February 22, 2023

How to Curate a Space to Compliment an Area Rug

A rug can pull a room together, alternatively, a room can be designed around an area rug. We can't all be interior designers, however, we can make a space look and feel like it was professionally designed with these simple tips and tricks.

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Decorating a Space to Suite Your Rug

Decorating a space can be a daunting task, but one element that can make a significant impact on the overall aesthetic is the rug. A well-chosen rug can serve as a centerpiece for the room and tie together all other design elements.

When starting with a rug are your inspiration for the room, it's essential to consider the rug when selecting furniture and decor items to create a cohesive look. This article will provide tips for choosing the perfect rug for your space and walk you through how to curate your design based on the rug you’ve chosen.

Choosing a Rug

Before you start decorating consider why you’ve chosen your rug. What is the overall look and feel you’re going for? If you haven’t yet chosen a rug, choosing one that suits your style and the space's design aesthetic is essential. When selecting a rug, consider the following tips:


Measure the room and select an appropriate rug. A rug that is too small can make a room feel cramped, while a rug too large can overwhelm the space. Taking your space into consideration is a must. For example, are you a minimalist? Or a maximalist? A minimalist look is best accomplished by using clean lines and larger scale rugs, while a maximalist look could comprise of multiple different rugs of different shapes and sizes.


A colorful rug can add depth and interest if you have neutral walls and furniture. Alternatively, a neutral rug can balance the space if you have bold walls or furniture. Finding a rug with a color that inspires you is a great place to start. You can use a color-block styling method by picking out furniture or decor in contrasting colors for something more contemporary, while choosing something neutral allows you to buy furniture and decor in different patterns and colors. Color is an easy place to start, however, texture is another route to take if you’re trying to curate a cohesive space.


A solid-color rug can provide a visual break if you plan to have patterned furniture or curtains. Alternatively, a patterned rug can add interest if you choose to buy furniture pieces that are cohesive with one another, such as picking a specific wood or material such as glass or metal to incorporate throughout the room.


A rug's texture can add depth and warmth to a room. Consider the lighting of your space.  A room with large windows and natural light can pair well with a jute, or shag rug which can add depth without making the space feel more confined. A room with less natural light or lower ceilings is better off with something lower-pile such as a traditional oriental rug. Texture can be reiterated through curtains, pillows, and throws.

Creating a Color Palette

Once you've chosen your rug, it's time to create a color palette for the rest of the room that complements or contrasts the hues of the rug depending on the interior design style you are trying to emulate. Below are the various ways to create a color palette for the rest of your decor based on the rug you’ve chosen for the space.

Pulling Inspiration From the Colors in Your Rug

Examine the numerous hues in your rug, then decide which one or two you would like to stand out the most. You may build the rest of the room's color palette on top of these, which will serve as the foundation. This is one of the simplest methods when decorating a room with a specific piece as the focal point.

Picking a Neutral Palette

If your rug features vibrant colors or a detailed pattern, consider using a color scheme that is more neutral for the rest of the room. Because of this, the area will not feel as overpowering or disorganized. Neutral patterns are most suitable for modern and minimalistic spaces, however, you can also choose neutral base pieces, such as furniture or curtains, and add pops of color throughout the space through other decor items such as pillows or wall art.

Using Complementary or Contrasting Colors

If you want to add extra colors to the space, consider selecting colors that are complementary or contrasting to the hues of the rug. For instance, if your rug contains blue tones, you may create a dynamic contrast by including warm colors such as red or orange in your design. Depending on your style and the feel you are trying to evoke with your design, contrasting colors can create a particularly interesting and dynamic space.

Mixing Patterns

If your rug has a design, you could choose to combine it with other patterns, or use neutral colors and decor pieces to showcase the rug. Be sure, however, that rather than competing with one another, the designs enhance and accentuate one another. For instance, you might combine two very different patterns, such as a striped rug and flowery throw pillows in complementary colors. When using contracting colors, it's easier to use solid colors rather than patterns which can make the space feel cluttered or in-cohesive.

Selecting Furniture

After choosing the perfect rug for your space, the next step is to select furniture pieces that complement the rug's style and size. Here are some tips to guide you:

Scale Matters

The dimensions of your furnishings must correspond with those of the rug you have chosen. A rug that is too small might make your furniture appear crammed into the area, while a rug that is too big can make your space appear cluttered. If you want to play it safe, always leave at least 18 inches of floor space between the edge of the rug and the furniture. This is a decent rule of thumb.

Consider the Style

The style of your furniture has to be such that it is compatible with the style of the carpeting. For instance, a traditional rug would look incredible when paired with traditional furniture, whereas a modern rug would appear best when paired with sleek, modern pieces of furniture. However, if you have a more eclectic style, you can mix vintage and modern pieces together to bring some warmth and contrast into the space.

Mix and Match

There are no rules for mixing and matching different patterns and textures. If your rug has a busy design, consider furniture with a solid color in a shade that goes well with the colors in the rug. If your carpeting is more muted in tone, consider adding some visual interest to the furnishings through a pattern or texture.

Think about Color

When choosing furniture, you should take into consideration the colors that are in the carpeting. Depending on the overall aesthetic you want to achieve in the room, select pieces of furniture whose colors either complement or contrast with the colors in the rug.

Accessorizing the Space

Once you have selected a rug and furniture pieces, it's time to accessorize the space. This is often our favorite and funnest part. Accessories quite literally bring the space together, and these alone can tie in your furniture pieces with your rug. Here are some ideas for incorporating decorative accents that complement the rug's design:

Incorporate Different Textures and Patterns

Use throw pillows, curtains, and other decor items to add different textures and patterns to the room. Matching these items to the color scheme of your rug is one option, another option is to use contrasting patterns and textures. For example, with a shag rug, you can choose materials such as wood, fur, or metal to add to the space and contrast the warmth of a shag or high-pile rug.

Add artwork and decorative objects

Hang artwork on the walls and incorporate decorative objects on shelves and tables. These can add visual interest to the room and help tie together the overall design. Considering the frame material and color of wall art is essential for a well-designed room. Gold, ornate, vintage frames are trending now and can be incorporated in a mix of different design styles. Modern space look great with wood frames either light or dark, depending on your furniture pieces. Remember that a cohesive look, even when using contrasting colors, requires a common thread throughout. A great way to do this is by repeating materials throughout your decor pieces. Such as choosing a metal or wood to use repetitively throughout the room.

Take Lighting into Consideration

Lighting can significantly impact the overall look and feel of a room. Rather than relying on a single overhead light, incorporate multiple light sources, such as table lamps or floor lamps, to create an inviting ambiance. Use lighting to highlight the rug's design and texture. For example, a spotlight directed at the rug can create a dramatic effect. Dimmer switches are a great way to control the intensity of the lighting in a room. This can be particularly useful for creating a cozy atmosphere highlighting the rug's texture. The type of bulbs you choose can affect the look and feel of a room. Consider using warm-colored bulbs to create a cozy atmosphere.

Decorating a space around an area rug can seem daunting at first, but it can be a fun and exciting process when approached with intention and creativity. By selecting a rug that suits your style and the space's design aesthetic, creating a color palette that complements the rug's hues, selecting furniture that complements the rug's style and size, accessorizing the space with decorative accents that complement the rug's design, and lighting the area appropriately, you can transform any room into a well-decorated oasis.

David Nourafshan

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