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GREEN ROOM

Green Room



2009 - Obama administration


Carpet Description

  • Savonnerie
    • French European


    • The Green Room is one of three state parlors on the first floor in the White House. During a state dinner, guests are served cocktails in the three state parlors before the president, first lady, and visiting head of state descend the Grand Staircase for dinner. The room is traditionally decorated in shades of green.Over the years, presidents and first ladies have used the Green Room as a small parlor for hosting guests and encouraging informal conversation. Helen Taft, the wife of President William Howard Taft, described the Green Room as her favorite.

      History of Savonnerie rugs

      Savonnerie rugs feature an elegant, and delicate floral design with intricate ornementation. The early history of carpets in France is tied to the story of two weaving ateliers, Savonnerie and Aubusson. The granting of a license by Henri IV to Pierre Dupont in France, 1608, to manufacture Savonnerie carpets is similar in spirit to the establishment of court workshops by the Mughals and Safavids, whose common aim was to produce superlative works of art, including carpets. Dupont (1577-1640) and his pupil Simon Lourdet (d.1671) set up business in an old soap factory, hence the name Savonnerie, which quickly became the label attached to the products of the factory - carpets, panels and wall hangings - all created exclusively for the court. Unlike early American or British carpets, no attempt seems to have been made by the Savonnerie atelier to emulate oriental carpets. A law was passed to prohibit the importation of carpets from the East to France in order to safeguard the Savonnerie workshop, which was granted a monopoly for the weaving of knotted-pile carpets. The seventeenth-century Savonnerie carpets have an opulent grandeur associated with them. The richness of the colours used and the supremely confident manner with which acanthus scrolls, classical motifs and floral motifs were handled, combined to create a sumptuous effect worthy of any royal household. In 1663, Colbert, one of Louis XIV's ministers, stipulated that a painter from the Royal Academy had to oversee the designs for the carpets and to teach drawing to the staff every month. Several important painters were associated with Savonnerie in this way, notably Charles Le Brun. Austere state economies, due to the financial problems arising from the wars in the latter part of Louis XIV's reign, were largely responsible for the decline of the factory between 1690 and 1712. However, it was later revived and produced very pretty feminine carpets akin to the prevailing styles in the other decorative arts of the era. Soft colours, delicately drawn flowers, floral swags and ribbons are typical. Its heyday was over and by the beginning of the nineteenth century, cheaper Aubusson carpets became popular. In 1825, Savonnerie was amalgamated with the Gobelins tapestry factory and its independent existence came to an end.



2007 - George W. Bush administration


Green Room 2007


Carpet Description

  • Persian Bidjar
  • Late 4th quarter 19th century
  • Border is a flowing vine with palmettes
  • Field has fantastic top color of aqua blue


In 2007, First Lady Laura Bush, in collaboration with the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, Bush family interior designer Ken Blasingame, and White House curator William Allman, refurbished the Green Room.The refurbishment retained most of the Nixon-era Conger and Vason Jones design. In this refurbishing, colors were updated and intensified, the moiré pattern of the silk walls becoming darker and the furniture and draperies were changed for a near-vermilion shade. The drapery recreates Edward Vason Jones' 1971 design but with the more intense vermilion in the silk and the painted cornice. The drapery design was simplified by removing four large tassels but retained the large bobble-fringe of the Nixon-era design. The green Turkish Kilim carpet installed in the Nixon administration was replaced by a late 19th century Persian Bidjar rug. Its design somewhat resembles an antique Savonnerie acquired for the Red Room by Stéphane Boudin. This room contains the only two paintings by African-American artists in the White House permanent collection, "Builders" and "Sand Dunes at Sunset, Atlantic City," both by Henry Ossawa Tanner.

Bidjar rugs

Carpets made in the Bidjar area in Northwest Persia are the most robust of any oriental carpets, due to their characteristic weaving technique of beating the weft into place with a long iron bar, which is inserted between the warps during weaving, then pounded against the wefts. These carpets are among the finest of Persian rugs by virtue of their design and construction. The quality of their wool is lustrous and soft. The designs vary, some are typical nineteenth-century Persian in style and produced in a rectilinear format. Others carry drawings that are classically precise or wildly tribal including pictorial or garden patterns. Red or cream grounds combined with a strong light or dark blue are typical. Synthetic dyes were not introduced in Bidjar carpets until after the First World War. They are distinguished primarily by their weave, which is perhaps the densest and most durable of all oriental rugs. Because of their great strength, they are suitable for areas of heavy wear in the home, such as hallways or landings. Bidjar carpets were made in a variety of sizes.



To Order

To place your order, feel free to contact us by telephone at (514) 735-1958 or e-mail us directly at admin@bashircarpets.com



1964 - Kennedy administration


Green Room 1964


Carpet Description

  • Aubusson

Above is a picture of the White House Green Room in 1964, looking northeast, showing decor adopted during the administration of John F. Kennedy, and with a chandelier substitution made at the request of new first lady Lady Bird Johnson. In 1902 a major renovation, guided by historical research, was implemented by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White. Layers of complex Victorian ornamentation were replaced by a style called Colonial Revival which was more similar to how the house was initially furnished. Heavily patterned floral wall covering was replaced by a simple green silk velvet. The c. 1852 Renaissance Revival mantel was replaced by a French Empire mantel purchased by President Monroe in 1819. A suite of reproduction French Directoire upholstered chairs and white painted caned reproduction English Regency furniture replaced a suite of overstuffed Turkish style sofas and chairs. Subsequent twentieth century presidents mostly maintained what could be described as an "Colonial" appearance with largely reproduction furniture. President Kennedy considered the Green Room to be the most attractive and restful room on the state floor.

Aubusson rugs

The Aubusson is a fine carpet woven in France from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Aubusson rugs were crafted with the assistance of architects and artists of the French royal court. They were originally made in France as a pile-less carpet with a floral medallion in pastel colors. Now, Aubusson rugs are woven in India and China with the addition of a pile. The Aubusson area was best known as an important tapestry-weaving center until great demand for knotted carpets provoked the installation of a carpet-weaving enterprise in the early 1740s. Initially the carpets were copies of imported Turkish designs with Louis XV being among the first clients. The demand for oriental rugs did not last, and the artist Pierre-Jose Perrot, who had already designed Savonnerie carpets, was called upon to design new carpets in the French style in 1750. The painter Le Lorrain produced a radical new design named "grande mosaique", which was a sophisticated precursor to the 19th century floral carpets. A central medallion of flowers is surrounded by dainty rosettes, flowers and garlands. Aubusson carpets were originally made as both knotted-pile carpets and later in the 18th century as flat woven, slit-tapestry carpets produced in the same way as their tapestries. The Aubussons that are popular and readily available today are typically flat weaves.

The Aubusson floral tradition was never completely abandoned, although the trend began to lean towards the neo-classical Empire style. That gave rise to elegant Savonnerie and Aubusson carpets, whose patterns are influenced by antique classical trophies or Etruscan and Roman motifs. These tend to be in a dark rich palette, sometimes in different shades of the same colour, resulting in a multi-dimensional look. Nineteenth-century Aubusson tapestry-woven carpets are popular today with interior decorators in Europe and North America. Trailing ribbons, bows and blowsy roses woven in soft pastel shades of rose, dovey greys, cafe-au-lait and pale yellows, conjuring a feminine look well suited for sitting rooms and bedrooms. Seventeenth and eighteenth-century Aubusson carpets in good condition are valuable finds - an Aubusson in good condition commands a very high price.



To Order

To place your order, feel free to contact us by telephone at (514) 735-1958 or e-mail us directly at admin@bashircarpets.com



1904: Roosevelt Administration



Green Room 1904

Carpet Description

  • Persian Kerman Carpet

The White House Green Room in 1904 following a major renovation by interior designers McKim, Mead, and White during the administration of Theodore Roosevelt. In 1902 a major renovation, guided by historical research, was implemented by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White. Layers of complex Victorian ornamentation were replaced by a style called Colonial Revival which was more similar to how the house was initially furnished. Heavily patterned floral wall covering was replaced by a simple green silk velvet. The c. 1852 Renaissance Revival mantel was replaced by a French Empire mantel purchased by President Monroe in 1819. A suite of reproduction French Directoire upholstered chairs and white painted caned reproduction English Regency furniture replaced a suite of overstuffed Turkish style sofas and chairs. Subsequent twentieth century presidents mostly maintained what could be described as an "Colonial" appearance with largely reproduction furniture.

History of Kerman rugs

Situated in south-east Persia, Kerman (Kirman) was one of the towns where the Safavids, descendants of the Sufi shaikhs, set up a court atelier. It has remained an important centre of carpet production ever since, particularly over the last century. An interesting influence during the nineteenth century was the town's tradition of woolen shawl production. Many local weavers produced beautifully woven shawls decorated with designs based on the floral-cone motif, the boteh, known in Europe as paisley style. As the demand for shawls declined, partly explained by the fact that by the late nineteenth century, similar shawls were being produced in Paisley, Scotland, the weavers were smart enough to adapt their skills to the increasingly popular skill of carpet weaving to successful results. Not surprisingly, the floral-cone motif is frequently seen in Kerman carpets in numerous permutations. It is often hard to pinpoint exactly what constitutes a Kerman design, as the motifs and patterns used are typical of many centres of Persian carpet production. Floral medallions and corner motifs are popular, as are flowering tree patterns and pictorial hunting designs. Pale washed-out colours such as beige and white are typical. The Lavar Kerman is a very finely knotted large piece, with an unusual overall small floral pattern on an ivory field. Lavars are a particular kind of Kerman which, although quite rare, are famous for the superb quality of the weave. Typically woven in pinky colours, Lavars are very popular in America.



To Order

Bashir Carpets can reproduce for you this Kerman carpet in the size and colors of your choice. For more information or to order, feel free to call us at 1-514-735-1958 or e-mail us at admin@bashircarpets.com



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