the allure of an aubusson

by Sharon Santoni
details from aubusson rug

Whenever I visit the Paris flea market, I always keep my eyes open for an Aubusson rug.

I really adore the soft and subtle colours of these flat weave tapestry rugs , they are still manufactured today using the same techniques as in the 17th and 18th century.

One of the reasons that the colours are so subtle is the use of natural dyes for the wools. Never gaudy, and also very resistant to light fading problems.
Of course, if I lived in a château then I may be tempted by a wall hanging tapestry …. but I don’t … and I’m not! I simply long for a good sized rug for a newly decorated bedroom……
Those with the deepest pockets can buy original tapestries to hang. Sothebys regularly opens bidding at around $25,000 on 18th century Aubusson, but there are many still being made today in the centre of France that maintain that very special look and feel.

Their designs and motifs are still totally in line with decorating today.

Many of these tapestries and rugs are between 9 to 12 feet long. Quite magnificent in the centre of a room. And even though they are so traditional and precious, I find they work just as well with priceless antiques as with contemporary feel of shabby chic and brocante.


And if a whole tapestry feels a little overwhelming, then there are smaller solutions like these stunning pillows sold by Soft Surroundings
aubsusson style cushions
So what do you think? … do you agree that an Aubusson is actually way more versatile then it first appears?


all photos thanks to Google, last image from Soft Surroundings



Mumbai January 13, 2016 - 8:18 pm

Though I have Kelims because the fit more into my home I also like Abusson. The second
and fourth in the picture I like most

Sharon Santoni January 15, 2016 - 4:12 pm

You may like them both because they share the flat weave technique, I’m the same!

Stephanie January 13, 2016 - 8:25 pm

Love! Love! Love Abussons particularly on footstools and pillows. I gave one to my daughter in NY for her studio apartment (9×12) and it makes the room look larger…thank you for your post, Sharon…any news on your friend’s timeshare project? I may have missed something on it; just curious! ❤️

Sharon Santoni January 15, 2016 - 4:13 pm

Hi Stephanie

lucky daughter!!

Thank you for asking about the timeshare project. For the moment my friends have put it on hold. If there is any news I’ll be sure to mention it here

Stephane January 15, 2016 - 5:42 pm

Thank you for letting me know! BTW I am sitting having a latte and watching my newly discovered MFCH YouTube channel! Fabulous…Great new post and great contest! ❤️

Deborah January 13, 2016 - 8:29 pm

Beautiful rugs, but out of my price range. I have wool rugs in my 1895 small Victorian, but found out recently that I am sensitive to wool. Who would have thought! So some may have to be removed. Shame!

Colleen Martin January 13, 2016 - 8:31 pm

Now I feel bad that I sold mine.

Sharon Santoni January 15, 2016 - 4:14 pm

whoops! 🙂

suzanna January 13, 2016 - 9:18 pm

LOVE them Sharon, merci for their history…..xo

Tara January 13, 2016 - 10:04 pm

Love them, always have.

Nancy Busch-Driver January 13, 2016 - 10:19 pm

I really do like the Aubusson rugs you have shown they are so lovely. I found a wonderful Antique Oriental rug, at an estate sale, along with a small Aubusson rug, a beautiful large Modern rug and a long India runner, all for a song. Love them all!!!

Susan (une femme) January 13, 2016 - 10:58 pm

I adore those colors and patterns, just gorgeous. What a find one of those rugs would be!

LadyL January 13, 2016 - 11:03 pm

Aubussons are magnficent and never go out of style. Timeless and beautiful works of art all the more as they age. They transform a room all by themselves.

franki January 13, 2016 - 11:10 pm

All about the Aubusson pillows!!!

Barbara January 13, 2016 - 11:42 pm

The problem with Soft Surroundings is that they won’t deliver the aubusson cushions to the UK!
Such a shame, as they are so lovely!

Afn January 14, 2016 - 12:16 am

Have admired Aubusson rugs and pillows for years. Thank you for sharing this collection.

Kathryn Gauci January 14, 2016 - 12:54 am

I have always loved Aubusson rugs and agree, they can add glamour to decor whether modern or traditional. The subtle colours are wonderful. My husband and I drove to Aubusson on a trip from Vichy. Most enjoyable.

Nancy Brantley January 14, 2016 - 12:59 am

Love Aubusson rugs and pillows. I have theses rugs in my living room and one of my bedrooms. I have pillows on sofas and chairs thru out the house. Just love Aubusson!

Leslie in Oregon January 14, 2016 - 2:07 am

I love the subtly-colored floral rugs and tapestries that you picture. Thank you for reminding me to the beauty of Aubusson. I would love to have one of their rugs.

Esther George January 14, 2016 - 2:11 am

Hi Sharon, I would have loved to own one of these beautiful rugs, but when I went looking I realised unless I won the Lotto, for now it will have to be a dream. I did find on line where I bought a few beautiful cushions and a table runner, they have a wonderful collection of French, European and US tapestrys in cushions, throws and some table runners (its like going into a candy store). If you ever get a moment have a look and see what you think. Thank you for sharing beauty. Till next time regards Esther from Sydney. PS I hope you are enjoying your beautiful winter, it’s so hot over here today, the garden is taking a beating.

Dana Veach January 14, 2016 - 4:07 am

Utterly exquisite…thank you for sharing them!

dottie monta January 14, 2016 - 7:04 am

That settles it! A must in my bedroom! Walls are lily, bedskirt and draperies and chair seat in pale sage, light hardwood floor, white bed linens, two Oriental, gold-leaf-framed florals on side wall. A rug as you beautifully illustrate will bring it together and say what I wish. How inspiring for my Spring! Thank you!

JaneEllen January 14, 2016 - 8:13 am

I enjoyed reading all the comments about Aubusons. Have to admit to total lack of knowledge about them. I loved #5 first and #3. I tend to go towards light pastel cottage look so those would fit in. Not that I’d ever get to have one but I’d love to see France and area where you live, how exquisite for you. Wish I could tail along with Granddaughter this summer when she goes to Italy for AuPair job, I’d just meander over to France. Had better see where France is, Maybe she’ll get to visit France. Her Mother always wanted to go there but when she was in high school /after graduation but we were limping along after raising 4 kids, had health problems then also. Poor kids we weren’t able to do much for them but raise them best we could. They’ve all seemed to do ok.
Have great week, glad to learn about Aubussons.

Susan January 14, 2016 - 9:27 am

I think they are all absolutely beautiful!
The colours are amazing, in my opinion, the more faded and “Washed out” looking, the better; more character!
I agree, old, antique rugs, team perfectly with any decor, traditional or ultra modern.
I can but dream!

LA CONTESSA January 14, 2016 - 3:59 pm

LOVE THEM………I OWN TWO paid $125.00 for one and I think the second was even cheaper!!!!!!!!!I ALWAYS HAVE MY EYES PEELED!!!!!!!!

Emm January 14, 2016 - 9:16 pm

Lovely rugs, and I especially like the one in the fifth photo.
Your post prompted me to look up and read some information on Aubusson itself. Interesting area.

Karena January 14, 2016 - 9:27 pm

Sharon these are gorgeous rugs and though my favorites are two and four, the florals , I picture perfectly in a guest room!

The Arts by Karena
Life Lessons: So Honored!

Angelina January 14, 2016 - 9:41 pm

I love Aubusson rugs but they are out of my price range… I do have one pillow but hope someday to have a fabulous rug!

Heather in Arles January 14, 2016 - 10:41 pm

I do adore them but the closest I have come to them so far is a Goeblin tapestry with what is “thought to be” an Aubusson surround. Well, at least it only cost me 15 euro! 😉

Iris January 15, 2016 - 12:32 am

A timeless addition to a room. I am more drawn to the pastel colours. Love the floral patterns.

Evelyne Williams January 15, 2016 - 2:20 am

Sharon, I just love all these rugs/tapestries, but you definitely need the right home for them. On another topic, when will we have another chapter of your story. In anticipation!!

R January 15, 2016 - 3:22 am

I love the Aubusson needlepoint rug in my daughter’s room as well as the Aubusson pillows in my living room! They are timeless and can add just the right touch of femininity and class. I would love to learn more about them, such as what to look for when shopping, reproductions versus authentic, etc. Thanks for yet another great post!

Kelly Archer January 15, 2016 - 11:53 am

Hope you don’t mind me posting a link, but we visited Aubusson in the summer of 2015 knowing nothing about the place, and I wrote a piece about it for my blog which I thought some of your readers might like to see:
For an artist like me it was a great experience and I highly recommend visiting the town if you’re nearby.


Diana ferguson January 15, 2016 - 1:05 pm

I love Aubusson rugs , especially in bedrooms. I have a Chinese-made copy of one which is very good and which graces our bedroom in France very nicely. I have always thought an original would be out of reach for me sadly. Are they not prohibitively expensive?
These are all beauties. I hope you find one soon. Diana

Charmaine January 15, 2016 - 5:48 pm

Never realized that the rugs were made in France. The muted tones are a nice change from Afghans and deep red Persians.

Maria Acevedo January 16, 2016 - 1:00 am

Dearest Sharon, ever since I was a child I’ve loved everything French and coming from a Spanish home it seemed unnatural to my family and friends. My strange addiction to all French things and my love for CoCo Chanel’s clothes, accessories and her perfume, Chanel No 5 in the sixties would drive my mother and nana insane. A relocated New Yorker with a house in the Caribbean and know relocating to AZ most of the year has me figuring ways I can bring all my French furnishings, (French Armoire) which I saw one like it in the French Quarters in New Orleans and could not believe the price, to my paintings, copper pots and everything else in between. I have my home done in Country French with a bit of Asian influence and will not change a thing! Love your site, Manifique!

Maria Machuca January 16, 2016 - 8:55 pm

Thank You for sharing your beautiful life .. Who ever made the famous saying I left my heart in San Francisco was wrong .. For me I left my heart in France .. In my dream list to someday visit your beautiful home ..

carroll January 18, 2016 - 5:34 pm

Send me the pillows ASAP, beautiful.

dawn sherman September 23, 2016 - 4:42 pm

do you offer an online decorating service? if so, i am very interested. Thank you


Leave a Comment