How to Design Room Decor Around an Area Rug


Statement pieces…we see them in fashion as well as home décor and design, and one item that is often a major statement piece or focal point around which a room’s scheme is designed is an area rug. From an antique and handmade kilim to a lovely and modern shag rug, it is entirely possible to design room decor around an area rug.

Rug as Centerpiece

Naturally, the key is knowing how to ensure that the rug remains a focal point without being such an emphasis that the rest of the room seems to fade against it, or the reverse. It is not as easy or as difficult as it might seem, though. Below is a list of tips that can help anyone of any level of skill or experience to design room decor around an area rug.

Start With the Rug

Of course, before we can look at the ways to design room decor around an area rug, it has to begin with the rug itself. There is a bit of an art to choosing a statement rug, and here are some tips to help with that key part of the process:

  • Understand how that rug has to work with pre-existing features – As a simple example of this, consider how the colors and patterns work with the existing flooring (whether hardwood, tile or even stone or vinyl). For instance, it should have at least two hues that already exist in the room, such as red or brown to coordinate with a wood floor and a cream to accent the ceiling).
  • Balance bold to neutral – Does the rug have a lot of bold hues or big patterns? If so, you want to be sure the room also has that same weight or balance of bold and neutral. For example, a rug with just two hues (one dark and one pale) in a big and bold pattern needs décor that has a balance of two hues (one dark and one pale) in bold patterns, too. As an illustration of this, envision a cream and mustard rug in a room that has lots of boldly printed furniture in mustard prints, but against walls of a more subdued hue – coordinating or contrasting with mustard. This would emphasize the carpet, balance the space and set a wonderful tone.

It is not always easy to find rugs that work with what you have, so you may want to start from scratch…

Consider Blank Slates

Another way to design room decor around an area rug is to try the blank slate approach. In other words, don’t even try to match the rug to anything. Instead, choose a rug that really sings to your personal style and then build the room from the ground up. In other words, authentically design room decor around an area rug beginning with paint colors, wall art, lighting, drapery, upholstery, accents and all of the rest selected to shine the spotlight on the rug.

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