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THE DECORATIVE CARPET

F I N E H A N D M A D E R U G S I N C O N T E M P O R A RY I N T E R I O R S ALIX G. PERRACHON

FOREWORD BY D O R I S L E S L I E B L AU

The Monacelli Press


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The Decorative Carpet
Fine Handmade Rugs in Contemporary Interiors

A L I X G . P E R R AC H O N

The Monacelli Press


The Decorative Carpet
Fine Handmade Rugs in Contemporary Interiors

A L I X G . P E R R AC H O N

The Monacelli Press


Contents
To my late father, George M. Gudefin, who taught me to strive only for the best,

and to my mother Joan, who has always believed I could.

To my beloved husband, Jean, without whom this book would not be!

Copyright © 2010 The Monacelli Press, a division of Random House, Inc. 7 Foreword DORIS LESLIE BLAU
Text © 2010 Alix G. Perrachon
8 Introduction

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by The Monacelli Press, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

10 Thomas C. Achille 122 Jiun Ho


The Monacelli Press and the M design are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
18 Charles Allem 130 Terry Hunziker
L I B R A R Y O F C O N G R E S S C ATA L O G I N G - I N - P U B L I C AT I O N D ATA
24 Penny Drue Baird 138 Thomas Jayne
Perrachon, Alix G.
The decorative carpet : fine handmade rugs in contemporary interiors/by Alix G. Perrachon; foreword by Doris Leslie Blau. — 1st ed. 32 Bruce Bierman 146 Robert Ledingham
p. cm.
38 Samuel Botero 152 Edward Lobrano
Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 978-1-58093-299-8 (hardcover) 46 Leonard Braunschweiger 158 Suzanne Lovell


1. Rugs in interior decoration. I. Title. II. Title: Fine handmade rugs in contemporary interiors.
52 Ronald Bricke 164 Robin McGarry
NK2115.5.R77P47 2010
747’.5—dc22 2010011649 58 Clodagh 170 Juan Montoya
64 Carl D’Aquino 176 Matthew Patrick Smyth
PRINTED IN CHINA

72 Jamie Drake 182 Stedila Design


10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
80 Mary Douglas Drysdale 188 Stephanie Stokes
FIRST EDITION

86 David Easton 194 Suzanne Tucker


www.monacellipress.com
96 William R. Eubanks 202 Irwin Weiner
D E S I G N B Y Sara E. Stemen 104 Charles Faudree 208 Bunny Williams
110 Glenn Gissler 216 Paul Vincent Wiseman
116 Darren Henault 224 Vicente Wolf

AP P ENDIX

230 Purchasing and Care Essentials


232 Gallery
252 Glossary
253 Further Reading
254 Acknowledgments
255 Photography Credits
256 About the Author

5
Contents
To my late father, George M. Gudefin, who taught me to strive only for the best,

and to my mother Joan, who has always believed I could.

To my beloved husband, Jean, without whom this book would not be!

Copyright © 2010 The Monacelli Press, a division of Random House, Inc. 7 Foreword DORIS LESLIE BLAU
Text © 2010 Alix G. Perrachon
8 Introduction

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by The Monacelli Press, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

10 Thomas C. Achille 122 Jiun Ho


The Monacelli Press and the M design are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
18 Charles Allem 130 Terry Hunziker
L I B R A R Y O F C O N G R E S S C ATA L O G I N G - I N - P U B L I C AT I O N D ATA
24 Penny Drue Baird 138 Thomas Jayne
Perrachon, Alix G.
The decorative carpet : fine handmade rugs in contemporary interiors/by Alix G. Perrachon; foreword by Doris Leslie Blau. — 1st ed. 32 Bruce Bierman 146 Robert Ledingham
p. cm.
38 Samuel Botero 152 Edward Lobrano
Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 978-1-58093-299-8 (hardcover) 46 Leonard Braunschweiger 158 Suzanne Lovell


1. Rugs in interior decoration. I. Title. II. Title: Fine handmade rugs in contemporary interiors.
52 Ronald Bricke 164 Robin McGarry
NK2115.5.R77P47 2010
747’.5—dc22 2010011649 58 Clodagh 170 Juan Montoya
64 Carl D’Aquino 176 Matthew Patrick Smyth
PRINTED IN CHINA

72 Jamie Drake 182 Stedila Design


10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
80 Mary Douglas Drysdale 188 Stephanie Stokes
FIRST EDITION

86 David Easton 194 Suzanne Tucker


www.monacellipress.com
96 William R. Eubanks 202 Irwin Weiner
D E S I G N B Y Sara E. Stemen 104 Charles Faudree 208 Bunny Williams
110 Glenn Gissler 216 Paul Vincent Wiseman
116 Darren Henault 224 Vicente Wolf

AP P ENDIX

230 Purchasing and Care Essentials


232 Gallery
252 Glossary
253 Further Reading
254 Acknowledgments
255 Photography Credits
256 About the Author

5
Foreword

As long as mankind inhabits this earth, there will always It is important to remember that upon entering any
be demand for beautiful things to enrich our lives and space, the eye starts at the floor and rises from that point.
make living a more exciting and passionate experience. As The floor and its covering immediately establish a mood
our environments become depersonalized on the outside, that is then enhanced by the designer, who selects fabrics
the more romantic and personal they have to become on and furnishings that will perpetuate the atmosphere cre-
the inside. Home is our haven and must reflect the quali- ated by the rug. The beautiful images in this book help
ties that enhance our being during periods of relaxation show the reader how the impact of the carpet and its
and rest. placement can make a tremendous difference in the per-
At last a long overdue book on decorative carpets has ception of an interior.
appeared on the scene. This book expresses what has been The carpet can almost appear as a painting on the
so difficult to get clients to visualize—rugs situated in dec- floor and can stimulate all that comes after, but the deco-
orated rooms rather than just piled up in showrooms. By rative use of carpets has never been fully explored as a
exhibiting the works of some of today’s most prestigious topic and for that reason, this book fills a very important
designers, we are able to see in situ the importance of the void. It will prove to be of enormous help to clients, design-
rug and its prominence in a room’s setting. ers, and individuals interested in rugs alike because the
Whether we start the decorating process with the car- settings put forth are so varied.
pet or introduce it later, it will always be a room’s focal The tactile senses assume a major role when dealing
point. This book represents an entirely new approach to with any form of textile. Whether the eye, the hand, or the
looking at rugs in interiors and helps the eye see what it is foot is used to experience a carpet, the sensual nature of it
possible to accomplish in an interior setting. The inspired comes to the fore. Allowing the eye to become captivated
designs that inhabit these pages are a glowing tribute to by a pattern, reaching down to touch a rug from a seated
the talents of the carpet weavers and interior designers position, or walking barefoot on one, the sudden contact is
who enable a space to become a home. You, the reader, are exciting. The character of the space in question is defined.
able to see how important the rug is to an interior and how The room suddenly becomes a unified entity and The
its placement is essential to the harmony and flow of the Decorative Carpet brings that to us in a most visually
rooms. The numerous designs here are eclectic, some- passionate way. It is not at all surprising that Edgar Allan
times quirky, and are occasionally formal, elegant, and rich Poe in his famous quote, “The soul of the apartment is the
in cultural heritage. The imagination takes over. carpet,” sums this up for us so poetically.
D O R I S L E S L I E B L AU

7
Foreword

As long as mankind inhabits this earth, there will always It is important to remember that upon entering any
be demand for beautiful things to enrich our lives and space, the eye starts at the floor and rises from that point.
make living a more exciting and passionate experience. As The floor and its covering immediately establish a mood
our environments become depersonalized on the outside, that is then enhanced by the designer, who selects fabrics
the more romantic and personal they have to become on and furnishings that will perpetuate the atmosphere cre-
the inside. Home is our haven and must reflect the quali- ated by the rug. The beautiful images in this book help
ties that enhance our being during periods of relaxation show the reader how the impact of the carpet and its
and rest. placement can make a tremendous difference in the per-
At last a long overdue book on decorative carpets has ception of an interior.
appeared on the scene. This book expresses what has been The carpet can almost appear as a painting on the
so difficult to get clients to visualize—rugs situated in dec- floor and can stimulate all that comes after, but the deco-
orated rooms rather than just piled up in showrooms. By rative use of carpets has never been fully explored as a
exhibiting the works of some of today’s most prestigious topic and for that reason, this book fills a very important
designers, we are able to see in situ the importance of the void. It will prove to be of enormous help to clients, design-
rug and its prominence in a room’s setting. ers, and individuals interested in rugs alike because the
Whether we start the decorating process with the car- settings put forth are so varied.
pet or introduce it later, it will always be a room’s focal The tactile senses assume a major role when dealing
point. This book represents an entirely new approach to with any form of textile. Whether the eye, the hand, or the
looking at rugs in interiors and helps the eye see what it is foot is used to experience a carpet, the sensual nature of it
possible to accomplish in an interior setting. The inspired comes to the fore. Allowing the eye to become captivated
designs that inhabit these pages are a glowing tribute to by a pattern, reaching down to touch a rug from a seated
the talents of the carpet weavers and interior designers position, or walking barefoot on one, the sudden contact is
who enable a space to become a home. You, the reader, are exciting. The character of the space in question is defined.
able to see how important the rug is to an interior and how The room suddenly becomes a unified entity and The
its placement is essential to the harmony and flow of the Decorative Carpet brings that to us in a most visually
rooms. The numerous designs here are eclectic, some- passionate way. It is not at all surprising that Edgar Allan
times quirky, and are occasionally formal, elegant, and rich Poe in his famous quote, “The soul of the apartment is the
in cultural heritage. The imagination takes over. carpet,” sums this up for us so poetically.
D O R I S L E S L I E B L AU

7
Thomas C. Achille
“Oriental and decorative rugs have fascinated me ever since I was a child,” says Thomas
C. Achille, who was captivated by their exotic allure at a very early age. Today, his interior
design practice specializes in custom luxury yachts in addition to residential and
commercial projects. “There is nothing comparable to handmade rugs,” he continues.
“Their texture, color, and the thickness of their threads make them special. A machine-
made rug can’t approach their quality no matter how hard it may try.”

Renowned for creating interiors that fuse the contempo- elements in a room should play off the carpet, including
rary with the classic, Achille often sources fine antique fur- fabrics. A passionate advocate of pure monochromatics as
niture for his clients, along with antique rugs. “I shop for opposed to pattern over pattern, he also likes the texture
antiques because nothing touches their integrity,” he com- of the fabrics to emulate the rug whenever possible, and
ments. When hunting for a carpet, he generally seeks a would choose a nubby silk to go with a coarse Oushak as
minimalist, toned-down palette that will complement a opposed to a smoother silk, for example. “The carpet sets
modern monochromatic look. the tone,” he states. “Decorating around a rug is so incred-
By far, he favors antique muted Oushaks for their ibly easy—I hope my clients don’t find out how simple it
purity and simplicity in color and design. Sultanabads, really is!”
Tabrizes, Savonneries, and Aubussons follow closely Achille’s most memorable carpet project involved
behind. Early in his career, in the 1970s, he was noted for the $175,000 purchase of a “drop-dead Oushak” for the
being among the first to incorporate kilims into interiors. main salon of a 350-foot-long private yacht. His team was
Now he uses these strongly graphic flatweaves like informed that the rug would have to be secured to the
fabric—using them on furniture like upholstery and as bed parquet floor to keep it stationary as the vessel pitched in
covers, very much the way they were used historically, the water, however. “We didn’t think about that when we
instead of only on the floor. When a new rug is called for in bought the rug,” recollects the designer. Screws and brack-
a project, he will turn to a needlepoint or Tibetan rather ets were carefully threaded through the weave without
than to a reproduction of an antique oriental rug. creating any holes, and the rug, which also inspired the
Rugs find themselves primarily in Achille’s living entire yacht’s color scheme, is still in perfect shape today.
rooms, dining rooms, libraries, and master bedrooms. “Rugs are timeless classics,” concludes Achille. “There is
Generally, he prefers placing one room-sized rug in a nothing like one to give a room personality and soul. Each
space rather than several smaller pieces. He says emphat- is a work of art that will last thanks to its aesthetic and
ically, “Let the carpet be the star!” To his mind, all other intrinsic value.”

An ivory-ground Sultanabad-design rug featuring an all-over organic floral design with punches of blue and coral
beckons the visitor into this airy Los Angeles solarium. A second Sultanabad anchors the far end of the room.

11
Thomas C. Achille
“Oriental and decorative rugs have fascinated me ever since I was a child,” says Thomas
C. Achille, who was captivated by their exotic allure at a very early age. Today, his interior
design practice specializes in custom luxury yachts in addition to residential and
commercial projects. “There is nothing comparable to handmade rugs,” he continues.
“Their texture, color, and the thickness of their threads make them special. A machine-
made rug can’t approach their quality no matter how hard it may try.”

Renowned for creating interiors that fuse the contempo- elements in a room should play off the carpet, including
rary with the classic, Achille often sources fine antique fur- fabrics. A passionate advocate of pure monochromatics as
niture for his clients, along with antique rugs. “I shop for opposed to pattern over pattern, he also likes the texture
antiques because nothing touches their integrity,” he com- of the fabrics to emulate the rug whenever possible, and
ments. When hunting for a carpet, he generally seeks a would choose a nubby silk to go with a coarse Oushak as
minimalist, toned-down palette that will complement a opposed to a smoother silk, for example. “The carpet sets
modern monochromatic look. the tone,” he states. “Decorating around a rug is so incred-
By far, he favors antique muted Oushaks for their ibly easy—I hope my clients don’t find out how simple it
purity and simplicity in color and design. Sultanabads, really is!”
Tabrizes, Savonneries, and Aubussons follow closely Achille’s most memorable carpet project involved
behind. Early in his career, in the 1970s, he was noted for the $175,000 purchase of a “drop-dead Oushak” for the
being among the first to incorporate kilims into interiors. main salon of a 350-foot-long private yacht. His team was
Now he uses these strongly graphic flatweaves like informed that the rug would have to be secured to the
fabric—using them on furniture like upholstery and as bed parquet floor to keep it stationary as the vessel pitched in
covers, very much the way they were used historically, the water, however. “We didn’t think about that when we
instead of only on the floor. When a new rug is called for in bought the rug,” recollects the designer. Screws and brack-
a project, he will turn to a needlepoint or Tibetan rather ets were carefully threaded through the weave without
than to a reproduction of an antique oriental rug. creating any holes, and the rug, which also inspired the
Rugs find themselves primarily in Achille’s living entire yacht’s color scheme, is still in perfect shape today.
rooms, dining rooms, libraries, and master bedrooms. “Rugs are timeless classics,” concludes Achille. “There is
Generally, he prefers placing one room-sized rug in a nothing like one to give a room personality and soul. Each
space rather than several smaller pieces. He says emphat- is a work of art that will last thanks to its aesthetic and
ically, “Let the carpet be the star!” To his mind, all other intrinsic value.”

An ivory-ground Sultanabad-design rug featuring an all-over organic floral design with punches of blue and coral
beckons the visitor into this airy Los Angeles solarium. A second Sultanabad anchors the far end of the room.

11
A B OV E Bold, dark hues introduced by the piano and the modern art in this Beverly Hills music room are offset by the
subtle hues of the early-twentieth-century, ivory-ground Turkish Oushak and its delicately drawn floral pattern. The
rug invites the visitor to proceed toward the adjoining kitchen, where an Oushak with similar attributes is displayed.

OPPOSITE Golds and creams in this Aubusson rug, inspired by a classic French design, are also picked up in the
elegant curtains and contrast well with the saturated coral hues of the other fabrics in this formal drawing room.

14 T H O M A S C . AC H I L L E
A B OV E Bold, dark hues introduced by the piano and the modern art in this Beverly Hills music room are offset by the
subtle hues of the early-twentieth-century, ivory-ground Turkish Oushak and its delicately drawn floral pattern. The
rug invites the visitor to proceed toward the adjoining kitchen, where an Oushak with similar attributes is displayed.

OPPOSITE Golds and creams in this Aubusson rug, inspired by a classic French design, are also picked up in the
elegant curtains and contrast well with the saturated coral hues of the other fabrics in this formal drawing room.

14 T H O M A S C . AC H I L L E
Bruce Bierman
For Bruce Bierman, the warmth of a handmade rug offers a much needed respite from the
uniformity of our cold technological surroundings. Trained in architecture and the fine arts,
he is acutely sensitive to the importance of considering every surface in a room’s design—
including the floor. “Every job of mine has a rug,” states the renowned Manhattan-based
designer. “When selecting a piece, whether antique or new, I take my cue from the architec-
tural space.” Long before being “green” was in fashion, Bierman was drawn to rugs’ natural
materials for their durability and overall aesthetics. Of the many styles of rug he has used
throughout the years, his favorites include soft-toned Tabrizes and Agras, more formal
Aubussons, needlepoints, and contemporary Tibetans, both monochromatic and pat-
terned.
“Always start the room with the rug—it sets the tone,” insists family room, and contemporary Tibetans in the library
the designer, whose rooms often feature one single, room- and media room.
sized rug to keep the look clean and simple. “Rugs are so The designer works to make choosing carpets a pain-
spectacular that I like them to stand alone in the room unob- less process for his clients; he has found that the key is to
structed by competing fabric or wall patterns.” While he properly educate them with shopping expeditions—where
favors monochromatic textured linens, leathers, and silks they can see rugs and get a feel for the market—followed
over patterned fabrics, he also warns against deliberately by in-home trials. “People are often initially distrustful and
matching rugs with other elements in the room because it afraid of the rug selection process. They have no gauge of
will seem too contrived. Sometimes, he likes to create the their worth and are unfamiliar with their foreign names,”
unexpected as, for instance, when he chose a very formal, he explains. When dealing with a challenging space, the
bold, red Aubusson needlepoint-design rug with a traditional designer’s approach is also practical and methodical: he
central medallion motif for his own contemporary loft. plots the furniture placement over a photograph of the rug
Bierman freely mixes different kinds of rugs from to determine the size needed and to minimize any poten-
room to room in the same project. The unifying theme tial surprises for the client.
may not necessarily be the design of the rugs themselves Bierman has also found that the increased incidence
but other elements in the space, such as wall color. In of allergies, including asthma, has triggered a downward
one project, he placed Aubussons in the entrance hall, trend for wall-to-wall carpeting in favor of area rugs. “I can’t
living room, and dining room, a needlepoint in the imagine that rugs will ever go out of fashion,” he states.

An Aubusson-design needlepoint featuring an oval, Louis XVI style medallion radiates in this Florida living room.
Ocean-blue accents picked up in the throw pillows make a crisp contrast with its clean ivory ground and touches of sand-
colored hues in the borders, transporting this traditional European rug smoothly to a contemporary home in the tropics.

33
Bruce Bierman
For Bruce Bierman, the warmth of a handmade rug offers a much needed respite from the
uniformity of our cold technological surroundings. Trained in architecture and the fine arts,
he is acutely sensitive to the importance of considering every surface in a room’s design—
including the floor. “Every job of mine has a rug,” states the renowned Manhattan-based
designer. “When selecting a piece, whether antique or new, I take my cue from the architec-
tural space.” Long before being “green” was in fashion, Bierman was drawn to rugs’ natural
materials for their durability and overall aesthetics. Of the many styles of rug he has used
throughout the years, his favorites include soft-toned Tabrizes and Agras, more formal
Aubussons, needlepoints, and contemporary Tibetans, both monochromatic and pat-
terned.
“Always start the room with the rug—it sets the tone,” insists family room, and contemporary Tibetans in the library
the designer, whose rooms often feature one single, room- and media room.
sized rug to keep the look clean and simple. “Rugs are so The designer works to make choosing carpets a pain-
spectacular that I like them to stand alone in the room unob- less process for his clients; he has found that the key is to
structed by competing fabric or wall patterns.” While he properly educate them with shopping expeditions—where
favors monochromatic textured linens, leathers, and silks they can see rugs and get a feel for the market—followed
over patterned fabrics, he also warns against deliberately by in-home trials. “People are often initially distrustful and
matching rugs with other elements in the room because it afraid of the rug selection process. They have no gauge of
will seem too contrived. Sometimes, he likes to create the their worth and are unfamiliar with their foreign names,”
unexpected as, for instance, when he chose a very formal, he explains. When dealing with a challenging space, the
bold, red Aubusson needlepoint-design rug with a traditional designer’s approach is also practical and methodical: he
central medallion motif for his own contemporary loft. plots the furniture placement over a photograph of the rug
Bierman freely mixes different kinds of rugs from to determine the size needed and to minimize any poten-
room to room in the same project. The unifying theme tial surprises for the client.
may not necessarily be the design of the rugs themselves Bierman has also found that the increased incidence
but other elements in the space, such as wall color. In of allergies, including asthma, has triggered a downward
one project, he placed Aubussons in the entrance hall, trend for wall-to-wall carpeting in favor of area rugs. “I can’t
living room, and dining room, a needlepoint in the imagine that rugs will ever go out of fashion,” he states.

An Aubusson-design needlepoint featuring an oval, Louis XVI style medallion radiates in this Florida living room.
Ocean-blue accents picked up in the throw pillows make a crisp contrast with its clean ivory ground and touches of sand-
colored hues in the borders, transporting this traditional European rug smoothly to a contemporary home in the tropics.

33
Jamie Drake
“I’m known for my passion for color, and rugs are a wonderful place to begin a color
scheme,” states Jamie Drake, whose clients include Madonna and New York City Mayor
Michael Bloomberg. Even in the 1970s, when clients with minimalist interiors only
wanted them as accent pieces, Drake has always included rugs in his designs, and they
have become an ever-more important component of his work.

Regardless of genre or age, Drake is drawn to high-end Drake enjoys placing rugs of different genres through-
rugs and avoids those that “mimic what is hugely preva- out a project. While pattern plays a role in his selection,
lent in the market.” More specifically, he continues: “In color is the dominant consideration that he uses to con-
antiques, I love everything from Savonneries, Aubussons, nect one rug with another. If a living room rug’s field color
and Axminsters to Sultanabads and Isfahans, with a per- is green and its border red, for example, an adjoining
sonal preference for all-over designs versus central medal- library’s rug field color could be red, its border green. More
lion.” His passion for Tibetans and other high-end new important, the respective tonalities of the floor and rug
rugs, however, led him to the creation of his contemporary must be in sync with each other. A rug with deep, satu-
Jamie Drake Collection for Safavieh. rated colors looks best over a rich, dark floor and vice
“Ideally,” notes the designer, “I like to start with the versa. Drake has even been known to adjust a floor’s finish
rug but many times I end up doing it backwards and com- to best enhance a rug’s beauty.
ing up with a fabulous rug anyway.” He always advocates Rugs played an essential role in Drake’s renovation of
anchoring a space with a single room-sized piece rather early-nineteenth-century Gracie Mansion, New York’s offi-
than a variety of smaller, scattered rugs, which he finds cial mayoral residence, in 2002. He easily found rugs for
create a “somewhat dated look as well as visual confu- every room except the State Sitting Room, which was hung
sion.” Also, using one impressive, striking rug goes hand- with a bold floral wallpaper. The Drake design staff went
in-hand with creating his characteristically bold look. into overdrive frantically combing the entire rug market in
Drake’s talent for integrating strong, vibrant colors into search of this elusive carpet. Drake rejected over two dozen
many genres and periods defines his signature style. Color, pieces, and the room remained unfinished only three days
including the myriad hues found in oriental and decorative before the installation. Just hours before his deadline, how-
rugs, serves as the uniting element in the designer’s eclectic ever, the ideal rug materialized. An antique Turkish Oushak
work, which fuses the traditional with the contemporary. He exhibiting an olive green field with accent details of camel
extracts a base tone from each rug that is echoed through- and cream played perfectly off the colors in the wallpaper’s
out a room and accented with other hues. complex design and pulled the whole room together.

Intense blues and greens drawn from this early–twentieth-century Persian Mahal’s secondary colors are the inspiration
for the walls, window treatments, and upholstered fabrics of this formal room, helping to incorporate the historic piece
smoothly into a fresh and up-to-date décor.

73
Jamie Drake
“I’m known for my passion for color, and rugs are a wonderful place to begin a color
scheme,” states Jamie Drake, whose clients include Madonna and New York City Mayor
Michael Bloomberg. Even in the 1970s, when clients with minimalist interiors only
wanted them as accent pieces, Drake has always included rugs in his designs, and they
have become an ever-more important component of his work.

Regardless of genre or age, Drake is drawn to high-end Drake enjoys placing rugs of different genres through-
rugs and avoids those that “mimic what is hugely preva- out a project. While pattern plays a role in his selection,
lent in the market.” More specifically, he continues: “In color is the dominant consideration that he uses to con-
antiques, I love everything from Savonneries, Aubussons, nect one rug with another. If a living room rug’s field color
and Axminsters to Sultanabads and Isfahans, with a per- is green and its border red, for example, an adjoining
sonal preference for all-over designs versus central medal- library’s rug field color could be red, its border green. More
lion.” His passion for Tibetans and other high-end new important, the respective tonalities of the floor and rug
rugs, however, led him to the creation of his contemporary must be in sync with each other. A rug with deep, satu-
Jamie Drake Collection for Safavieh. rated colors looks best over a rich, dark floor and vice
“Ideally,” notes the designer, “I like to start with the versa. Drake has even been known to adjust a floor’s finish
rug but many times I end up doing it backwards and com- to best enhance a rug’s beauty.
ing up with a fabulous rug anyway.” He always advocates Rugs played an essential role in Drake’s renovation of
anchoring a space with a single room-sized piece rather early-nineteenth-century Gracie Mansion, New York’s offi-
than a variety of smaller, scattered rugs, which he finds cial mayoral residence, in 2002. He easily found rugs for
create a “somewhat dated look as well as visual confu- every room except the State Sitting Room, which was hung
sion.” Also, using one impressive, striking rug goes hand- with a bold floral wallpaper. The Drake design staff went
in-hand with creating his characteristically bold look. into overdrive frantically combing the entire rug market in
Drake’s talent for integrating strong, vibrant colors into search of this elusive carpet. Drake rejected over two dozen
many genres and periods defines his signature style. Color, pieces, and the room remained unfinished only three days
including the myriad hues found in oriental and decorative before the installation. Just hours before his deadline, how-
rugs, serves as the uniting element in the designer’s eclectic ever, the ideal rug materialized. An antique Turkish Oushak
work, which fuses the traditional with the contemporary. He exhibiting an olive green field with accent details of camel
extracts a base tone from each rug that is echoed through- and cream played perfectly off the colors in the wallpaper’s
out a room and accented with other hues. complex design and pulled the whole room together.

Intense blues and greens drawn from this early–twentieth-century Persian Mahal’s secondary colors are the inspiration
for the walls, window treatments, and upholstered fabrics of this formal room, helping to incorporate the historic piece
smoothly into a fresh and up-to-date décor.

73
David Easton
After the architecture and the mantelpiece, the carpet is the most important decorative
element in a space according to David Easton, the neoclassic designer whose interiors
exude a sophisticated traditional aesthetic. “One needs to start with the rug,” he states.
“How can you make any other decision in the room, including the choice of sofa fabric,
without it?” Easton professes a reverence for handmade rugs that is rooted in their
handcrafted quality and their deep-seated ancient traditions. For him, there is an almost
sacred quality about rugs that simply cannot be replicated by machines. “It’s like having
a painting on the floor. It affects everything else in the room,” he notes.

For Easton the search for the perfect rug has taken him to Regardless of provenance, style, or period, a well-crafted
the four corners of the globe—from Madeira to Istanbul, rug must, to Easton, feature a thin, ribbed, textured quality,
Bhutan, and onto the Silk Road. “The pursuit of the carpet typically characteristic of worn, older pieces that suggests
is a wonderful travelogue in itself,” he says. The thrill of what he calls “a grace of age.” He states with characteristic
seeing rugs being washed in a river in Isfahan, in Iran, and candor: “I do not like the cut pile look!”
hand-knotted in Bucharest is, to him, as wonderful as see- Regardless of the type, the designer advises: “Never
ing the actual end product. Some of his clients have been buy a rug that is too sharp in color. It should blend into the
fortunate enough to travel with him, deepening their totality of the room and the scale of its pattern must be in
appreciation for the art form. proportion to that of the room.” If a rug that catches his
Selecting the right rug for a space is all about establish- eye is slightly off in size, however, he admits, “I would still
ing harmony with the rest of a room to Easton, who was buy it, if I really loved it!” Easton’s dislike for wall-to-wall
originally trained as an architect. “It’s like music—the mix- carpeting leads him to use handmade rugs in every room,
ture of subtle colors and textures should be harmonious,” except for kitchens. He prefers to place rugs directly on
he remarks. In his thirty-year career, he has used a wealth wood floors, but he will also lay them over sustainable
of rugs, from Savonneries, Portuguese needlepoints, and sisal carpeting, particularly in bedrooms, to bestow a spe-
Persian Sultanabads to Scandinavian rya rugs and Tibetans. cial handcrafted aura on a space.

A French Savonnerie dating to the turn of the nineteenth century exhibits a series of concentric oval
and circular medallions ornamented with floral wreaths and motifs. Its brilliant yellow is the foundation
for the entire color scheme of this lavish bedroom.

86
David Easton
After the architecture and the mantelpiece, the carpet is the most important decorative
element in a space according to David Easton, the neoclassic designer whose interiors
exude a sophisticated traditional aesthetic. “One needs to start with the rug,” he states.
“How can you make any other decision in the room, including the choice of sofa fabric,
without it?” Easton professes a reverence for handmade rugs that is rooted in their
handcrafted quality and their deep-seated ancient traditions. For him, there is an almost
sacred quality about rugs that simply cannot be replicated by machines. “It’s like having
a painting on the floor. It affects everything else in the room,” he notes.

For Easton the search for the perfect rug has taken him to Regardless of provenance, style, or period, a well-crafted
the four corners of the globe—from Madeira to Istanbul, rug must, to Easton, feature a thin, ribbed, textured quality,
Bhutan, and onto the Silk Road. “The pursuit of the carpet typically characteristic of worn, older pieces that suggests
is a wonderful travelogue in itself,” he says. The thrill of what he calls “a grace of age.” He states with characteristic
seeing rugs being washed in a river in Isfahan, in Iran, and candor: “I do not like the cut pile look!”
hand-knotted in Bucharest is, to him, as wonderful as see- Regardless of the type, the designer advises: “Never
ing the actual end product. Some of his clients have been buy a rug that is too sharp in color. It should blend into the
fortunate enough to travel with him, deepening their totality of the room and the scale of its pattern must be in
appreciation for the art form. proportion to that of the room.” If a rug that catches his
Selecting the right rug for a space is all about establish- eye is slightly off in size, however, he admits, “I would still
ing harmony with the rest of a room to Easton, who was buy it, if I really loved it!” Easton’s dislike for wall-to-wall
originally trained as an architect. “It’s like music—the mix- carpeting leads him to use handmade rugs in every room,
ture of subtle colors and textures should be harmonious,” except for kitchens. He prefers to place rugs directly on
he remarks. In his thirty-year career, he has used a wealth wood floors, but he will also lay them over sustainable
of rugs, from Savonneries, Portuguese needlepoints, and sisal carpeting, particularly in bedrooms, to bestow a spe-
Persian Sultanabads to Scandinavian rya rugs and Tibetans. cial handcrafted aura on a space.

A French Savonnerie dating to the turn of the nineteenth century exhibits a series of concentric oval
and circular medallions ornamented with floral wreaths and motifs. Its brilliant yellow is the foundation
for the entire color scheme of this lavish bedroom.

86
A B OV E Hints of gold drawn from the large cabbage rose pattern adorning this Portuguese needlepoint are the genesis
for bright walls that set this sumptuous drawing room aglow.

OPPOSITE An English Axminster carpet dating from the turn of the nineteenth century and exhibiting a large, central
floral medallion is the perfect complement to finely detailed boiseries in this genteel dining room.

90 DAV I D E A S T O N
A B OV E Hints of gold drawn from the large cabbage rose pattern adorning this Portuguese needlepoint are the genesis
for bright walls that set this sumptuous drawing room aglow.

OPPOSITE An English Axminster carpet dating from the turn of the nineteenth century and exhibiting a large, central
floral medallion is the perfect complement to finely detailed boiseries in this genteel dining room.

90 DAV I D E A S T O N
DAV I D E A S T O N 93
DAV I D E A S T O N 93
Agra Amritsar
The former capital of India’s Mogul Empire (1526–1857) and home region to the next. Hence “Agra” has become a generic market Until the 1850s, the Indian rug industry suffered a period of naturalistic floral motifs (e.g., millefleurs designs), and non-Indian
to the Taj Mahal, the city of Agra became a carpet weaving center term for eighteenth- and nineteenth-century room-sized rugs decline triggered by the waning of India’s Mogul empire (1526– elements such as the cloudband. Pictorial carpets display local
during the golden age of Mogul art and was particularly active from India, and indicates no specific provenance. Many designs 1857) in the eighteenth century. Spurred by strong European fauna and wild animals such as lions, tigers, elephants, hyenas,
under Akbar the Great (1556–1605); although there are no surviv- are inspired by classic seventeenth-century Persian Sefavid rugs demand, a talented pool of local labor, and access to good-quality and cheetahs. Amritsars also display Persian-inspired floral
ing documented examples, Agras from that period are believed to and Mogul rugs, which include all-over angular designs with wool, the city of Amritsar in northwestern India, previously motifs, namely all-over floral, medallion, and corner designs and
have featured characteristic Mogul designs—a combination of Per- scrolling leaves, ogival latticing, vines, and large, finely detailed devoted to shawl manufacturing, became the most important stylized village patterns such as those seen in Heriz rugs. Sub-
sian Sefavid and Timurid elements (relating to Tamerlane and flowers. Greens, blues, and burgundies on an ivory field are often weaving center in India throughout the latter half of the nine- dued “off colors” including mauves, burgundies, light blues, teals,
exhibiting a blend of Near and Far Eastern sources). Under British featured. Most antique Agras on today’s market date from the late teenth century and the early twentieth, reportedly employing and yellows distinguish these Indian rugs from their Persian
occupation in the nineteenth century, carpet weaving experienced nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Generally viewed by rug 15,000 to 20,000 men and boys. In 1906, Amritsars won interna- counterparts.
a revival, although pieces were generated mainly under the con- scholars as poor copies of their purer Persian counterparts, they tional recognition at the Indian Art Exhibition in Delhi. Production suffered during the Great Depression of the 1930s
trol of foreign-owned firms and destined for export to Great are nevertheless prized in the decorative market for their dense Produced for export in British- and foreign-run factories, and following the partition of 1947, which drove many Muslim
Britain and the West. A number of pieces, known as “jail rugs,” weave, classic designs, and unusual hues. Agra continues to be an Amritsars were woven in a variety of designs to please their for- weavers to emigrate to Pakistan. Since then, the industry has
were woven by prison inmates here and throughout India. active weaving center and its antique carpets are a source of eign customers. These include geometric Turkoman (Central recovered with an influx of new weavers, including local women
Unlike their Persian and Turkish counterparts, Agras and most design inspiration for many of the region’s new rugs, which are Asian) and classic Indian Mogul–inspired patterns exhibiting and Tibetan immigrants.
other Indian rugs do not vary in technique or design from one executed in a full range of qualities.

Agra, India, mid-nineteenth century Agra, India, circa 1890 Agra, India, circa 1900 Amritsar, northwest India, circa 1880 Amritsar, northwest India, circa 1910 Amritsar, northwest India, circa 1910
11ft. 10in. by 16ft. 3in. 10ft. 2in. by 13ft. 5in. 10ft. 10in. by 11ft. 7in. 13ft. 7in. by 25ft. 10in. 14ft. 6in. by 17ft. 9ft. 10in. by 13ft. 8in.

Agra, India, circa 1920 New Agra-design rug, Romania New Agra-design rug, India Amritsar, northwest India, early twentieth century Amritsar, northwest India, early twentieth century
Amritsar, northwest India, circa 1910 13ft. 10in. by 15ft.
11ft. 6in. by 14ft. 8in. 12ft. 10in. by 17ft. 8in.
11ft. by 16ft. 8in.

232 APPENDIX APPENDIX 233


Agra Amritsar
The former capital of India’s Mogul Empire (1526–1857) and home region to the next. Hence “Agra” has become a generic market Until the 1850s, the Indian rug industry suffered a period of naturalistic floral motifs (e.g., millefleurs designs), and non-Indian
to the Taj Mahal, the city of Agra became a carpet weaving center term for eighteenth- and nineteenth-century room-sized rugs decline triggered by the waning of India’s Mogul empire (1526– elements such as the cloudband. Pictorial carpets display local
during the golden age of Mogul art and was particularly active from India, and indicates no specific provenance. Many designs 1857) in the eighteenth century. Spurred by strong European fauna and wild animals such as lions, tigers, elephants, hyenas,
under Akbar the Great (1556–1605); although there are no surviv- are inspired by classic seventeenth-century Persian Sefavid rugs demand, a talented pool of local labor, and access to good-quality and cheetahs. Amritsars also display Persian-inspired floral
ing documented examples, Agras from that period are believed to and Mogul rugs, which include all-over angular designs with wool, the city of Amritsar in northwestern India, previously motifs, namely all-over floral, medallion, and corner designs and
have featured characteristic Mogul designs—a combination of Per- scrolling leaves, ogival latticing, vines, and large, finely detailed devoted to shawl manufacturing, became the most important stylized village patterns such as those seen in Heriz rugs. Sub-
sian Sefavid and Timurid elements (relating to Tamerlane and flowers. Greens, blues, and burgundies on an ivory field are often weaving center in India throughout the latter half of the nine- dued “off colors” including mauves, burgundies, light blues, teals,
exhibiting a blend of Near and Far Eastern sources). Under British featured. Most antique Agras on today’s market date from the late teenth century and the early twentieth, reportedly employing and yellows distinguish these Indian rugs from their Persian
occupation in the nineteenth century, carpet weaving experienced nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Generally viewed by rug 15,000 to 20,000 men and boys. In 1906, Amritsars won interna- counterparts.
a revival, although pieces were generated mainly under the con- scholars as poor copies of their purer Persian counterparts, they tional recognition at the Indian Art Exhibition in Delhi. Production suffered during the Great Depression of the 1930s
trol of foreign-owned firms and destined for export to Great are nevertheless prized in the decorative market for their dense Produced for export in British- and foreign-run factories, and following the partition of 1947, which drove many Muslim
Britain and the West. A number of pieces, known as “jail rugs,” weave, classic designs, and unusual hues. Agra continues to be an Amritsars were woven in a variety of designs to please their for- weavers to emigrate to Pakistan. Since then, the industry has
were woven by prison inmates here and throughout India. active weaving center and its antique carpets are a source of eign customers. These include geometric Turkoman (Central recovered with an influx of new weavers, including local women
Unlike their Persian and Turkish counterparts, Agras and most design inspiration for many of the region’s new rugs, which are Asian) and classic Indian Mogul–inspired patterns exhibiting and Tibetan immigrants.
other Indian rugs do not vary in technique or design from one executed in a full range of qualities.

Agra, India, mid-nineteenth century Agra, India, circa 1890 Agra, India, circa 1900 Amritsar, northwest India, circa 1880 Amritsar, northwest India, circa 1910 Amritsar, northwest India, circa 1910
11ft. 10in. by 16ft. 3in. 10ft. 2in. by 13ft. 5in. 10ft. 10in. by 11ft. 7in. 13ft. 7in. by 25ft. 10in. 14ft. 6in. by 17ft. 9ft. 10in. by 13ft. 8in.

Agra, India, circa 1920 New Agra-design rug, Romania New Agra-design rug, India Amritsar, northwest India, early twentieth century Amritsar, northwest India, early twentieth century
Amritsar, northwest India, circa 1910 13ft. 10in. by 15ft.
11ft. 6in. by 14ft. 8in. 12ft. 10in. by 17ft. 8in.
11ft. by 16ft. 8in.

232 APPENDIX APPENDIX 233


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