6 Decorating Tips: Aubusson Rugs in French Empire Interiors

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A view of The Grand Trianon. Image © EPV If you happen to visit the Palace of Versailles do not miss the Grand Trianon. It is the more livable palace where the French Kings preferred to live rather than in the formal and massive Versailles Palace. The interiors in the Grand Trianon provide unique insight into the Empire Style created by Napoleon's favorite architects Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine. The Aubusson rugs in The Grand Trianon are classics of the Percier and Fontaine version of neoclassical style. The decorative approach, color preferences and aesthetics of the French Empire architects are uniquely French. Five Tips for Decorating with Aubusson Rugs in the French Empire Style 1. Choose colors for the upholstery and walls from the opposite end of the color wheel from the colors found in the  Aubusson rugs. 2. Use mostly cool colors when selecting Aubusson rugs, fabrics and walls. 3. Unify and quieten the room by using the same fabrics and colors on chairs, sofa and walls. 4. Mix round and square shapes and patterns in fabrics, furniture and Aubusson rugs 5. Choose Aubusson rugs and fabrics with flat, two dimensional motifs. 6. Choose smooth silk fabrics and flat woven Aubusson rugs in preference to pile Savonnerie rugs. The six rooms below illustrate these six decorating principles. Brief History of the Grand Trianon: The Grand Trianon was originally built by Louis XIV as a retreat for himself and his mistress of the time, the Marquise de Montespan. The King wanted a place where he could be with his guests, away from the strict etiquette of the court that prevailed at the palace of Versailles. After a period of neglect following the French Revolution, Napoleon had the Grand Trianon remodeled and completely redecorated in the Empire Style. Napoleon lived there with his second wife Marie Louise of Austria. Today the rooms are kept as they were at the time of Napoleon and Louis-Philippe. 1. The Empire Aubusson Rug in the Emperor's bedroom has a circular central medallion on a gold background with large open areas. The motifs are in the neoclassical style of Percier and Fontaine favored by Napoleon. The gold of the Aubusson rug and blue silk fabric are on opposite ends of the color wheel. Image courtesy Wikipedia Commons. Read More

The Five Qualities of Beautiful Savonnerie Rugs

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In recent posts we have been exploring the fascinating story of Savonnerie rugs and carpets. Some consider Savonnerie carpets to be overly grandiose and a challenge to decorate with. But there are many beautiful Savonnerie carpets and it is hard to tell how beautiful they are until we see them in their proper setting in a room created by an interior designer who understands how to make the best use of them. The 10 dazzling rooms will help you in seeing which Savonnerie rugs would be the most beautiful choice for your interiors. Read More

7 Neoclassical Rugs, Empire Rugs, Federal Rugs and Directoire Rugs

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Neoclassical rugs, Empire rugs, Federal rugs, Directoire rugs, and English Regency Rugs are inspired by the architecture of classical Greece and Rome. These ancient civilizatons and their achitecture symbolized democracy and republican values to 18th century Europeans as well as to the Founding Fathers of the new United States. Read More