June 22, 2011


When I saw this photo of an antique suzani hanging in Lindsay Reid’s home featured in House Beautiful’s June issue, I thought, ‘That’s it.  Love.”

{Lindsay Reid’s house featured in House Beautiful Magazine’s June issue}
First of all, I’m crazy about layering large pieces of artwork/ textiles behind other pieces of furniture.  I love the layering, the overlap, the defiance of rules…
And second, I’ve been collecting pictures of crewel work & suzani for a while now, and I have to admit that they’ve grown on me in the strangest way.  They were definitely a huge trend and it wasn’t love at first sight for me, but definitely intrigue.  The pattens themselves didn’t completely float my boat right away, but I did love the handmade nature & detail & colors.   Once I saw this suzani used such a practical & perfect situation, it became love.  (I’m really not very good at paying attention to whether trends are in or out, I end up just liking what I like, not knowing/ wanting to know if it’s in or out.)
“Suzani is a type of embroidered decorative tribal textile made in certain Central Asian countries.  Suzani comes from the Persian word “suzan” which means needle.  Popular design motifs include sun and moon disks, flowers, leaves and vines, fruits (especially pomegranates), and occasional fish and birds.  The oldest surviving suzanis are from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but it seems likely that they were in use long before that. ” (info via wikipedia)  It entails stitching one fabric on top of another groundcloth.
I’ve always been a bit foggy about the difference between suzanis and crewelwork designs so I looked into it.
Here’s a close-up of a crewelwork pillow used by Peter Dunham:
… In this dining area I mentioned last week:
{Design by Peter Dunham featured in House Beautiful}
Crewelwork is an embroidery technique that is at least a thousand years old and suzanis are just type of textile that are created using crewelwork.  (Other crewelwork textiles include Jacobean embroidery & Quaker Tapestry and the list goes on & on.)
Crwelwork runs gamut from Traditional English textiles to Eastern Tribal textiles.
Anyway, one of the most common suzani themes is the medallions/ discs…
Here’s another of my favorite spaces using a suzani layered over a settee paired with a (gorgeous!!) framed antique ikat.  (Again, I love the layering of the piece behind the settee.)  This was the first photo I saw (in March of 2009) that really piqued my interest in suzanis.
{Anne Becker’s apartment featured in Elle Decor}
Here are some rooms featuring suzanis in unique ways.  Here it’s used as a room divider:
{From Domino via Style-files.com}
I love the fresh pink & aqua scheme & it’s used as a rug:
{Elle Decor}
They are particularly gorgeous framed:
{IMage via In Every Corner}
And I love them layered on beds:
{Domino via Little Green Notebook}
..And one last picture of a suzani as a hanging tapestry:


{Image via Laura U}
Hope you’re having a great week!  (This is my husband’s last week of school- yay!!!)  Also, thanks so much for all of the sweet comments about the Home & Design feature.  I really apreciate it!!
For some more posts on suzanis, check out:
Cote de Texas– Written in ’07 with serious detail & sources
Little Green Notebook – has some great framing ideas & sources for purchasing

xoxo, Lauren

If you’d like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive design inspo, exclusive content, shopping guides, and more.