Five Ways to Work in a Patterned Area Rug

Guest Post courtesy of Kerrie Kelly, ASID.

While area rugs are generally used to add warmth to a space with hardwood or tile, they are also fantastic ways to tie room designs together simply and beautifully. Whether you go bold and colorful or minimal and geometric, patterned area rugs can anchor a space when tucked under a coffee table or dining room setting. Below we’ve chosen several of our favorite ways to work a patterned area rug into any design style, from traditional to contemporary.

1. Twin set

If you’re working with a large space and an open floor plan, we suggest using two individual rugs instead of one giant one. By using two rugs with complementary patterns and colors, you’re able to create two unique settings, so you can divide the family room and dining room or the kitchen and lounging space. To create this unique configuration, opt for rugs that are neutral in color but graphic in pattern. That way, your room isn’t filled to the brim with too many different shades, but instead flows from one area to the next.

Large open kitchen, dining, and living room

2. Bold and neutral

Oftentimes, the idea of adding a patterned area rug conjures up ideas of big, bright colors paired with eye-crossing patterns. In reality, adding a bold pattern doesn’t automatically mean pairing it with a too-hot hue! Instead, choose an active pattern in a neutral tone. Offset a bold design with simplified accessories in striking colors like bright orange, punchy red, and deep blue to add depth to your space without taking the focus off of your fantastic area rug.

Dining room with chevron-inspired rug

3. Go wild

We have always held the belief that some animal prints should be considered neutral. For instance, a leopard print with subtle coloration helps anchor a space that is begging for a little pattern. Its small-format pattern paired with cooler tones gives just the right amount of oomph to any space. We recommend adding a few colorful accessories, like throw pillows or window coverings, for added flair. If you’’d like to add a more organic pattern to your space, look into hide rugs. They provide just enough coloration and texture to spice up a space without sacrificing style.

Living room with cowhide rug

4.Mild and monochromatic

If you’re still hesitant about adding a patterned piece to your room, take baby steps by opting for a pattern in black and white. Simple geometric checks are a quiet respite from bold furniture. Patterns like these mimic classic black and white checked floors and look best when placed in a traditional or transitional setting. Add a bit of glamour with high-gloss finishes and acrylic accessories.

Dining room with black and white rug

5. Double Up

Finally, the rug style we love adding to our designs is not one, but two punched-up pieces. Take a natural fiber rug and one that is softer and a touch smaller and layer them on top of one another. Not only does pairing these two pieces together create visual interest, but it also tricks the eye into believing the area is bigger and more expansive than it actually might be — a win-win!

Living room with layered rugs

What is your favorite way to work a patterned area rug into your space?

About the Author
Kerrie Kelly is an award-winning California interior designer who writes on area rugs and other floor coverings for The Home Depot’s Home Decorators Collection. Kerrie is a major design contributor to the new area rugs guide on the Home Decorators site. You can view a wide selection of rugs on the site here.

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