How to Choose the Perfect Area Rug Color for Your Space
An area rug can work magic in a room from the ground up. But do you go big and bold or soft and neutral? Here's how to choose an area rug color that makes sense for the look and feel of your space.
Relax With a Rug in Soothing Shades
Want to give your room a serene ambiance? Lay down a dreamy, beach-colored rug. By sticking to gentler tones like pale blues, greens, and purples, you’ll “ground” a space with calm. This is perfect for a still space like a nursery or reading nook.
Cool, watercolor-inspired colors look like they’re farther away, so think about where you’d want to make a room feel bigger. A feathery gray rug, for example, can keep a family room feeling open, modest, and inviting.
Always think about lifestyle and foot traffic when choosing a softer color for your rug. You might love the look of a white shag, but spilled snacks and clumps of pet fur can ruin the whole aesthetic. Choosing a thick, textured rug can help hide messes in light-colored fibers.
Cozy Up With a Rug in Warm Tones
Warm colors are friendly. Think tropical colors, like reds, oranges, and yellows. If you want to add energy to a dining room or patio, search for a vibrant rug in these bold, summery hues. These rug colors feel lively and creative, so they’re perfect for conversation spaces.
You can tweak the color temperature of your rug for just the right amount of warmth. If you want a richer, fuller vibe, choose a deeper rug color. Pull in a rug with heavy chocolate tones for bedroom bliss. Choose a sturdy tawny rug for a simple downhome kitchen. An added bonus? Wood accents are commonly found in these spaces. They’ll play up the familiar comfort of warm colors.
Blend Multicolored Rug Patterns With Decor
Think about how a combination of colors in your rug can affect the rest of a room. What tones can you pull in from your pillows, vases, and other decorative accents? Match your multicolored rug to that surrounding decor for a cohesive look.
Take cues from your upholstery to avoid color clashing. Pair loud patterns with quiet colors and vice versa. For example, bold, colorful prints in your furniture fabric and curtains should be paired with a neutral rug. A vividly patterned rug can bring life to solid-themed decor. A room with too many colors and patterns can look busy, so keep things balanced.
Go easy on the eyes. Choose a rug with two to three colors side-by-side on the color wheel. For a sophisticated, contemporary look, choose a rug that mixes subtle greens, greys, and blues. To pull of an earthy desert scheme, use a rug patterned with intense reds and rustic tans. Check out the Top 5 Trending Rug Patterns for more ideas.
Use Color Contrast to Establish an Anchor
If you’re not a fan of the vibe in your room, your rug color can shake things up. Simply use contrast. The difference between light and dark can swing your aesthetic in a different direction. This is especially true if you’re decorating with rugs on hardwood floors.
Picture how a moody traditional color or lively pattern can bring dimension to a sparse, airy space. It adds visual weight so the room looks fuller. Your furniture and decor also seem more pulled together with a strong color border. The same goes if you have a floor with darker wood grains or carpeting. When you layer it with a light-colored rug, the room won’t look as cramped or stuffy.
Using the color wheel, find tones that mimic the walls or flooring that you’re trying to contrast. Choose a rug in a color directly opposite. This ensures a complementary color pairing, which will keep your design looking intentional.
Blend Solid Rugs for a Harmonious Look
Looking for something more monochromatic? Choose a rug color that doesn’t call attention to itself. In a whitewashed space, muting your rug can help a room to seem super tall and open. This makes sense for a farmhouse entryway or a spa-like bathroom when you want to create a clean, simple feeling. Natural fiber rugs work great for this aesthetic.
Matching the shade of your rug to your floor also helps to raise the focal point in a space. If you have a beautiful view, piece of art, or statement furniture that you want to highlight, keep the emphasis upward by disguising your rug. Your rug’s texture can help to maintain a bit of interest below.
Still can’t choose a rug color? Consider laying different rugs in the same space. Check out 5 Tips for Layering Rugs for a unique, stylish way to tell your color story.
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