How to Decorate with Scalamandre 2013 Fabrics and Aubusson Rugs

When searching for the perfect Aubusson rug to pair with a historical Scalamandre fabric such as the beautiful Wynard Paisley from Scalamandre’s Spring 2013 Kathryn M. Ireland Collection, it is fun to see if the history of the fabric can provide inspiration and point to the type of Aubusson rug that would look best with the fabric. But a historical relationship is not a sufficient reason to pair a fabric with a rug. The pairing of the Aubusson rug and fabric should also be aesthetically pleasing. If you can achieve both historical and aesthetic complementarity, the room will not only be pleasing to look at, but also look informed and sophisticated. Kathryn Ireland found the Wynward Paisley in its original red coloration in the archives of the 84 year old Scalamandre mill in Long Island, New York. The paisley pattern goes back hundreds of years back to Cashmere Shawls that were woven by hand in Kashmir, India.  What comes to mind is a Palempore Aubusson rug inspired by 19th century Indian fabrics that were popular in the England of Downton Abbey.   

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Above; Scalamandre fabric Wynyard, Paisley, Sage from the Kathryn M. Ireland Collection

Below: Palempore BG Aubusson Rug inspired by 19th century Indian fabrics that were prized in 19th century England.


How to Pair Scalamandre’s Wynard Paisley with an Aubusson Rug

1. Find an Aubusson rug with a design that complements and balances the design of the Paisley fabric.

When using a fabric with a historical pattern it is fun to learn the history of the pattern and to see if it inspires a decorating direction. In this case we know that the paisley pattern originated in Kashmir, India where it was found in the famous Cashmere shawls that became very fashionable with 19th century European society. The demand was so great that less expensive machine woven copies of Cashmere shawls began to be made in Paisley, Scotland, hence the name of this pattern. I chose to pair this fabric with an Aubusson rug with a Palempore pattern that also originated in India and become very popular in 19th century England at about the time that the cashmere shawls were also popular in England. This is the early years of Downton Abbey. But it is not enough that the pattern of the Aubusson rug and the fabric are related by history and geography. The also have to be aesthetically pleasing.

The paisely pattern has motifs that repeat in a regular way. The Palempore is a flowing pattern without any repeats. The contrast between the paisley and the Palempore patterns creates a pleasing balance.  

2. Find an Aubusson rug that has a wide range of versatile colors that work with a wide range of fabrics.

An Aubusson rug is a major investment that will outlast any fabric or sofa. It is important that the Aubusson rug be versatile enough to work with fabrics in a range of colors, so you can update the decor by changing the fabrics without having to change the rug.  The detail image of the Palempore Aubusson rug shows a range of blues, greens, golds and reds that would work with a wide range of fabrics.

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 Detail of Palempore BG Aubusson Rug shows a wide range of greens, blues, reds and golds that work with many fabrics including the red coloration of the Wynyard, Paisley, below.


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Scalamandre fabric Wynyard, Paisley, Red

5501BG Palempore room pr 500p resized 600

Koch Studios designed this Downton Abbey themed living room based on gold accents in the Palempore BG Aubusson Rug




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