Silk Road: Legacy and Contemporary Design

The Silk Road has been getting lots of headline press lately. Unfortunately, it has to do with the online narcotics marketplace and not the ancient trade routes that connected East to West.

I doubt I’m the only one who disapproves of repurposing world history to sell drugs. However, all the media attention got me thinking about the real Silk Road and how it opened up the globe – connecting cultures and facilitating development.

Many volumes could be written about the myriad textile traditions originating from the disparate cultures along those ancient routes. Here’s a look at just three regions whose traditions were introduced to the Western world centuries ago and remain perennially relevant to contemporary design.


Rug design in China was influenced by the images and styles found in silk tapestries. Buddhism and Taoism informed composition. Misty landscapes or a bird on a budding branch could evoke nature’s harmony and peaceful contemplation, while depictions of regal dragons symbolized wealth. Chinese artists were ever conscious of the evocative power of negative space.

In the 1920s and 30s that tradition was woven into the Art Deco movement, evinced in pieces like these:


BB5193 (1)

This wonderfully modern living room relates its floral-motif Chinese Art Deco rug to the leafy-patterned armchairs, as well as to the twiggy centerpiece and blooming wall art. This is a prime example of how to execute a theme that’s bold but not overly matchy.

Chinese Deco


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Wear Our Rugs, Spring 2014 Looks!

Here’s a recap of the hottest Spring 2014 looks straight from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, of course, paired with our always trendy collection of rugs.

A great quote to start off the show:
“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” – Rene Margritte (Harper’s Bazaar, August 2013)

Balenciaga with tufted water rug

Balenciaga Dress                                            Contemporary Custom Rug, 10′ × 14′

BB0930 with Lela rose dress 2014

Lela Rose dress                                                     Art Deco Rug, circa: 1930, 9′ × 8’1″

BB2370 with Emerson dress

Emerson dress                          An Irish Rug designed by CFA Voysey, circa: 1920, 20’7″ × 13”

Image 4-BB4153 with Honor dress 2014

Honor dress                                           A Persian Tabriz Rug, circa: 1900, 15′ × 10’6″

BB4256 and Rebecca Minkoff dress2

Rebecca Minkoff dress                                      A Samarkand Rug, circa: 1880, 13’4″ × 5’2″

Image 6-N10685 with Altuzarra outfit

Altuzarra outfit                                                     Metal Blue Ombre Rug, 15’2″ × 12′

World Record Price For A Rug: $33 M

The World is waking up to a new record price in the world of Rugs today. A Sickle-Leaf Vine Scroll and palmette “Vase” Technique rug probably Kirman South East Persia $33,765,000 at Sotheby’s NY.

New record price for a rug“This is one of the most beautifully drawn and elegant of the many “Vase” – technique carpets. Like the formal Garden carpet designs it can be regarded as a bird’s eye view of a woody landscape, here seen through festoons of spiraling creepers terminating in slender sickle leaves, and bearing the large floral motifs familiar in so many of the lattice designs.”
– May H. Beattie

A Sickle-Leaf Vine Scroll and palmette Vase Technique rug

“If a prize could be given to one single item from the extensive Clark Bequest of Oriental carpets, it would readily be presented to a rug belonging technically and thematically to the well-known group of Persian “Vase Carpets.” Although there are a few rugs which generally relate to it, the Clark carpet remains unique… Almost all Persian carpets… emit an air of tranquility. … In contrast to this classical repose, the Clark carpet has all the aspects of Baroque impetuosity. … The awareness of contrasting movements and ornamental abundance is further sharpened by the unusually compact format of the carpet; its many elements seem to be barely contained in the available space. … Here then, as sometimes happens in carpet compositions when the designer deviates from the standard pattern, a new concept is born from well-known themes re-arranged to appear novel and exciting.
– Richard Ettinghausen

World Record Price For A Rug

Below is the last world  record price for a rug set in 2010 at Christie’s London for $9.5 Million ironically also a 17th Century Persian Kirman rug.

As rugs continue to claim new heights as an art form and not just decoration for the floor it would be interesting to see rippling effects on vintage and antique carpets from the 19th and 20th Century which we show case in our galleries.

Persian Kirman Rug sold in 2010 for 10M

CHANEL Couture – For your Living Space!

If you are at all interested in high fashion, I am sure that you are no stranger to the elegant and edgy musings of renowned fashion designer, CHANEL. Created and inspired by Coco “Gabrielle” Chanel, in 1909, CHANEL started as a small clothing boutique in Paris in 1910. The style and inspiration of the CHANEL brand has evolved from a classy, simple, every-day wear line to a full spectrum fashion dynasty, including everything from ready-to-wear collections to couture. Whether you are a designer, or a design enthusiast, so much can be drawn from the life and work of Coco Chanel, as it is carried on today through one of the most well known and respected fashion labels, CHANEL. They have set trends among peers within their industry, as well as designers everywhere. Rug design, does not count as any exception.

Because of the classy and modern elements incorporated into CHANEL designs, this inspiration carries over to the Rug Design realm very beautifully. Below are a few examples of surprising design correlations between CHANEL‘s Spring/Summer 2013 couture line, and some of our very own vintage & designer rugs provided right here at Doris Leslie Blau.

chanel blog pic 1

The Persian Tabriz rug (pictured above, left) embodies a whimsical floral pattern, with a vast range of hues, seemingly inspired by the sky and sea. It is delicate, intricate, and classy, much like it’s CHANEL look-alike (pictured above, right).

chanel blog pic 2

Black and white is a timeless combination that oozes of class and sophistication. That is very indicative of both this CHANEL floor length beauty (pictured above, left) and the antique Persian Tabriz carpet (pictured above, right).

chanel blog pic 3

This lovely Cloud Lilac rug (pictured above, right) is light and ethereal, with a dose of femininity. It’s couture counterpart (pictured above, left) also embodies these notions through a similar pattern, color scheme, and unique textures.

chanel blog pic 4

And last but not least, is the edgy + classy use of the absence of color. White often portrays class and sophistication within the fashion realm. That has also carried over into the interior + rug design industry as well. The CHANEL ensemble (pictured above, left) screams modern and fashion-forward, while still embodying the signature classy stamp of the CHANEL brand. The white silk shaggy rug (pictured above, right) also shows edge through texture, yet remains classy because of the simplicity in it’s pure white color.

Much like the timeless sophistication of the CHANEL brand, Doris Leslie Blau offers a wide range of rugs that can add class, sophistication, and edge to your living space, whether it be an every-day or couture area of your home or business.

Rugs and Hugs (RORO)

Valentines Day is a day for lovers and for those hopeful of romance, but for others, it’s just another day in the week. Whether you’re a believer in Valentines Day or not, the positive feelings tied to it are a part of everyday. Today we present you with carpets both old and new that evoke feelings associated with Valentines Day and every other day where playfulness, warmth, happiness, courage and love are felt.


A Persian Meshad Rug

Persian Meshad


Alpaca Fur



Peacock- Nanette Lepore Rug

Peacock12.2 x 9.5- happiness


An English Axminster Round Rug

English Axminster


Red Cowhide

red leather-love

Explore the collections.