The Design Dilemma series I started on the blog last year was a reader favorite, so I’m continuing the series in 2017. To bring the newbies around here up to speed, readers write in with design dilemmas, some specific to their own homes, some just general design questions, and I brainstorm ideas and solutions to address the decorating quandary at hand. One general question I’ve received from a number of readers is, “How do you coordinate rugs in an open floor plan?”
Before we dive I think it’s important to note that I personally believe there are no hard and fast rules in design. I believe design is in essence an art form, and the beauty of such is found in the eye of the beholder. There’s always more than one right answer. In selecting rugs for an open concept living space it all comes down to your own personal style.
There’s No Shame in Matching Rugs
The use of area rugs in an open concept living space is vital to the design. They create the illusion of differentiation without walls or dividers. Obviously when you have several different rugs in direct view of each other you want them to coordinate, to flow seamlessly. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using matching rugs. Is it the easiest solution? Maybe, yes, but it doesn’t necessarily equal the most boring or even the safest bet. Using matching rugs could actually be the most tricky design choice because the key to keeping the space from being a total yawn is in bringing in a good mix of textures, patterns and/or colors. And let’s face it, creating a good design mix is often easier said than done.
Design By Sheldon Harte of Harte Brownlee & Associates Interior Design
There’s plenty of interesting happening up above here. The natural fiber area rugs break up the space beautifully adding in great texture and laying the perfect foundation for the mix of patterns and colors in the space. The end result is classic and timeless.
In a stacked living and dining area another way to add interest when using matching area rugs is to break them up with a coordinating, patterned runner.
Natural fiber rugs (jute, sisal, seagrass) work really well, but matching rugs with a large scale pattern can bring some major visual bang to the scene. Going with matching patterned rugs requires a bit more commitment. Opting for something in a neutral color palette will keep the design possibilities open.
Design by Tara Seawright
Cowhides and Natural Fibers Play Well With Everyone
Already have a patterned rug and trying to find something to coordinate with it? Virtually all rugs look great paired with either a cowhide or a natural fiber rug. It’s a fool-proof, classic combination.
via Southern Living
Here the cowhide is layered over an oriental, and you can clearly see how this combination meshes well together.
Another layered rug example here below, but you can see that even if these rugs were in different rooms they would flow seamlessly.
Natural fiber rugs are always a win in my book as you can typically source really large sizes affordably. I scored the 9×12 in my dining area at HomeGoods for $150!
Stick to One Color Palette
Want to mix different patterned area rugs but not sure how? Different styles, textures and patterns in rugs will coordinate well if they’re within the same color palette.
Go With the Same Style
Creating design flow in your home doesn’t necessarily have to mean choosing rugs within the same color palette. You can accomplish the same thing with rugs in many different colors if you go with the same style.
In this scene above the rugs are all uniquely patterned and colored yet united in their moroccan boucherouite style.
Here again these rugs in their various shades all work together because they’re the same style with the same depth of color.
As I mentioned at the start of this post, there’s always more than one right answer when it comes to design. It’s really more about what looks best to you and fits your personal aesthetic. You can pretty much mix any combination of rugs together so long as they coordinate in color and/or style. If you’re totally stumped, you can never go wrong with a natural fiber, cowhide or solid color area rug. Here are few fun combinations to get your creative design mixing juices flowing.
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If you have a design dilemma you’d like to see covered here at Our Fifth House, shoot me an email at Carmel@ourfifthhouse.com. with “Design Dilemma” in the subject line. I’d love to help you brainstorm some design ideas!