Some of the best design comes out when two unrelated periods or styles are put together. One glorious example is Brazilian designer and architect Jorge Elias’s use of French Savonnerie rugs and contemporary décor in his chic São Paulo home. Featured in Architectural Digest, the rooms are a spicy combination of French antiques and adornments—such as fabulous Savonnerie rugs—mixed with contemporary art.
Another architect also featured prominently in magazines like Architectural Digest and Elle Decor—Carlos Aparicio—put Elias’s use of seemingly clashing objects into elegant words: “If the objects hold their own ground and are powerful in their own right, there’s no mismatch. Pieces that were never imagined sharing a room can somehow look great together.”
To say that the mismatched items in Jorge Elias’s São Paulo home—such as the Savonnerie rugs and modern artwork—look great together would be a massive understatement! Savonnerie rugs are classic French, but Elias proves that they don’t always have to be used as such. The rooms exude class and chic style in equal measures, creating the epitome of the best design.
Savonnerie Rugs in the Living Room
The exotic, opulent quality of the living room cannot be denied, with the medallion red and gold Savonnerie rug setting the stage. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.
The living room of Elias’s home sets the stage for the stunning combinations of traditional French furnishings like a Savonnerie rug with compelling contemporary art. Savonnerie rugs are as French as can be, and there are many other French elements in the room: Louis XV chairs, intricate floral upholstery and animal prints. Yet there is so much that isn’t French such as the fantastic gold-leafed Hand chair by Pedro Friedeberg, the truly contemporary art above the fireplace and the Marilyn Monroe Warhol on the side table. The effect is the height of “collected, not decorated,” and proves Aparicio’s design hypothesis.
The vibrant living room from another angle; the true intensity of the Savonnerie rug’s medallion is obvious. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.
The Bedroom and Savonnerie Rugs
A Savonnerie rug with a deep red background graces the floor of a sensual bedroom in Elias’s Brazilian home. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.
The bedroom is another room where a Savonnerie rug gets cozy with other French items and contemporary pieces. The Louis XVI table and chairs surrounding the bed certainly seem appropriate while Marilyn Monroe in the photograph by Bert Stern looks down.
Savonnerie Rugs in the Library
The library’s beige Savonnerie rug offers more restrained colors than the other Savonnerie rugs, allowing other pieces in the room to shine. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.
Few rooms are so French, and yet not so French as this library. The Savonnerie rug is all French, as is the 17th century tapestry on the wall which was made for Louis XIV. The red velvet settees trimmed in gold tassels are very French. Yet the artwork is all contemporary and the eye is drawn to the boldly colored photographs of transsexual icon Amanda Lepore posing as sex-idols Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, by photographer David LaChapelle!
Another view of the library shows how the Savonnerie rug subtly ties in with the red silk damask and velvet upholstery. The 17th century tapestry hangs behind.
Elias’s home is certainly a showcase for his travels around the world searching for antiques and inspiration, yet the juxtaposition of pieces that were never imagined to share a space such as the priceless tapestry meets transsexual icon as a silver screen goddess, makes for rooms that are nothing short of stunning. Each piece is aptly bold and powerful in its own right—including the beautiful Savonnerie rugs—creating a space that is a true delight for the senses!