4 Best Tips For Playing With Area Rug Patterns

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Herbert Read said, “Art is pattern informed by sensibility.” That’s a great lesson to apply to including patterns in home décor. You take your own sensibility, introduce patterns and before you know it, your home has become a work of art. 

But there are dos and don'ts one should consider in the application of patterns, especially as they apply to rugs. While we absolutely encourage playing with patterns, you might be less than thrilled with your look if you don’t follow a few suggestions. Just as a painting comes to life as layer upon layer of acrylic or oil paint is added, such is the case with making a patterned rug work in a space. It needs to flow with the canvas below it. And to master this patterned rug technique, we’ll examine the 4 best tips for playing with area rug patterns in this guide.

To start, you might be asking, are some patterns off-limits? By all means no. Variety is the spice of life and adding in contrast with textiles is one of the best ways to bring a room to life. That said, some patterns don’t play nice with others. So we’ll spell out what to avoid as much as what to embrace in this tutorial. 

Another thing to consider before we dive in is that pattern doesn’t just mean zigs and zags, swirls and stripes. Color can be a pattern as well. So think about your palette before beginning your rug search. 

Without further ado, here’s a look at some pattern tips:

Start Neutral

Take it from the art world, one common painter technique is to paint their canvas a solid color or toned ground first. This sets the tone for the picture and provides a space to build from. 

You can use the same approach when introducing a patterned rug to a room. This can mean filling a room with neutral-hued furniture or neutral window treatments. Keeping the underlying look of the room one hue can help make a patterned rug pop and stand out without competing against other patterns already in the space. 

You can also stack a rug on a neutral carpet to bring out a fresh texture that makes a room warmer and inviting. For instance, this Manhattan Patterned Shag Gray Modern Area Rug from Luxe Weavers has a distinct interlocking wave pattern that would look great amidst a creme room.

Choose Color Wisely

As mentioned above, color can be part of a pattern or the pattern itself within a rug. And one way to make it all come together is to let your color pattern set the tone for the entire room. For example, if your rug features bold blues, like this Luxe Weavers Oriental Nayara Collection 7160 Blue Area Rug, bring those out in other elements within the room, like a bold blue lampshade or a bold blue vase. 

Say you want to exaggerate your neutral base. Deploy a rug that neutral hues to match like this Luxe Weavers Maria Collection Grey Abstract Area Rug. The cool white and grey tones in this gorgeous rug will highlight the neutral colors throughout the room bringing the entire look together. 

Keep Your Patterns in Check

Listen, it’s easy to fall in love with patterns. So many have a mesmerizing quality and it’s a natural instinct to keep wanting to add more. But easy does it. Throw too many patterns in a room and you’ll make your guests dizzy. 

Smart pattern deployment begins with restraint. A good designer rule of thumb is to stick to no more than three patterns in any given room. And use similar color families. Want to add a chevron rug to a space like Luxe Weavers Chevron Collection 3400 Mango Geometric Area Rug? Great. Just remember that if you want to add Greek Key curtains, they’ll make more sense against your chevron if they’re in a similar color palette. 

Why can’t you go crazy on the patterns? Well, of course you can, you just run the risk of making a room feel chaotic. And who wants that. According to Psychology Tomorrow magazine, interior design can affect emotions evoking a positive or negative response depending on the design. So if you want to create a sophisticated space that makes people relaxed, an explosion of mix-matched looks might not be the right approach.

Consider the Space

What patterns look best has a lot to do with what you do in each space. In a bedroom where the goal is sweet dreams, soothing flowing patterns might be ideal. For a kitchen where loud gatherings take place, you might opt for a rug with a little more playful look. 

Recognizing how you want to feel in each area of your home will help in selecting the right rug pattern for each space. To that end, this Luxe Weavers Madison Collection 9060 Light Grey Geometric Area Rug might feel too subdued for a kitchen, but might be just right for a formal living room with its Zen rock garden qualities. 

To find more patterned rugs to fit your needs, visit luxeweavers.com