Tom Delavan’s work space at Gilt Home’s offices recently appeared in the New York Times. A mix of modern lucite, white aluminum and a hand-woven Beni Ourain carpet, it is an idea that has been explored by early modernists such as Frank Loyd Wright and Mies Van der Rohe. Delavan floats his über controlled white rectangles on top of the creamy pile and atavistic black patterns of North Africa.
William Pahlmann, a legendary decorator of the 1950’s, was another interior design pioneer who experimented with Beni Ourain rugs. He designed ‘a living room with walls, ceilings and moldings painted deep neutral shade of cream’… and stained the floors ‘an almost ebony color, a shade that contrasted boldly with a large ivory and brown Moroccan rug woven in a traditional manner’. *
He mixed the contemporary Beni Ourain rug with a pair of Louis XV fauteuils, a Danish Modern sofa and French and Spanish tables. His daring design was punctuated by vivid shots of color: robins egg blue, malachite green and coral ….
The evolution of Pahlmann’s concept is present in Delavan’s own brilliant mix of sheer tangerine, tropical green, pure white balanced against the neutral cream ground of his Beni Ourain rug from Imports from Marrakesh.
* Legendary Decorators of Twentieth Century by Mark Hampton p. 143-144