Inspired designers are reviving the old-fashioned practice of upholstering chairs, ottomans and more with Oriental rugs, minus the Victorian fustiness

Upholstered with overlapping Persian rugs, the reception desk that greets visitors to the Beekman, a newish Manhattan boutique hotel, exudes cozy glamour. Conceived by New York’s Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, located in New York and London, the unique contemporary piece also nods to the Victorian era, when the hotel’s landmark structure was built and carpets weren’t used only underfoot. Back then, rugs were sometimes conscripted to clad furniture, and the monumental reception counter is a particularly ambitious example of this old technique made new. There are, however, sofas, ottomans and chests anyone can buy:...

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