In The Big Lebowski, our unlikely hero The Dude risks life and limb (and a little toe) over his area rug. Why? “It really tied the room together, man.”
It’s hard to overstate the decorating impact of a good rug. Literally the centerpiece of a room, it corrals all your disparate furniture into a unified whole. Finding the perfect area rug is easy if you keep these tips in mind:
Not too big, not too small. Always leave at least three feet of border space between the wall and your rug. It’ll make your room look bigger. If you surround your rug with furniture, the chairs should at least reach the edges of the rug. If it’s too small, people may trip on the edges as they’re coming and going.
Oriental rugs, like the Safavieh Classic may seem to have a zillion colors, but if you squint your eyes, you’ll see a few predominant color sets stand out. You don’t have to match one exactly, but if a minor color in the rug (the rose, in this example) matches your chairs, the whole package will magically weave together into a coordinated set.
On the other hand, matching a solid colored rug too closely with your chairs can look monotonous. A green chair on a green rug, like this Surya Modern Classics, will make you happy only if you’re really, really into green. It’s better to choose a complementary color (one that’s on the far end around the color wheel). Imagine how well a purple, mustard yellow or cream colored chair would look with this green. Another option: choose a tint of your predominant color. If your furniture is a deep green, this lighter green would work wonders, becoming the bridge that connects your pieces.
It’s tempting to match shapes too, but usually the opposite tactic works better. A square pattern on a square rug in a square room with square furniture is too much organization even for the obsessive-compulsive. Swap a round rug instead, and suddenly the whole room softens. On the other hand, a contemporary space with open floor plan, wavy walls and plush, rounded furniture needs a rectangular rug to reign it all in for an organized whole.
For a patio, the whole outdoors is your palette. Consider the predominant color and shape patterns of your house, yard and garden. This Mazatlan Outdoor Rug would be smashing in an organized flower garden, while the Piazza Vente Round Rug would be ideal for softening the edginess of a boxy deck.
As a rule, match colors but contrast shapes. Once you see how the perfect rug ties your living space together, you’ll understand why The Dude risked his life to get his rug back.
- Michael Campbell, guest blogger