Transitioning Away From Apartment Style

Creative Ideas For Decorating With Rugs

by June Holland

Area rugs are an easy way to update a room in your home. Instead of sticking with the traditional décor rules, though, get creative in your mixture of patterns, colors, shapes and textures.

Mix Patterns

Common decorating wisdom states that you shouldn't mix patterns. However, it's possible as long as you're careful with the colors. If the patterns are right next to each other, the main colors must match exactly. For example, start with a classic rug with navy and white stripes. Place on top of this one or two ottomans also in navy and white but with a bold floral pattern. Draw the colors throughout the rest of the décor for cohesiveness.  

Blend Styles

Another common misconception is that you should maintain a single décor style throughout a room. Instead, start with a contemporary room with clean lines and geometric appeal. Add to this the unexpected – acowhide rug. The cowhide rug adds instant warmth to an austere space. Don't add any other western details, opting instead for a few colorful decorations that mimic the shapes of the spots in the cowhide rug.

Texture over Color

While color usually takes center stage, it's not the only design element you can showcase. Let the texture of a rug speak. For instance, monochromatic rooms can be soothing and chic. Start with a spa-inspired bathroom in which white is the dominant hue. The impulse is to add a pop of color with traditional bathroom rugs. Instead, choose soft, fluffy rugs in white. The fuzzy look of the rugs adds dimension to the space.

Play with Shape

Another option for cohesive design is utilizing geometry. For instance, select a bedroom set with clear geometric shapes in the design. Echo one of the shapes in your choice of rug, perhaps matching the circles in the headboard with circles in the rug pattern. Choose a different shape to draw through in the throw pillows. Keep layering the shapes throughout the décor while maintaining a similar color palette.

Layer Rugs

Do you already have carpet in your home? Use area rugs to add interest to a neutral carpet. Southern Living Magazine suggests layering different patterned rugs over your carpet for a creative feel in your space. Use the rugs to delineate spaces, such as an ethnic pattern for the sitting area and a striped runner to indicate traffic patterns.

Whether you choose to mix styles, play with patterns or let texture take center stage, area rugs afford you the opportunity to have fun with your decorating style.