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: DorisDay.net (http://www.dorisday.net)

 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.

Bold but Wise: Five Steps to Inspired Design

How can we make outstanding, boundary-bursting design decisions while simultaneously resting assured that we aren’t going overboard?

It’s not easy, but keeping the following in mind can safeguard against creating something that will seem prematurely dated in years to come.

Know Thyself

I loved the mint-colored runway looks of spring 2012, but that pastel green wasn’t a longstanding favorite of mine, so it would’ve been a mistake to entirely redo my wardrobe with it. The same goes for interiors. Don’t get talked into a color or aesthetic trend because it’s hot now if you weren’t previously drawn to it.

decoholic                           Via: Decoholic

These violet kitchen accents paired with sharp structural lines are absolutely electrifying, but I assume the choice was a deeply personal one – no one else could tell someone this was the right decision for him or her.

Know the History

Cost, materials and quality are obviously crucial information for big purchases, but digging deeper, knowing a bit about the biography of a furniture piece or textile will ensure better decision-making. Plus, an item that has already stood the test of time is unlikely to look tired in the near future.

pantonVia: Eternamente Flaneur 

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Greek Key in Rugs – Accentuating What is Common to us All

The most common design used in ancient rug making is the Greek Key (Fret). This design is basically characterized by a meandering pattern, taken from the twisting and winding Meander River in Turkey. Why was Greece connected with this design when this river is located in Turkey? The reason is that: in ancient times, when this particular carpet style was formed, Turkey was under the occupation of Greece. Since the ancient Greeks were basically eclectic in their approach, the cultures of other countries they occupied were used and applied in their own native land.

ImageModern Greek Key rugs and carpets have taken up this particular motif from the design of the mosaic floors in ancient Greek and Roman structures. This motif can be considered as one of the oldest art forms in human history. In fact, it can’t really be ascertained if this design form started with the Greeks. Some historians have indicated that it may have originated as far back as the Minoan Civilization, from the first inhabitants of Crete.

The interesting thing about the Greek Key is that it can also be found in numerous ancient civilizations including that of the ancient Aztecs and even in Chinese culture. Some historians attributed this to the elemental ideas prevailing in humans whatever the time period is, causing this design pattern to arise independently in varied cultural settings. It is then safe to consider that since this motif has appeared in almost all of the countries in the world, it must appeal to something that all peoples have in common.

tnw520-bb3033This early 20th century Chinese rug has a variation of the Greek Key on its borders.

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An early 20th century Samarkand rug has a similar version of the Greek key to the Chinese rug.

And because of its common appeal, we now have Greek Key (Fret) designs in modern day carpets and rugs. Our collections of these types of rugs will surely find resonance in the hearts of many people.

ImageA modern version of the Greek Key.

Art Deco/Art Modern Rugs – Streamlined and Sleek

If you like the beauty of simple and clean lines in modern houses, as well as in various house furnishings, it means you appreciate the value of Art Deco/Art Modern. This style is characterized by streamlined artwork such as clean lines and curves as well as bright colors, as opposed to the traditional intricate lines and ornate curves and dark colors of the past. This modern style originated in the period between the two world wars mainly initiated by the Bauhaus movement. The term Art/Deco was first used in L ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes which was held in Paris after World War I.

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The curvy and clean lines in this Art Deco Rug separate the soft tones of beige and browns, to help create a modern standout pattern.

The excellent reception given by the public to the superior elegance of the custom made interiors at the expo paved the way for interior designers to follow suit. Aside from the interior designers, other craftsmen, artists, and manufacturers all over Europe and America began to incorporate the innovative aesthetic ideas of Art Deco/Art Modern in their works. The streamlined character of the decorative arts of what is called the Machine Age began to appear in rugs and carpets in the mid-1920s to the 1930s.

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 A second quarter 20th century Art Deco rug exemplifies the art deco style with layers of abstraction and color.

At this time, dramatic changes in styles and patterns began to appear in furnishings and other decorative products. But the fad died a natural death in the 1940s. However, it came bouncing back in the late 1980s and through the 1990s. This modern art style is captivating because of its combination of versatility, luxury, function and cacophony of colours.

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Art Deco/Art Modern is essentially eclectic in nature because it combines Aztec and Egyptian elements. It makes extensive use of pyramidal shapes and strong and sharp angles. This art style also combines metal furniture with lacquered woods, together with geometric glass shades. You would be correct to say that some of its elements are caricature-like in appearance.

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Geometric shapes mixed with sharp angles and in this early 20th century French Art Deco rug.

 

 

Colorful Ikat Rugs

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The love of ikat patterns in home decor continues.  The tie-die-esque designs are popular among today’s interior designers and design-lovers alike.  The mix of colors, organic patterns, and cultural references is immediately appealing, giving any room where ikat is used a splash of bright and vibrant global design.  While ikat continues to reign supreme in smaller home accessories like cushions and trays, the colorful patterns are also making there way to flooring.  Beautiful ikat carpets are a wonderful way to make a large graphic statement, and can even be the basis for an interior’s color palette.  Here are a few of my favorite ways to bring ikat rugs into a room.

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 A simple navy and white ikat rug makes quite an impact in this neutral living room.  The  pattern is just enough to add interest to the room’s decor.  Look for ikat patterns in classic color palettes, like navy and white to add the pattern without overwhelming the space.

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In this vibrant room filled with purple, pink and orange accents, it is the ikat flooring that brings the space together.  Every hue in the interior can be found in the rug’s colorful design.  Look for an ikat rug with a range of colors that you can build your room’s entire color palette upon.

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In this adorable seating area, the ikat rug is used to bring the room’s various floral elements together.  The rug looks like a bouquet of flowers, and mimics the floral chandelier, and floral brocade on the sofa.  Look for ikat pieces that can tie into the theme of a room.  Florals, chevrons, or even strong hues like yellow and purple can be brought to life with a unique ikat rug.

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This purple ikat rug has bits of white and gray present in the design.  It can be the perfect complement to a room’s color palette in the same sophisticated hues.

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A bright and sunny yellow looks perfect on this ikat rug.  Brighten your space with an ikat piece like this one that comes in upbeat colorway.

ikat blog pic 7So many shades of blue exist in this one ikat rug that goes from aqua, to teal, to navy.  A rug like this would look perfect in an otherwise neutral space.  Us it to add both color and pattern to a room.

ikat blog pic 8Go graphic with an ikat rug in a dark shade.  This one in graphite and gray will do the trick, and it is sure to add a sumptuous element.

Explore a range of colorful ikat carpets and samples at Doris Leslie Blau.