A sensation for your eyes: Style with color and pattern, but first choose the right size for your rugs

Posted by Darling Spring on

Rugs are great artworks on floors, and your rug should please you every time you look at it. They should resonate with your lifestyle as well as your personal style, and with their color and/or pattern, they should act as a graphic statement.

A tutfed rug in blue and red tones

But before talking about our favorite part, let’s cover a couple of tips to choose the right size of your area rugs and runners. Contrary to the individuality of color and pattern choices, there is a right and wrong way to the sizing of a carpet.

As we’ve talked about before, rugs cluster furniture around intimate areas, and this can be achieved by allowing two feet of floor space around the rug’s perimeter to define the area from the walls. Keeping all furniture legs resting on the rug is a rule of thumb in living rooms. While you can select larger sizes that outline the perimeter of the area, you can also make an exception for your sofa by keeping its front two off the rug and go with a smaller size.

The rugs under your dining table should allow your chairs enough space to be pulled away and to sit evenly on the floor at all times. This generally equals to extending the size of the rug two feet larger on each side of the table.

A tufted rug in black ann gray tones

For your bedrooms, while you can apply the two feet extension rule on each side of your bed to be able to step from bed to softness, a runner rug can serve this as well. As per the design definition, your bed will become the focal point of your room with a rug.

You might think kitchens are better off with tiles or mosaic flooring, but in front of your sink and stove is where you stand in one spot for long periods. A runner rug perfectly set six inches away from the cabinets would ease foot, leg, and lower back pain.

Two runner rugs half rolled

Finally, entryways and hallways. Entryways are great first impressions like smiles. Keeping your rugs wider than your doorway will provide comfortable and celebratory greetings, like a welcoming smile. And for good measure, you want to be able to swing open your front door and keep that area clear from obstructions.

Hallways, the great passages for running kids or passing kisses with your significant other, require six inches of floor space on each side, and a rug pad underneath your runner rugs would do wonders.

Always keep in mind that when you can’t visualize a space, you always have painter’s tape to apply dimensions on the floor, and voila! You know the right size.

So here comes color and pattern, the fun part of choosing a rug! The color and pattern you choose will tie the look of the room together and create the oasis you thrive for.

Color has a whole theory of its own, and your home would need different tones according to the function of its rooms. Whatever your style or personal favorites, there are general guidelines that make the functions of a room work well with some combinations.

A small area rug in an airy room

An emphatic use of color goes easy on the eyes, and a balanced look with paired colors would calm, give comfort and rest. Living rooms would benefit from dominant beiges, grays, and complementary hues. If your living room is on the sunny side, it’s a good idea to choose cool colors to balance the hot and bright sun.

While lighter colors would visually expand the size of a room - a significant benefit for a living room, darker shades would give you intimacy and work well in your bedroom. The darker you go, the richer the color becomes, and the more dominant it will be. 

A purple smalle area rug in an airy room

Earthy tones always work in the rooms in which you spend long hours, and you can spice up the hues in your kitchen and dining room to revive energy. On the other end, nurseries and reading nooks perform well with soothing shades so you and your little ones can relax.

Colors are major trending topics, and it is quite remarkable that our tendencies toward certain hues reflect our moods, feelings, likings, thoughts, and even our world view. Colors have always had the power to define eras in history—the Scarlet red of the Victorian Era, the pink and yellow highlights of the eighties. You get the idea. So while it would be somewhat inhibitory to offer specific colors in designing interiors, luckily, there is a rule of thumb that would be of help to choose whatever color you are looking for to go well with what you already have in your home. 

Flatwoven Wool Small Area Rug hung on a wall as tapestry

There are generally three colors that would work well in a room. The dominant color composes the most space with 60%, and most of the time, that would be your furniture. The secondary color would compose 30%, which would work well as a complementary color, a hue, or a shade, but preferably not a contrasting one. Keeping the color of the flooring in mind, the secondary color would be the right one for your rug. And the remaining 10% is the accent color for your decor, and you can play with variations to your liking.

Patterns, then, can be chosen according to your upholstery choice. If your primary furniture is solid colors, liven up your space with a slightly patterned rug for a nice flow. A subtly patterned rug will also provide a grounded feel and allow the decor colors to pop. But if the upholstery is patterned, say with damask, a solid color for your rug would be easy on the eyes and pop the damask.

It is always safer to order swatches, and feel and see the material in the room itself to assess the tones and to test the cleaning materials.

Finally, whatever you do, stay away from department stores to avoid big markups. Go for handmade, designer area rugs, and support everyone included in the process of creating timeless pieces from artisans to small businesses. Because in the end, your rug is the heirloom you’ll leave to future generations that serve to tell your story.


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