Before the Oscars, a look at how big red became the thoroughfare of modern royalty

A French Deco Rug

“I am a mortal, a man; I cannot trample upon these tinted splendors without fear thrown in my path.” -King Agamemnon, from the Greek tragedian-playwright Aeschylus in the fifth century, BC.

Those were the words the good (fictitious) king said upon returning home to his plotting wife after leading his troops to victory in the Trojan War. The story goes, wife Clytemnestra laid out a crimson carpet to highlight her husband’s arrogance by having him trample on the color of the gods. He walks on the carpet, but only under protest. Later, depending on which version you read, Clytemnestra or her lover kills him. Because, you know – tragedy.

A Swedish Rug

Evidence suggests that, while there’s a nice mythical quality to tracing red carpet back to ancient Greece, the practice more likely originated at railroad stations. According to Live Science, President James Monroe received the red carpet treatment in South Carolina, his hosts laid red carpet along the river in his honor in 1821. But it was not until the 1900s, when the luxurious 20th Century Limited train from Chicago to New York had passengers board and disembark on a plush carpet that the idea fancy people deserved fancy rugs, i.e. “red carpet treatment,” took hold.

According to the director of the Academy of Motion Pictures’ Margaret Herrick Library Linda Mehr, the red carpet was added to the Oscars in 1961.

Doris Day (1)

Doris Day at the Oscars, 1961
Via: (

 The television broadcasts of the awards show switched to color in 1966, and ever since watching our favorite movie stars traipse down that sanguine, hallowed walkway has become our chief vicarious indulgence.  It would be hard to name a more popular, or more American, fantasy than getting to be part of the Hollywood glitz.

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Jennifer Lawrence, 2013 Oscars
Via: The Gloss

So who is responsible for the actual red carpet at the Oscars? Today, it’s a man by the name of Joe Lewis. For seven years Lewis has been responsible for seeing that the carpet is ready and in place to carry the stars from their limos to the doors of the Dolby Theater. The carpet itself is 600 feet long and will be laid out today and vacuumed Sunday just in time for the wave of press to arrive.

Red is the color of blood and power. Cheerful, robust, vibrant, strong – a bold, red textile can imbue a bit of glamour and stateliness into any space, even if there’s no chance of Brad or Angie crossing the threshold. Check out DLB’s crimson textile tide here.

Four DLB Rugs in Michael J. Fox’s Home Designed by Gomez Associates

Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan

There is something magical when both the client and designer want to use the same vendor. This was the case for the recently published article in Architectural Digest featuring the apartment of Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan designed by Gomez Associates; Both longtime clients of Doris Leslie Blau.

Brooke Gomez did the preliminary shopping of vintage and antique rugs, as do all designers. The usual showing of the selection to the client took three hours instead of one. What we found at the gallery was an explosion of energy and creativity. They sought to bring together different genres of style while keeping in mind the clients need for a more casual and younger feel yet still having a sense of sophistication.

Michael J Fox living room

For the living room, they chose an unusually colored Oushak rug from the late 19th century with an overblown dramatic design. Brooke wanted a different sensibility for the dining room so she went for a mix of cultures by choosing a 1940’s French Deco rug by Jules Leleu.

Jules Leleu rug

The runner is inspired by a 1940’s Swedish rug designed by Barbro Nilsson. It was custom made in two months due to the very large size restriction of the hallway.

Tibetan striped runner

The bedroom needed to remain in soft colors yet have a bold pattern hence the Bauhaus design rug. The rug has a bit of silk to add extra luster and a nice touch to the feet.

Bauhaus design rug

The Doris Leslie Blau experience continues! To support the Michael J. Fox Foundation in finding a cure for Parkinsons, please click here.

Read more at Architectural Digest: Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan’s Manhattan Home

In Full Bloom

February is the shortest month of the year but it sometimes feels like the longest. Most of us are craving sunlight and long for spring to arrive. Until it does I give you flowers.

“Tulip” Designed by Charles Francis Annesley Voysey. A Donegal Rug. Circa 1920. 17’3″ x 13’3″. Continue reading