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A resource for thoughtfully crafting an artful lifestyle and tips for desiging spaces
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Top 4 Ways a Rug Can Make Or Break Your Living Room
July 21, 2019 — No Comments

Decorating can be tough, especially when you’re starting from scratch. Mixing and matching styles and patterns, staying on budget, there are so many different moving parts, it can sometimes become overwhelming. So where do you start? Or where do you restart when the room you thought was finished just still doesn’t feel “right”? Sometimes, the place to start is at the bottom– and by the bottom, we obviously mean the rug!

Rugs can have a huge impact on a space. They can be used to complement other patterns or decor, they can be used as the focal point, or they can be used to further a theme that already exists in a room. Even expert stylists like Emily Henderson can get stumped by a rug!

When thinking about rugs, it is always good to keep in mind the different aspects of the rug and how that can impact the look of the rest of the room. Below are four elements we think are most impactful, and good to keep in mind when decorating:

  1. Size
  2. Color
  3. Pattern
  4. Style

How To Choose The Right Rug Size

When it comes to rugs, size matters! The size and placement of a rug can transform your space. It can create separate areas in a larger room, bring an entire room together that maybe felt disjointed before, and it can even make a small room feel larger.

How do you know what size rug though? This is a tough question to answer because there are so many different factors involved. It depends on the room size, what other furniture will be inside the room, and what the room set up for the furniture will be. We often suggest that customers lay everything out and then cover the space where the rug will live using either tape or newspaper to give an idea of what the area rug will look like in the space. It’s a great visual tool, and it can usually tell you if a different size might work better.

If you are struggling to figure out what size works for your room, check out this post we did on How to Find The Perfect Sized Bedroom Rug and keep your eyes peeled for more posts about rug size. We’ll be tackling a few more rooms in the near future!


Mix, Match, Or Contrast Color 

Color is also a huge factor in choosing a rug. You want to choose a color that you like, of course, one that you will enjoy seeing every day in your home. You also want to make sure you pick a color that works with the rest of the room and any rooms that are visible. For instance, if you have an open floor plan, your living room rug shouldn’t clash with your dining room rug, but they also don’t have to match perfectly.

Sometimes that means sticking with one color family, like only earth tones. We love how Chelsey from City Chic Decor decorated her studio. She stuck with one color theme, white and grey, with accents of gold and pink. She kept her rugs in that same color scheme to create a light and airy space.

Another color approach is to choose a rug in a complementary color with other items in the room. Complementary colors are essentially just colors that appear opposite on the color wheel, like purple and orange– though adding too much may appear to clash if the colors are too saturated.

You can also add a shade of an already existing color in the room. If the room already has some blue in it, you could find a blue that is in that same family and focus your rug search using that color. We suggest checking out paint chip cards either online or at a paint shop, which makes it easy to find other similar colors that are in the same family. Just make sure that you don’t end up with an entirely blue room!

Adding a Pop of Patterns 

When done right, patterns are an amazing decorating tool. Patterns are surprisingly versatile, and we love to use them as both a focal point in the room and as a neutral backdrop.

Our favorite way to use patterns is to add a little extra oomph to a room. This comes in handy when the room is very minimalistic or if maybe you don’t have any art on the walls. In those instances, you can use a patterned rug as your “art” and create the room around it.

With that being said, they can easily overwhelm a room. If you have a patterned couch, you may want a more simple living room rug; if your bedspread is a bold focal point, you may want a bedroom rug that compliments rather than detracts from it. Luckily, we did an entire blog post about how to mix and match patterns titled Patterns on Patterns. In that post, we walk you through the process of picking the right pattern.


Style: Putting It All Together

Last, but certainly not least, you have to think about style when choosing your new rug. Imagine your whole home is super traditional, lots of dark intricate mahogany furniture: you wouldn’t want to pick a shabby chic pastel rug to add to the mix. It just wouldn’t look right! Try to pick a style and stick with it. This doesn’t have to mean the entire home should be one style type but room by room it’s for the best if you stick with one type of look.

Of course, with every rule, there is an exception. There are certain styles that you can mix and match. For instance, if your entire room is modern, sometimes a traditional area rug, maybe in a more modern color, can look stunning. Or if your room is modern but your home is in the woods, try a southwest or lodge style rug to incorporate that environment into your home.


Let Us Help Find Your Perfect Rug! 

Although we just went on and on about the different aspects of a rug that can make or break a room, these are only suggestions. When you are decorating your home you have to love what you are creating, so if one of our suggestions doesn’t work for you, find something that does. After all, you are the one that will get to see your creation every day.

On that note, if you are still unsure of what type of rug to buy or what direction to go in when decorating your home, contact us! We are experts at finding the perfect rug and we want to help you find yours!


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The Authors: Kate Roth