Adding an area rug to a space can make a room feel comfortable, homey, and bright. The right carpet can ground your furniture, absorb noise, and define a space. However, choosing this carpet is very difficult, especially if you’re incorporating it in an already-furnished or designed space. When you set out to find this carpet, you’ll brush up against two major design choices: color and pattern. Here, I’ve described how, exactly, you should make these selections based on your pre-existing design.  

Color is one of the biggest considerations homeowners face when picking out an area rug. Will you use the article to tie a design together, or will you use it as the foundation of a brand-new look? Either way it is essential to note that observing an area rug hanging in a show room is not the same as seeing it in your home. Showroom lighting and vertical hanging can distort the color of the carpet. When choosing a carpet color, always ask the sales associate to bring the rug down and place it on the floor. You’ll be able to observe the color and pattern in the round—the way it will be experienced in your home.  

If you’re looking to coordinate your rug with an existing color palette, most designers recommend following the 60-30-10 color rule. 60 percent of the room should feature the dominant color (walls, the largest piece of furniture), 30 percent should include the secondary color (often where rug choice comes in), and 10 percent is your accent color (presented in the form of lamps, vases, throw pillows, or accents on a carpet). If you have a pre-established color palette, use this rule to guide your color choice.  

Choosing a pattern is nearly as difficult as choosing a color. Some homeowners enjoy wonderful and ornate pattered rugs, while other prefer a more simplistic approach. Deciding to go with a patterned area rug is a personal preference of style. When doing this, however, be sure to consider the other design elements in the room. If you are starting the design with an area rug and building around that piece, you can allow yourself more flexibility in pattern selection. If you already have established patterns, you’ll want your carpet to reflect that choice.  


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