December 14, 2020

Carefully Coordinating Rug Colors and Patterns

Whoever says designing interior spaces is easy is probably a design genius, or a person who just didn’t care much about design. Experience may be a good teacher but as trends change, one must keep up with learning the new ways to achieve pleasant output.

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As straightforward as the steps may be, the entire mixing and matching process entails more than just filling up the entire room with furniture—especially if you want to incorporate a few rugs. 

These rugs come in all colors and patterns, and sometimes they just don’t go well together. To some extent, coordinating rug styles and colors may not be the hardest step in this process, but it does require certain aesthetic trade-offs and an artistic eye. 

There are a few design guidelines to help ensure colors and patterns work well together. 

Plain and Patterned

A no-brainer starter that designers consider to be safe yet classy is incorporating a bolder patterned rug into a neutral space. Furniture pieces and walls are void of prints and patterns that might jar aesthetic balance.

Oftentimes, a solid monochrome is the easiest canvas to work with, considering that colors, styles, and patterns rarely clash with this color scheme. The rug becomes the focal point that dictates the design of the room.

For other colors in the spectrum, choose a patterned rug within the same color range or hue to maintain the monochromatic ambiance. This technique avoids pitting colors and patterns against each other and establishes a central piece within the space.

Primary and Accent Colors

Put much thought into the primary and accent colors you want the interior space to have—it may pretty much decide the style of rug you can use. 

Some rug styles are confined to certain colors and might not be compatible with the primary and accent colors you choose for the room. Visit the color wheel and check which colors vibe together. 

Your rug must either be the primary color or the accent color of your chosen color scheme. Regardless of pattern and style, things go notably smooth once the color checks out.

Large and Small Patterns

The more daring designers and enthusiasts find combining different patterns an exhilarating task. But aesthetically pleasing results can only be achieved under certain conditions.

When fusing two different patterns in one room, make sure that they’re of different scales—large and small. Should one piece have vibrant and bolder colors and patterns, the other should be on the muted side of things, with smaller, less striking patterns. 

A pleasing mix would be pairing a jute rug or natural-fiber rugs with an animal-print themed room. Subtle stripes or muted patterns might go well with more vibrant colors that make the colors pop. 

Color and Pattern Uniformity

A tried-and-true design technique is the concept of uniformity. Whether it’s color or pattern uniformity, one can never go wrong with a consistent design. Decide on a theme and choose the pieces accordingly. 

If you’ve decided on a modern feel, then contemporary or transitional rugs go to the top of the list. A plain room requires a plain or muted rug, while vintage-themed rooms require traditional or Persian rugs that exude history and ancient vibes. 

This technique can be fused with the above-mentioned techniques, but it can work perfectly on its own. Aside from a uniform color scheme, echo the same patterns in varying pieces such as the rug, frames, and other fixtures. 


This technique is often used for bohemian rugs that are known to be a staple for layering. Flat-weaves often work well with this concept and create a dynamic aesthetic in any room. 

When layering, always start with the largest rug being the lowest layer and work your way up using smaller rugs layered on top of each other. However, it’s worth noting that rugs of the same color or complementary colors might be your best bet. 

If you feel like layering antique rugs, choose colors or patterns that complement each other. The closer the colors are, the more solid the impact. But if you want to explore a much more creative touch to any room, layer rugs of contrasting colors to give a splash of sophistication. 


Designing interior spaces has never been the easiest task but it pays to have a few guidelines to keep in mind. Let these guidelines make the task a little less challenging and see what best fits the aesthetic you want to pull off. 

While it is up to you whether to stray from these not-so-strict guidelines, odds are often favorable when these techniques are employed. At the end of the day, if you’re happy with the result, nobody can say otherwise. 

David Nourafshan

Passionate reader | People person | The one behind Lawrence of La Brea
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