at the time. The living room is filled with everything Chanel adored, from her bookshelves to her beloved lion and camel sculptures to Chinese screens used as wallpaper and crystal chandeliers that were constantly ablaze and underscored the superstitious designer’s belief in the spirit-cleansing power of crystal. The sofa is tan and made of suede, a mix that goes beautifully with Aubusson rugs as ornate as the one she chose. The mix of neutral modern and ornate Asian décor is the perfect choice for someone who cherishes elaborate Aubusson rugs.

Aubusson Rug Sets the Stage in Valentino’s Tuscan Villa

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An Aubusson rug anchors the library at Valentino’s former Tuscan holiday villa

Famed interior designer Renzo Mongiardino was the mastermind behind the exquisitely elaborate interiors of iconic fashion designer Valentino and his partner Giancarlo Giammetti. Mongiardino, famous for his dramatic touch, was a set designer on films like Taming of the Shrew. Once you see the intricately designed sets for that film, you understand the beautiful choices he made here.

Aubusson rugs featured prominently in a lot of Mongiardino’s designs, and this villa was no different. The villa’s 18th-century architecture went perfectly with the glamorous detail in the Aubusson rug pictured here in the library. The room’s walnut-colored woodwork and intricate molding provided the perfect mix of rococo and neutral. In spite of the detail in the room, it has a relatively neutral palette, so Aubusson rugs like this one are the perfect accessories for adding a bit of spice. 

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