I Don’t Wear a Crown: Can I Decorate With French Savonnerie Rugs?

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You may be asking this question with a smile on your face, but you're only half joking. It was pretty clear early on that French Savonnerie rugs were something special. From the moment they were spawned in 17th-century France, these elaborate and exquisite rugs, hand woven by Parisian weavers, were deemed so spectacular that they were exclusively manufactured for the King. The advent of Aubusson rugs came about in large part due to the clamoring and demands of the moneyed classes who were desperate for the Savonnerie carpets but who were for the most part locked out from getting them. Read More

How to Add Glamour to Contemporary Décor with Aubusson Rugs: 4 Tips

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You've thought about it for a long time and you think you're ready to take the plunge, but the question still lingers in the back of your mind: can you successfully mix Aubusson rugs with contemporary décor? What kind of look would you end up with if you took the plunge? Some people would call it eclectic. Others would call it vintage modern. Still others would swear it's classic contemporary. Whatever you call it, rest assured that done correctly, it would be a brilliantly glamorous fusion of the beauty of the past and the fabulousness of the present.  The Aubusson rug, the younger, more informal sister of the Savonnerie carpet, is a flat weave rug made of ultra-fine wool, with a texture, color palette and design that would work in even the most modern of rooms. The floral and architectural patterns that make up the heart and soul of Aubusson rugs lend themselves perfectly to chic contemporary settings. If you have a modern, loft-like space or a gallery-style room, don't think that your Aubusson will be out of place. By keeping a few simple tips in mind, you can marry the two different design styles beautifully, creating the perfect blend of something old and something new. Read More

4 Tips for Designing Glamorous Rooms with Pastel Rugs

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A pale pink Savonnerie rug, bordered by gold latticework and boasting gold medallion motifs, laced through with light blue and sunset gold and filling a room with a rosy glow at the first glance of dawn; a light, golden needlepoint rug strewn through with faded ochre and ancient pale blues, flooding a room with radiant warmth in the middle of a rainy afternoon: the all-encompassing beauty of pastel rugs cannot be overstated. Hues like faded pinks, pale greens, soft yellows, warm ivories and light blues are predominant in a pastel color palette. The beauty of pastel rugs is that they become even more beautiful with age, gracing a room with a sure and graceful presence. Pastel rugs are one of the most beautiful styles of carpet, and they can really transform a room. If you're planning on choosing a pastel rug, there are many different styles to choose from, ranging from Savonnerie carpets and Oushak rugs to needlepoint rugs and Aubusson carpets. Read More

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Decorating With Geometric Rugs

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You may have become enamored with the idea of decorating your home with geometric rugs, but you're not exactly sure how to go about it. Geometric rugs, ranging from stark black and white rugs with wide stripes to pale Oushak rugs with geometricized floral motifs, can bring positive visual and emotional energy into a room. Chosen properly and carefully, geometric rugs are beautiful additions to a home. Chosen with abandon and without a thought to the rest of the space, geometric rugs can create a jarring and overwhelming feeling in a space if they clash with everything else in the room. Avoid the common mistakes people make when choosing geometric rugs will help you design stylish and inviting rooms. The first step is to open up your perspective on geometric rugs. Geometric shapes are present in modern geometric rugs and in geometric rugs inspired by antique rugs and classical architecture. This gives you a wide range of options. Listed below are ways to make your geometric rug selection process a successful one. Read More

Decorating With Oushak Rugs, the Little Black Dress of Your Space

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You're probably thinking, "The Oushak rug is the little black dress of interiors? How do you figure?" The origin of the little black dress is attributed to the venerable Coco Chanel, who believed that "la petite robe noire" was something every woman should have. When a woman throws on her favorite little back dress, she becomes larger than life. The little black dress is considered a fashion essential that turns a woman into her most beautiful and powerful self as soon as she dons it. Whether worn with a pair of dazzling diamond earrings in her ears, slinky black pumps, and full makeup, or worn with a simple updo, a single strand of pearls and low sensible heals, it's beautiful and perfect every time. The same sentiment could hold true for Oushak rugs. These timeless Turkish wonders, crafted from the softest wools into silky, luminous textures, have stood the test of time since their birth in the 15thand 16th centuries. Read More

How the Shapes in Geometric Rugs Shape Our Emotions

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"I always put in one controversial item. It makes people talk." Dorothy Draper was talking about her approach to design, but she may as well have been referring to the effect that geometric rugs can have on a room. Geometric rugs are more than just floor coverings filled with designs featuring angles or curves. Have you ever noticed that you're drawn to particular shapes? If someone placed a square table in front of you and a round one, you'd probably have pretty strong opinions about which one you'd want in your home. Not only are humans drawn to certain shapes, but they're also drawn to symmetry and proportion. Shapes literally "shape" our emotions, drawing out of us a wide range of emotions ranging from ethereal calm to vivid, dynamic energy., Read More

Make a Room Feel Collected, Not Decorated, with Damask Rugs

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Close your eyes, and think of a time you walked into a room with a beautiful damask rug that shimmered like silk. It was probably hard not to gasp as you resisted the urge to touch everything in the room, noting the way the damask rug, the furniture and the art all worked beautifully together. Damask patterns go back to ancient Byzantium and Damascus where they were woven in silk and the fabrics were used to cover walls as well as for drapes and furniture. A Damask fabric differs from other fabrics in that each side of the fabric is the perfect inverse of the other. Intricately woven with a weft yarn and a warp yarn, traditional damask fabrics have tonal colorations. Turning the fabric in your hands this way and that makes it shimmer and reveal subtle variations and elegant motifs and patterns. About 18 years ago damask patterns began to be woven into rugs using the Savonnerie carpet weaving method which allows the weaver to create the shimmer of silk damask fabrics by weaving the carpet with hundreds of shades of wool yarn. The effect is quite magical- the rug shimmers just like silk as you walk on it. Read More

Decorating With Black Rugs: Faux Pas, or Très Bien?

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Here's the thing: decorating with black rugs is not a fantasy dreamed up by some color and design-challenged person who doesn't know an Aubusson rug from an Oushak rug. Your first thought about a black rug may put you in mind of a massive black hole in the center of a room that sucks everything into it. Black rugs can change bland rooms into gorgeous havens and plain spaces into exciting ones. Depending on the type of black rug you choose, decorating with black rugs may very well be the answer to any lingering and frustrating design dilemmas. Read More

5 Glamorous Ways to Dress Up Rooms with Savonnerie Carpets

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Picture it. It's 2008, and you're walking through Brussel's Grand Place, munching on some pomme frites after having downed a white beer at a La Becasse. You suddenly happen upon what looks like miles and miles of fragrant...carpet? As your eyes adjust, you realize that you are looking at thousands upon thousands (700,000) of carefully arranged begonias. A few quick questions in your high school French later, and you learn that you are in the presence of the work of hundreds of artists and volunteers who worked tirelessly through the heat of day and the chill of night in order to create what must be the world's largest-ever replica of a Savonnerie carpet. It is then that you realize that Savonnerie carpets are truly something special. Read More

How Celebrities Set their Personal Style with Bessarabian Carpets

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What Is a Bessarabian Carpet? Ralph Lauren once said, "Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever." Keep this quote in mind when you're trying to design an exceptionally stylish home. Celebrities such as Lee Radziwill and Brooke Astor chose Bessarabian carpets to impart a distinguished personality to their homes. The best Bessarabian carpets were made for Russian royalty in the 19th century and are still preserved in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. These magnificent Bessarabian carpets combine French and English aesthetics with eastern hand weaving traditions. They stand right on the cusp of European and Oriental aesthetics and they feel exotic and familiar at the same time. They seamlessly blend high-end French court style, provincial design and Asian influences. The final results were beautiful rugs with highly distinctive designs that felt more relaxed than their European counterparts and this combination of refined aesthetics with a worn out handmade quality made them irresistible to European and American celebrities. Read More