Where to Buy Needlepoint Rugs: 9 Top Sources and 17 Decorating Tips

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A new generation of interior designers is discovering the allure of needlepoint rugs at a time when these rugs are no longer being made. Most of the needlepoint workshops in China-where 99% of needlepoint rugs were made - have shut down due to skyrocketing wages brought about by rapid industrialization which has drawn workers to higher paying manufacturing jobs. Back in the late 1980's when I first started making needlepoint rugs in China, I was amazed by the quality of the artists and artisans we were able to recruit. These young men and women freshly out of art school possessed unbelievably sensitive eyes for color and design. Now with China no longer making these rugs there are only two specialist importers remaining who have needlepoint rugs because they have retained inventory from before the factories shut down. They are Asmara and Stark Carpet. An additional seven dealers offer antique needlepoint rugs. All 9 top sources of needlepoint rugs are listed at the end of this post. Here are 17 tips for decorating with needlepoint rugs.         Read More

Clients Should Let Us As Decorators Do Our Job – Brian J. McCarthy

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Interior Designer Spotlight with Brian J. McCarthy Brian J. McCarthy, Inc: New York, Southampton, Greenwich, St. Tropez, Gstaad, Monaco AD100 designer Brian J. McCarthy has such an elite clientele, that it is not surprising his website's portfolio is password protected. Brian was a partner at the legendary New York design firm Parish-Hadley before starting his own firm in 1991. Brian is on all the most coveted lists such as Architectural Digest's AD100, Elle Decor’s A-List and New York Spaces Top 50. He has been featured in Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Veranda, New York Magazine and The New York Times. He has published two books, Luminous Interiors and Parish-Hadley Tree of Life: An Intimate History of the Legendary Design Firm, which he co-authored with Bunny Williams. The highly respected Franklin Report awarded Brian four stars and quotes clients saying, "Everyone who walks in is blown away by the warmth and details." "Brian is on an intellectual mission to find the beauty in any period." "He strongly encourages you to find your own design viewpoint." Join me as Brian shares with us his opinion on how clients could get better results if they would just let decorators do their job, what it was like to be a partner at Parish-Hadley, trends he's tired of seeing, how decorating is moving back to color and pattern, how he chooses designer rugs and much more... Read More

Bessarabian Rugs in 21 Top-Rated Interiors on Pinterest

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We've collected 21 top-pinned interiors from Pinterest that showcase prestigious Bessarabian rugs which were originally made for Russian royalty in the 19th century. The Russian treasury wanted to keep money from its France and England rivals, that they made copies of Aubusson rugs and English needlepoint rugs in the Bessarabia province of Ukraine, where there was a long history of indigenous rug weaving. However, the rug weavers of Bessarabia made rugs according to their folk traditions. The Bessarabian weavers, unfamiliar with French and English methods of weaving, created patterns in their own spontaneous way. The Bessarabian rugs took on a warm, less-formal look, which was very different from the French and English rugs. Bessarabian rugs have become increasingly fashionable with interior designers such as Susan Zises Green, Janet Simon, Michael S. Smith, Stephane Boudin, Lee Radziwill, David Easton, Bunny Williams, Renzo Mongiardino, Mario Buatta and Albert Hadley, to name a few. Find inspiration with these 21 unique spaces and choose a Bessarabian rug for your next project! Read More

Orange Rugs Bring Mediterranean Colors to 4 Chic Interiors

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Orange is a color often associated with sunshine and Mediterranean fruits- peaches, apricots, melons and grapefruit. Darker oranges remind us of the colors of fall- pumpkins, autumn leaves, and orange and pink sunsets. Orange evokes romance and warm feelings. Frank Lloyd Wright once said, "Nature is the inspiration for all ornamentation."  Orange rugs bring the colors of the Mediterranean and sunshine to your home. Today's four interiors by top decorators show how to use orange rugs in clever ways to bring the warmth of the Mediterranean and the chic luxury of jewel tones to your home. Read More

How a Celebrity Created Different Looks with Same Bessarabian Rug

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Bessarabian rugs are 18th and 19th century Russian creations that have become a favorite with many designers over the years. Bessarabian rugs originated several hundred years ago in Russia where the Royal family commissioned local weavers to make copies of the grand French Aubusson and Savonnerie rugs that were extremely popular amongst the Russian nobility. Bessarabian rugs have their own look. While French rug designers drew inspiration from major works of art, the Russian weavers copied the French designs in a more informal way which gave these rugs a less formal charm. Bessarabian rug have become highly desirable for very different modern decorating styles than what they were originally intended for. Read More

The History, Legend and Allure of Bessarabian Carpets

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Bessarabian carpets are flat-woven tapestry rugs that were hand woven on a wooden loom similar to the loom used to make Aubusson rugs. The very finest Bessarabian rugs were produced in the 18th century in the Russian Imperial Tapestry Factory. This factory was founded by Peter the Great after he returned from England and France where he was impressed by the magnificent Savonnerie, Aubusson and Axminister carpets he saw in the palaces of his hosts. These French and English carpets had already become the height of fashion at the Russian court and with the nobility and their importation was causing a drain on the Russian treasury. So the Russian Imperial Tapestry factory was set up to copy French and English carpets and remove the need for importing them. Soon the demand for these rugs grew and more factories were set up in villages controlled by the Russian landed gentry. The name Bessarabian derives from the historical region where these rugs were made. This region is now split between the present day Republic of Moldova and Romania. What makes Bessarabian rugs so desirable today is due to a fortunate accident - the weavers of Bessarabia were country folk with a country aesthetic. They copied the ornate French and English patterns in a more folksy manner giving these rugs a more comfortable feeling which has made them highly attractive to modern tastes.  Read More

How Celebrities Set their Personal Style with Bessarabian Carpets

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What Is a Bessarabian Carpet? Ralph Lauren once said, "Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever." Keep this quote in mind when you're trying to design an exceptionally stylish home. Celebrities such as Lee Radziwill and Brooke Astor chose Bessarabian carpets to impart a distinguished personality to their homes. The best Bessarabian carpets were made for Russian royalty in the 19th century and are still preserved in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. These magnificent Bessarabian carpets combine French and English aesthetics with eastern hand weaving traditions. They stand right on the cusp of European and Oriental aesthetics and they feel exotic and familiar at the same time. They seamlessly blend high-end French court style, provincial design and Asian influences. The final results were beautiful rugs with highly distinctive designs that felt more relaxed than their European counterparts and this combination of refined aesthetics with a worn out handmade quality made them irresistible to European and American celebrities. Read More

How to Decorate with Aubusson Rugs to Nourish the Soul

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If you're trying to figure out how to decorate your home using Aubusson rugs in a way that not only beautifies your rooms but also nourishes your soul, consider these words from Albert Hadley: "Decorating is not about making stage sets. It's not about making pretty pictures for the magazines; it's about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul." He should know; Hadley was one of the most important and respected designers of the last century, making home the most beautiful place on earth for the rich and famous. If you're drawn to the exquisite beauty of an Aubusson rug, and you'd like to use it to enhance your space, read on for some ideas. Read More

The 5 Most Glamorous Interiors with Bessarabian Rugs

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The 5 Most Glamorous Interiors with Bessarabian Rugs are by such legendary interior designers  as Stephane Boudin of Maison Jansen, David Easton, Renzo Mongiardino and Albert Hadley. The rooms were designed for celebrities that include Jackie Kennedy, Lee Radziwill, Marella Agnelli and Brooke Astor- a testament to the prestigious associations of Bessarabian rugs which were originally made for Russian royalty in the 19th century. My favorite of these interiors is the living room in Dallas designed by David Easton. This room is a most amazing combination of relaxed comfort and elegance which is a very hard thing to achieve. Bessarabian rugs are becoming increasingly fashionable as evidenced by the latest advertising campaign of Brunschwig & Fils which features their all time greatest rooms including Albert Hadley's red lacquered library for Brooke Astor with its mysterious Bessarabian rug which the The New York Times proclaimed as "one of the most admired interiors of the 20th century." Read More

7 Gorgeous Interiors with Aubusson Rugs from AD and Pinterest

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Since Michael Smith's Manhattan penthouse with fabulous antique Aubusson rugs made the cover of Architectural Digest last fall, interior designers in England and Brazil have created gorgeous interiors mixing modern and antique pieces with extraordinary Aubusson rugs. These interiors are featured in this month's Architectural Digest and have confirmed that Aubusson rugs are being used in contemporary decorating. It is also wonderful to see next to these modern room two great interiors by Albert Hadley which prove beyond doubt what a great master he was when it came to decorating with Aubusson rugs. Read More