Celebrity fashion stylist Rachel Zoe once said, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” The same can be said of interior design and it seems French Royalty embraced this concept to the fullest as evidenced by their gorgeous interiors adorned with Savonnerie carpets and fine French furniture. The French royals learned that the could proclaim their grandeur and power more eloquently through the magnificence of their interiors than they could with words.
A luxuriously colorful and ornate Savonnerie carpet was almost de rigueur in the rooms of the French nobility. With intense color and ornate decorations, the Savonnerie carpet was well-suited for the elaborate ornamentation and vivid colors of French royal interiors. In today’s post we will look at 5 gorgeous royal rooms and learn how the French royals achieved their grand style with the help of luxurious Savonnerie rugs.
A Savonnerie Carpet Fit for a King
A lavishly ornate and colorful Savonnerie carpet graces the floor of the King’s inner cabinet at Versailles. The pink accents in the Savonnerie rug are picked up by the pink silk drapes and the gold accents resonate with the gold in the ornate and intricately carved wood paneling called boiseries. The round crystal chandelier is aligned with the the round central medallion of the rug. Image courtesy The Palace of Versailles.
The Palace of Versailles is one of the most impressive and luxurious palaces in the entire world. It was designed to impressive people all over the world with the magnificence and power of France. Versailles was established as the seat of the royal government by Louis XIV in 1682. It was the residence of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette until the French Revolution in 1789. As a symbol of the power and grandeur of the French Monarchy, it houses some of the most impressive examples of French interior design and architecture. The Savonnerie carpet is a key component of all the most important private rooms such as the room pictured above which is the King’s personal chamber. The lavish design and intense colors such as blue, gold, pink on a chocolate brown background are typical of Savonnerie carpets made for Louis XVI. The luxurious Savonnerie carpet is matched by the ornate furnishings and gilding on the wood paneling.
A Savonnerie Carpet Fit for a Queen
A softer—yet no less ornate—Savonnerie carpet resides in Le Cabinet Doré, a private chamber of Marie-Antoinette at Versailles. The vibrant green-blue accents in the Savonnerie carpet are continued in the chairs, sofa and screen while the gold background of the rug is echoed by the gold ornamentation in the boiseries. Image courtesy The Palace of Versailles.
The Queen private chamber at Versailles was called Le Cabinet Doré which is loosely translated as the Gilded Study. The Savonnerie rugs intense turquoise blue catches the eye and is amplified by the blue-green upholstery and screen. The gold background of the Savonnerie rug balances the cool colors in the room and makes the room feel warmer.
An Empire Savonnerie Carpet Fit for Napoleon
A cream and red Empire Savonnerie carpet commands attention in the Château de Compiègne, another royal seat. The round medallion of the rug contrasts with the rectangular motifs in the Empire ceiling border. Image courtesy Château de Compiègne.
The Château de Compiègne was built by Louis XV in the mid-1700s and restored by Napoleon in the early 1800s, so Empire-style Savonnerie carpets and décor are the norm. The rounded central medallion in the carpet contrasts with the rectangular shape of the room and the rectangular pattern on the ceiling, creating interest. The vibrant warm red in the rug balances the cool blues in the room.
An Empire Savonnerie Carpet Adorns Royal Salon
A red and gold Savonnerie carpet with black accent colors anchors pinkish-red upholstery and wall covering in the Red Room in the Chateau de Fontainebleau which was the third seat of government. Fontainebleau hosted such historical figures as as Peter the Great and Pope Pius VII. The palace was redone by Napoleon and, and the Red Room with the unique Savonnerie rug—note the stars and swans—became the Abdication room where Napoleon relinquished his power before being exiled to Elba in 1814. Image courtesy Chateau de Fontainebleau.
A Savonnerie Carpet Fit for King’s Chief Mistress
A brown Savonnerie carpet with blue and gold accents is in La Salon Pompadour in the Élysée Palace which Louis XV bought in 1756 for his chief mistress, Madame de Pompadour. Élysée Palace has since become the official residence of the French President. The blue accents of the Savonnerie carpet are continued in the chairs, the gold accents resonate with the gilding in the boiseries and the grey outside panels of the rug resonate with the marble fireplace. Image courtesy Palais de l’Élysée.
The salon is fit for a queen even though the lady in question was not a royal, she commanded the Louis XV’s attention. The color scheme of the Savonnerie carpet is soft in a similar way as the Savonnerie carpet in Marie-Antoinette’s private chamber.
There is no arguing that the French Royals knew how to let their interiors speak of their power and magnificence. To this day interiors with Savonnerie carpets and French furniture represent the ultimate in grandeur.