Design Dilemma: The Virtues of a Patterned Rug | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: The Virtues of a Patterned Rug

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A patterned rug scares a lot of people. It’s a commitment, a statement, something to regret in a few months time.

And here’s where we differ from the common point of view: To our mind, there’s nothing more “right” for most interiors and here’s why:

1) Since most people choose solid larger furnishings, like sofas and chairs, patterns give a room a needed pop of interest.
2) Patterned rugs can tie disparate elements together in a way that a solid rug can’t.
3) Patterned rugs are more practical for those with kids and pets. They hide stains masterfully, as well as normal dirt and grime.
4) They can singularly project whatever style you’re hoping to accomplish in one fell swoop— sophisticated, whimsical, traditional, tribal.
5) They’re fun!

Don’t believe us, just take a look.

Imagine how boring this living room would look without the patterned rug. Beige walls, beige sofas, solid drapes. A neutral pattern maintains the soothing ethos of the room while still spicing things up quite a bit.


modern living room how to tips advice

Here’s another room, a dining room, that gets a major style boost with a graphic black and white rug. The rug is perfect under a table, because the pattern will help hide spills.

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The patterned rug in the interior below helps to tie together the whole room — the cream sofa, the blue walls and the brown chair.

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Okay, so if we’ve convinced you, you may be asking yourself how to choose the best patterned rug for your interior.

  • First, above all else, you need to evaluate the feel you are hoping for. For example, let’s say you have a modern style that you’d like to feel “timeless.” Think about adding a Persian rug to your interior.
modern dining room how to tips advice

See how the dual Oriental rugs in a modern interior provide the space with a classic feel? Here’s another example:

contemporary living room how to tips advice

Or, let’s say you have the opposite situation — a very traditional interior that you’d like to give a modern flare.

Below, this leopard print rug in this traditional interior is totally unexpected. It takes a room which would have seemed traditionally “safe” and gives it a funky, modern feel.

eclectic living room how to tips advice

Eclectic Living Room by Newport Coast Interior Designers & Decorators The Troop Group

Below, a bold graphic rug takes fairly traditional furniture  into “modern primitive” territory.

contemporary living room how to tips advice
  • After you’ve decided on the feel you’re after, think about the colors in your room. Choose a pattern that picks up on those. Below, black and white is the theme.
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And here, the red of the chairs and the dark panel at the base of the curtains is picked up in the rug.:

contemporary living room how to tips advice
  • Avoid the trends, or use them in smaller doses. One reason many folks are suspicious of patterns is that patterns are inherently trendy. Remember the psychedelic prints of the 60s that later fell out of favor?  Who wants to sink a lot of money into a patterned rug that will be considered miserably out of style in a year or two? For that reason, whether you’re looking for a modern rug or a traditional rug,  stick to classic patterns that  have withstood the test of time.  Oriental rugs, stripes, tribal patterns found in kilims are always a safe bet. When you see a lot of a type of pattern — the much vaunted chevron rug for example — know that this pattern is likely to fall out of favor relatively soon. It doesn’t mean you can’t buy a chevron rug, but you may want to use this pattern for a smaller rug that might easily be changed in a few years.

Below is a chevron rug that looks great, especially when combined with the patterned wallpaper.  The design vision in this room seems clear enough that the rug will hold its own as it clearly reflects the homeowners personality. But be aware that in a lesser context, chevron is likely to  seem passe in a few years time. If you get a chevron rug, it should absolutely work in your interior and you should love it!

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