Decorating with bold, colorful areas rugs can be a daunting proposition. It’s risky business, after all they’re usually costly pieces and could very well wind up clashing with whatever else you curate. Many people avoid the notion altogether, but every once in a while-even if trying to ignore them-you fall in love with a richly dyed Turkish Kilim or block printed Indian textile. The rug is so stunning you decide you must have it and will deal with whatever consequences. Well not to worry; there are some guidelines that, when followed, will make sure work of designing with such an extraordinary textile.
One of the pitfalls of choosing a bold area rug is the possibility for a color clash. Those vibrant, overdyed reds and oranges look great until you get them in your room with its forest green accent wall. To avoid this choose neutral wall colors-white being the safest bet but earth tones and shades of gray can work as well. Similarly, larger pieces of furniture like a sectional sofa should be neutral in tone; natural linen upholstery in a variant of white or grey is a good option.
Concerning the smaller decor items like throws and pillows; choose one of the colors in the area rug’s pattern and reference it. Work off a gradient of that color (you’re unlikely to find exact matches anyway), which will create depth and nuance within a subtle range. This is effective as it makes the space lively without overwhelming the carefully chosen floor textile, or you and your guests.
Black and White
Of course, a rug can be bold without being all that colorful. If, for example, it has a pattern with an expressive, powerful design yet it is black and white. In this case you can throw off the reigns and appoint wall and upholstery colors at will (while still following sound design principles of course). Even with a commanding pattern a black and white rug will pair well with any furniture and paint tones of your choosing, making it a good option if you are looking for a bold rug for a presently furnished space.
Don’t Cover It!
Well, don’t cover it too much. After all this is a rug you have fallen in love with and absolutely had to bring home; you aren’t going to want to hinder the view with a huge sectional, coffee table and upholstered chairs. If you have a lot of space to fill, then choose a larger couch and go light on the accessories with wood frame chairs and a narrower coffee table or one with a glass top. Or you could forgo the couch and have a larger coffee table surrounded by chairs. Whatever route you go; just make sure enough of that lovely pattern is still visible!
Make it a Runner
When in doubt about blending a bold rug with other decor items, try it in neutral territory like a hallway or stairwell. There will be little chance of it clashing with decor items and the kinetic pattern will liven up an otherwise utilitarian space. Plus that sophisticated, colorful pattern is good for hiding any stains it might receive in a high traffic area.
Again, use these tips as guidelines, but don’t forget to let loose and have fun with your project. Take chances, choose decor and furniture that catch your eye, but try to maintain a vision of the overall look you’re going for. You have set the tone with a colorful area rug; use it as a reference point while going about designing the rest of the space.
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Placing the correct size rug in your space is as important as choosing the right color or pattern. A rug that it is too small will shift the balance of the room unfavorably. A rug that is too big, especially in open floor plans, may put the area designations off. There are a few rules of thumb, but a picture says it better. Use these handy guides by Interior Designer Lisa Ferguson to make the best choice.