Plaids, florals, stripes — a good Oriental rug can stand up to almost any other pattern. These tips can help you master the effect.
Article provided by: Lisa Frederick
Early in my writing career, I interviewed a designer who had used variations of the same color in her home for 20 years. When I asked if she’d ever thought about getting rid of everything and starting the palette over from scratch, she gave me a long look and said, “You don’t just throw out your Oriental rug.”
Point taken. If you’re lucky enough to have an authentic Oriental, you want to hang onto that baby until it’s time to hand it down to the grandkids. So when a pal asked me the other day how to make other patterns work with an Oriental floor covering, I sensed an ideabook in the making.
No matter what its color, scale, origin or pattern is, a good-quality Oriental rug never goes out of style, and it works with just about any design scheme. But there are a few secrets to showcasing it at its best.
1. Keep patterns in the same color family. You can’t go wrong with visual echoes, as this living space testifies, and this strategy is an effective way to fold a series of patterns into a pleasing package. Layers of blue tie a busy Oriental rug together with patterned pillows and a grid of artwork.
2. Celebrate the art of the clash. This homeowner didn’t even try to pretend to match the pink throw pillow to the rug beneath, and the result displays an irresistible swagger. The key is not to include too many mismatched patterns — if you go overboard, you’ll create a sense of chaos rather than confidence.
3. Dilute the effect with neutrals. Two separate Orientals, plus a global-print blanket tossed over the headboard, are separated by generous swaths of white wall paint and hardwood flooring to keep them from overwhelming each other.
4. Keep the setting monochromatic. The walls, sofas, draperies, pillows and flooring in this space all have a similar orange cast that allows the rug to take center stage. Although there’s a hint of pattern in the textiles, it remains in the background.
5. Combine classics. Timeless patterns — plaids, zebra, paisley — mingle in this masculine sitting area, underpinned by the lush Oriental carpet. Like a Chanel suit and a pair of spectator pumps, classic motifs and pieces will always work well together.
6. Repeat rug colors in the furniture. The rich reds and blues in this Oriental rug are carried out in the blue sofa and red Chinese-style chest. Despite the other patterns thrown into the mix, the overall effect remains unified.
7. Pay attention to scale. A medium-scale pattern on this rug contrasts with a much smaller one on the chair upholstery and a larger one on the draperies. Varying the scale provides an ebb-and-flow energy that brings the room to life and ensures that its patterns don’t compete.
8. Add a little whimsy. A cheeky rooster print on the armchair in this space nods to the cottage-meets-traditional setting. It’s unself-conscious and completely at ease, and that helps the patterns get along.
Article by: Lisa Frederick, Houzz Contributor. Fresh out of journalism school, I fell into decorating media and immediately discovered a new passion. An Atlanta native, I spent several years as an editor for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine before making the leap to national publications and websites such as Houzz, Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Accents. I live in Birmingham, Alabama, with my husband and son, who’ve gotten used to coming home and finding the furniture rearranged. When I’m not dragging case goods across the floor, I enjoy good food and wine, college football, music of all kinds, and traveling.
For over thirty years Esmaili Rugs and Antiques, Inc. has offered clients an unsurpassed selection of exquisite, handmade Oriental rugs from around the world. With such a large selection of vintage and antique rugs, we pride ourselves in being one of the leading importers of fine rugs in the Dallas and Fort Worth Metroplex. We are constantly filling our showroom with new rug shipments. Currently, we stock over 4,500 rugs. Whether you are looking for antique rugs, vintage rugs, new rugs, carpet and stair runners or tapestries, you can be assured that you will find it here. We are one of Dallas’ “hidden treasures” and you will definitely want to check it out!
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