The colors on my rug are definitely softer, lighter and MUCH more muted than pictured. I would call it a medium gray-blue. The pattern is not as crisp, which I was pleased with as it gives the rug more of an old-world feel. My rug did arrive slightly damp on the inside (possibly from rain during shipment?), which I thought was really weird. I contacted customer service and told them that I wanted to make sure I had the option of returning it if in case it started to get an odor. The woman said she took note of it and it would not be a problem. We propped the rug up to let it air out and put a fan on it. It dried completely and still does not have an odor over a year later. I have had trouble (thanks to an elderly dog) with stains. We used Nature's Miracle and got almost all of the discoloration out. I don't think anyone else would notice. Scrubbing did pull out an excessive amount of fibers, but tufted wool rugs aren't meant to be scrubbed. This rug did shed slightly more than another that I purchased, but not excessively so. Take note not to use a beater brush when vacuuming! It is also not quite as soft at my much more expensive XXXXXXX XXXX rug, but I have it in the formal dining room for looks and it isn't an issue for me. Overall, I am quite pleased with my purchase. My only disappointment (besides the weird dampness) was that it does have a noticeable amount of mauve in the pattern.