How Vanderbilt’s taste influences modern design

Written By Holly Clark

Posted 04/28/15

Updated 04/28/15

For the Home

Our stunning new Legacy Rug Collection, hand-knotted in 100% New Zealand wool, is directly inspired by similar floor coverings in Biltmore House. These heirloom-quality rugs are sure to become treasured keepsakes that last for generations.

“We really love this new collection,” said Donnette Miller, Licensing Director for Biltmore, “because they make beautiful accents for almost any room, whether modern or traditional. Two of the rugs are also perfectly on-trend with Pantone’s choice of “Marsala” as their prestigious 2015 Color of the Year.”

Biltmore's rug collection

Our archives indicate that as construction began on Biltmore House in 1889, George Vanderbilt and architect Richard Morris Hunt traveled to Europe with a goal of purchasing furnishings for the interiors. Vanderbilt bought case after case of furniture, decorative accessories, tapestries, art objects, and as many as 300 rugs at one time. (An original rug shown, right) 

There is no sign that Vanderbilt ever worked with an advisor other than Hunt to assist him with purchases. What is clear from looking at receipts and other documents is that Vanderbilt for the most part purchased what he personally appreciated and what he wanted to be surrounded by, not what was most popular, most valuable, or most likely to impress others.

A quarter-century of inspiration

Twenty-five years ago, Biltmore began working with our first licensed partners to develop furnishings and accessories inspired by the collections in America’s largest home.

We partnered with Capel Rugs in 2005. Their Legacy Collection takes inspiration from Biltmore’s collection of floor-coverings, borrowing design motifs and updating the color themes to coordinate with today’s home décor. (Detail of original rug show; left)

According to Donnette, “Great style never goes out of style, and we think it’s wonderful that a color and a design that appealed to the Vanderbilts 100 years ago is relevant today.”

See the collection here.

White V

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