Feeling stuck in the design process? Consider designing around your area rug!

Area Rugs: A Great Place to Start

Our first suggestion is to look back at inspiration and determine your style for the space to help guide major purchases like your sofa

In this post, part two of the series, we discuss choosing an area rug to help guide your design decisions. A rug can be a great source of inspiration for the entire space. For example, this room below we completed recently was designed entirely around the rug. It told us everything we needed to know to complete the room. Vibrant colour and a modern pattern in the rug suggested minimal pattern and graphic elements on the furniture and accents would work best. This way, these pieces stand up to the assertive style of the rug while having enough strength to hold their own.


See more of this project here

Rugs and Colour Palettes

Another great example, you can see from the image below how the rug introduced a colour palette that influenced the entire space. This layering of rugs introduced a colour palette that was continued in the sofa and chairs as well as the accent pillows. In a space like this simple art works well, or as you see here a mirror. Again, the rug is the star of the show.



If a client chose the rug below, it would guide them toward more muted hues and softer forms. Anything too stark or loud would overthrow the rug and the room would be out of balance.


Source: Weaver’s Art

A colourful rug can tell you everything you need to know to complete your room. See how the cushions and artwork bring the colours into the rest of the space? This is a really simple and effective way to make a space feel connected to a rug with big character.


Source: Caitlin Wilson

…but a vibrant rug could easily be interpreted in a more traditional way by using subdued hues.



Designing Around Your Area Rugs

To summarize, if you like the idea of using a rug as your guiding beacon of design in your space:

  1. Find a rug you love – Like truly, madly, deeply love. Sources of inspiration have to be powerful. Do not settle for a rug that is good enough. Find one that gives you ideas for the rest of the space. That is the one you bring home.
  2. Decide if you will complement or contrast – This is where it gets tricky. You need to determine what works for you based on the rug. You may want to bring the colours of the rug into the rest of the room or allow the rug to be the focal piece and standalone with it’s array of colour. (We are very helpful in this department! Give us a call if you need some advice.)
  3. Curate, curate, curate – Once you have decided between compliment or contrast, curate pieces, fabrics and accents that work to your overall goal. Refer to the images in this post. Pick up their style cues on how to pick pillows and chair fabrics. This will greatly help! (This is also what we do, so call us anytime if you’re interested!) 

If you are ready to find that perfect rug but don’t know where to start

See below for some rugs that we find particularly inspiring.



1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


And we have even more inspiration on Pinterest!