In 19th century Russia the royal family and the nobles became so enamored by French and English carpets, they ordered copies of these rugs to be made in the countryside of Bessarabia which was then a part of Russia. Surprisingly the copies turned out to more charming than the originals because the weavers wove the the formal French and English patterns in a naïve and unstudied manner. After the fall of the Czar in 1917 some of these rugs were shipped off to Paris, London and New York where they became known as Bessarabian rugs. Interior designers recognized their incredible beauty and prized them as a more friendly alternative to French and English rugs. Legendary interior designers Albert Hadley, Bunny Williams, David Easton and John Saladino have designed beautiful rooms with these rugs and we will look at them to learn how to decorate with the Bessarabian rugs
Add Warmth and Color with Red Bessarabian Rug
This beautiful space, designed by John Saladino is anchored on a rich Bessarabian rug in muted red, brown, and yellows and golds. The rug features a delicate medallion and floral design in warm colors. A chair with woven cane arms and coral cushion brings resonates with the colors and pattern of the rug. A large steamer trunk in dark red and brown resonates with the exotic style of the rug. Gold throw pillows and window treatments add brightness, and the decorative crown molding resonates with the pattern of the rug.
Add Brightness with White Walls and Black Bessarabian Rug
This cozy and sophisticated living room, designed by Lee Radziwill, uses the contrast of light and dark to bring elegance to this interior. The Bessarabian rug, with its black background and gold and white floral design, provides an anchor for the room. The walls, sofa, and cushioned ottoman are in white, bringing out the lighter tones of the rug. The mirror above the mantle has a dark gold border, which resonates with the border of the rug. Black and gold lamps and accessories are understated but classic. The overstuffed couches, the arched windows, and the buttoned ottoman add round touches to the space, which gives it a soft, lived in feel.
Enhance Wood Paneled Room with Brown Bessarabian Rug
A brown and red Bessarabain rug adorns a wood panelled library in the Junior League of Boston Designer Show House. Interior design by Theo and Isabella Design Group. Photo: Michael J. Lee
A Bessarabian rug with red ochre, dark brown and gold compliments the wood paneling in this handsome library near Boston. The gold wallpaper reflects the natural light from the windows and the paper’s diamond pattern creates a pleasing contrast with the floral rug. A tan leather winged chair compliments both the red and brown tones in the rug. Wood columns, walls and framed ceiling speak of old world elegance and compliment the rug. Windows with stained glass add a charming, eclectic touch.
Mix Modern Art with Blue Bessarabian Rug
This elegant room combines modern aesthetics with the comfortable elegance of a Bessarabian rug in soft blue, brown, and cream. White walls and mantle pick up the white accent colors in the rug. The room uses colors that are similar to the colors in the rug without trying to achieve exact matches – the bright blue in the modern painting above the fireplace brings out the soft blue and brown in the rug. The cream upholstery of the chair resonates with the cream accents in the rug and the brown wood tones pick up the browns in the rug. A bright yellow floral arrangement provides a vibrant contrast to the blues of the room.
Bessarabian rugs offer elegance without formality and sophistication without stuffiness They often use warm tones that enhamce both traditional and moder decor, and their understated floral and architectural motifs will enrich both formal and informal interiors. Their mixture of French, English and Russian styles gives them an old world charm that his highly distinctive.