When it comes to area rugs, we often take the safe route, opting for solid designs and neutral colors. But a patterned rug or two can unify disparate elements in a room and make a sea of plain upholstered pieces suddenly come alive.
Our ancestors originally used area rugs to warm up cold stone or dirt floors. Today, with central heating, their purpose tends to be more decorative—although they still come in handy for trying to muffle sound or providing a soft surface for baby’s first steps.
Throw a pattern into the mix, however, and utility becomes versatility. Dull becomes divine. And great things start to happen.
Granny squares. This rug has all the charm of a hand-knitted shawl. The spunky homespun quality has a sweetness all its own. It works especially well here with what appears to be a collection of handed-down, heirloom furnishings.
Fraternal twins. Although these two rugs are very different, they’re similar in size and color. The Chinese art deco dining rug helps anchor the table and chairs with its broad band of pink and mustard. In the living area, the Persian pattern swirls about under the glass-topped Barcelona table.
Tastefully restrained. This Doris Day blue dhurrie unites the decorating scheme with a little pluck, but not a lot of fanfare. It offers a quiet pattern underfoot that coordinates but does not compete with the chair upholstery or the beige paint job.
Bold and neutral. This may seem contradictory, but this rug has an active pattern in very neutral tones. The contrast of the charcoal and oatmeal pattern gives it a real kick. The rug holds its own against the punches of tomato red in the pillows.
Brought to you by chevron. A classic tile pattern rendered in wool makes a striking statement. The large scale of the pattern is very important: It’s bold without being busy. Keeping the colors to a minimum helps to create a very welcoming room.