Damask rugs and fabrics originated in the Middle Ages in the ancient city of Damascus and they have evolved over hundreds of years with influences from Byzantium, Persia, Italy and France. This rich artistic history gives damask a unique appeal. The pattern in a damask fabric is woven in a different weave than the background- for example if the pattern is woven in a shiny satin weave and the background in a duller weave, the contrast between the shiny pattern and duller background adds another dimension. This added dimension and texture distinguishes damask fabrics from fabrics in which the pattern is merely printed on the cloth. The best damask rugs also contain two different textures- the pattern is usually in cut pile and the background is in a loop weave. Unfortunately too many damask rugs being made today take a short-cut and are made in just one texture which is usually cut pile. These rugs do not have the dimensional interest and texture of a cut and loop damask rug. Damask rugs come in a variety of color palettes ranging from tonal neutrals to high contrast colors. The eight interiors in today’s post feature several different styles of damask rugs and offer inspiration on how to add sophistication and a sense of history to both contemporary and traditional rooms.
Update a Traditional Room by Pairing Aqua with Neutral Damask Rug
1. The neutral Alcazar Oriental Rug 6010T provides a perfect complement for aqua walls and upholstery in this elegant living room. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.
The Alcazar Oriental Rug 6010T has grayish-taupe background with beige and white accents.
Create a Regal Atmosphere with Cream and Gold Damask Rug
2. The cream and gold Marbella Oriental Rug 6076GD has blue border bands which complement the blue and gold damask fabric on the sofa and the tonal coloration of the rug provides the perfect backdrop for the grandeur of the architecture and furniture.
This photo makes the golds look much brighter than they are in the actual Marbella Oriental Rug 6076GD.
Energize Dining Room and Living Rooms with Yellow and Red
3. The red and gold damask rug makes the yellow walls and yellow dining table pop and connects with yellow and gold damask rug in the adjacent living room (see below) in a house in Tampa, Florida by designer Shilah Stribling.
4. The yellow and gold Valencia Oriental Rug 6024GD makes the red upholstery pop in this living room in a Tampa, Florida house designed by Shilah Stribling. Notice how the red upholstery in the living room links with the red damask rug in the adjacent dining which is pictured above. Yellow walls in both the dining and living rooms create a sense of continuity.
The yellow and gold Valencia Oriental Rug 6024GD has white and gray highlights that create a silky shimmer.
Create a Serene and Stylish Library with Neutral Damask Rug
5. Pale blue walls and bookcases pop against the pale gray and white damask rug and create a contemporary feeling in hie traditional library.
Create a Colorful Living Room with a Neutral Damask Rug
6. The neutral colored Alcazar Oriental Rug 6010T pops against the dark wood floor and provides a perfect foil for pink walls, white trim and pink and aqua upholstery in this living room that mixes contemporary and traditional elements designed by Eric Guenther.
Add Personality to a Contemporary Rooms by Mixing Antique and Contemporary Objects
7. The cream and red ornate damask rug creates a striking contrast with blue mid-century modern sofa, orange and white pillows and contemporary art in a living room designed by
Robert and Courtney Novogratz. Image courtesy Robert and Courtney Novogratz.
Create a Modern Vibe in a Traditional Living Room
8. AD100 interior designer Thomas Pheasant chose a damask rug in several shades of cream with an interesting texture which is a result of it’s cut and loop weave. Image courtesy Veranda.
This elegant living room, with white walls and shades of cream and white decor, uses a cream damask rug for texture and pattern. The space utilizes small details to create visual impact- crown molding and paneled walls, pillows with a tonal textured pattern, delicate carving above the door, and a glass top coffee table with a metal frame in matte gold finish. There is a rich, but subtle mix of materials- wood cabinet, shell table lamp, wool rug, ceramic table, glass and metal coffee table, textured cotton fabrics and wood floor. The clever and thoughtful plays on texture, materials and tonal whites and creams has created a sleek and stylish look.
Damask rugs made in a combination of cut and loop weaves are the closest to rich damask fabrics and will help you add pattern, texture and depth to a space. These rugs come in tonal colors as in the room by Thomas Pheasant (fourth image). Damask rugs in highly contrasting colors can add a vibrant energy to a space as in the room by Robert and Courtney Novogratz.
Damask rugs with neutral color palette allow you use colorful fabrics which can be easily changed to freshen up the look and this makes neutral damask rugs highly flexible and as they can be re-purposed when you change the decor of the room such as the Alcazar Oriental Rug 6010T, the Marbella Oriental Rug 6076GD and the Valencia Oriental Rug 6024GD.
The best damask rugs add interest to a room through subtle pattern, rich texture and historical associations.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 17, 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.