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How would you decorate around this rug?

14 years ago

This is my dining room rug. (Please click on "room scene.") Just across from it, in the LR, is a companion rug with very similar colors in it. The LR rug has a bit more true turqoise or aqua in the medallions.

These rugs drive me crazy. Really crazy. One would think that with all these colors it would be easy to choose wall colors & furnishings to go with them. It's not.

I have Queen Anne Pink walls that seem to work well with them. Pink sofa & ivory chairs & ivory curtains do too. But what else would work? I just tried painting one small wall in the DR with Palladian Blue sample paint. The color is a slam dunk for the medallions in the rugs, but it looks garish & gross on the wall. I think I need a warm color. Gold, btw, looks hideous with the ivory curtains/chairs.

In the Karastan pic I posted, the walls look kind of "Lancaster Whitewash-ish." The one upholstered piece in the room is ivory.Is that the best choice? With the big, dark, navy field, I felt I needed more color than the Linen White that I had in there. That's why I went w/the pink, to warm things keep starkness at bay. What do other people who own these rugs use with them?

My DR rug seems to have enough red in it that a pair of red accent chairs I have actually looked pretty good on it. Could I do a red sofa? Then what color walls?

Should I just get rid of these rugs & start over with a new color scheme? DH said I could sell them on E-bay (have only had them 2 years!) I don't really know how to do that, & don't want to lose money either.

One bit of good news: Was in a furniture store last week & saw that the 9x6 version of my LR rug now cost what I paid 2 yrs. ago for a 9x12! The other rug has been discontinued.


Here is a link that might be useful: Afshan rug

Comments (28)

  • 14 years ago

    I tend to "ignore" my persian rugs a bit. I have done rooms for people where we pulled all the colors from the rugs, but I think it looked kind of static until there were things in the rooms that did not coordinate with the rug.

    These rugs, in my mind, are like blue jeans or a navy blazer, that you wear with things that, technically, involve treating the jeans or blazer as if they are not a color.

  • 14 years ago

    Here is what I mean. Upholstered chair doesn't "go" with the rug, neither does painted chair. Wall color works with it but is not pulled from it.

    Conversely the size of the pattern of the chair is different from the rug so they don't fight on that level.

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  • 14 years ago

    What about going with a salmon or taupe color for an accent wall and pick up the blue in pillows and matting for art work. It is a beautiful rug. Anyway...that is just how "I" would roll.

  • 14 years ago

    That rug is so gorgeous I'd want to hang it on the wall and just look at it. If I had to put it on the floor I'd want it to be the center stage and everything else be the blue jeans in the room.

  • 14 years ago

    Palimpsest, thanks for your response. Was intrigued in the past by your thoughts on rugs & design, & I'm so glad you posted. As you can see in my own "room scenes," the one in the LR is quite busy, even busier than the DR! The colors are so "in your face" that I don't know that I could employ your strategy with these particular rugs. I do agree, it works beautifully in the photo you posted. That rug is very muted & light though!

    Oh, & Palimpsest, have notified the powers that be here about the change in my identity! Sorry about that, don't know how that happened!

    Vampire, thanks! Yes, I've wondered about bringing more blue in through the artwork.

    Justgota, thanks so much! Glad you like it! I've felt like they were such a huge mistake...a real "what was I thinking" purchase!

    Btw, I have to say, none of my furniture or curtains are as shiny as they photograph! Yes, they have a sheen, but not like this...! Probably, it's my camera. I can't adjust the light w/it.

    Here is a link that might be useful: room scenes/rugs

  • 14 years ago

    What about a mid tone grey?

  • 14 years ago

    Rose, thanks, but I wonder if a grey dining/living room wouldn't be a tad depressing? I like grey, but the good thing about my current wall color is the glowy nature of it! The two rooms combined would mean 30ft. of grey (length-wise)...I don't know.

    I just wonder if I shouldn't start from scratch & do something completely different! Afterall, I've had this scheme for over 2 years now! LOL! Dh doesn't mind spending the money if "it will make me happy." I just would like to change as little as possible to get a good result, in order not to spend (I DO care about spending the $$!) Thanks Rose.

  • 14 years ago

    Our DR rug is a carry over from our last home. I like the rug very much, though the colors don't really go with any wall colors we have in our new home. The rug has rust, not red in it. It has aqua, not sage. And cream, not mustard.

    But it was too expensive to discard and we like it. So I'm using it anyway and we think it works in spite of the color mismatch.

    Maybe you should just do what you like and let the rug work on its own.

  • 14 years ago

    Ok no grey, what about a deep rose color? I think the blue is nice too but you need a deeper blue than what you picked IMO. The blue you picked is too pastelly (is that a word?) for the rug.

  • 14 years ago

    Hi Stinky!

    Don't you dare get rid of those rugs. They're gorgeous!

    When I was reading your post, I had a color in mind and found something close on another thread.

    I love brown and pink. It's always looked great with blue, too. If you did a brown that wasn't too awfully cool, I think it wound serve as a great background for your pastels.

  • 14 years ago

    After seeing your photos -- check around the paint sites for a much "deeper" and richer salmon pink.

    Or -- look for a deeper toned warmer taupey gray -- which would look fantastic (think of "Swedish" or "Belgium" decor -- VERY hot right now!)

    Maybe one of our brillant virtual artists would do a paint change for you! Try posting a photo of the two rooms .... and see if they will ......

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  • 14 years ago

    I agree with the advice to kind of ignore the rug, and decorate the way you like. I first noticed this a few years ago when I was looking at a house that a couple of guys had completely redone. Gosh every room was to die for. After awhile I noticed the gorgeous rugs on the floor. Not one of them had anything to do with the colors in the room. It's weird, but it seems that if you decorate with the rug in mind, the rug springs to life and takes center stage and points to what does or does not match. But if you ignore the rug, it does its job and just sits down there on the floor where it belongs (even one as gorgeous as yours!). To test out this theory inexpensively, I would drape some blankets, towels, etc. anything you can find in the colors you are thinking about, around the room and see what you think. I like the idea of the pink wall exactly for the 'glowy' nature you describe and I think you would miss that.

  • 14 years ago

    I am trying to find a small color snapshot and scan it. My great aunt lived in an 1810 log house and moved into it with things from her first marriage (1920) and second, and from various city about 1950. She had a variety of rugs, all bright, all different patterns and origins, layered, all in the same room.

    In 1950, although that one is a BW photo...she had bark cloth drapes with a huge pattern, as well.

    The thing about what went on top of the rugs, is that it was all strong, too. I would try to look for images of work by Carleton Varney, Albert Hadley, Sister Parish, etc.
    Its kind of an old-school look, but I think it works.

  • 14 years ago

    Stinky I love your style and what you have done with your home.
    I am glad to learn that what I have been doing with my oriental rugs is not so bad! I do like the blue jean analogy very much!
    Stinky- new identity? like in the witness protection program??? just curious!

  • 14 years ago

    Mona, I think your rug is really pretty, & your chairs look great with it, especially the ones at the table! Thanks for your reply! Btw, I think we have the same striped fabric:


    This chair (I have a pair) is the one I mentioned looking pretty decent w/the living room rug. Made me wonder about doing red! But have new plans for them now...they're going in the new home office I'm in the process of creating.

    Rose, yes, that's exactly the word my dh used--pastel-y! He said it's just way to light, if I want blue, to go deeper! It really is hideous. I never knew a pretty, classic color like Palladian blue could look so horrid. Thanks again!

    Parma, Hi! Thanks for the photo. It's very pretty. I love the idea of brown walls too (don't know if dh would!) The thing that's prevented me from doing that is, while I think I'd love it w/the upholstery, my dining room furniture would disappear against it! That's the really limiting thing about having the lr & dr one big room! What looks good in one, doesn't necessarily work in the other. Thanks! I'm still going to explore it.

    Thanks so much, Teacats! Will look into those colors. They do sound very nice.

    Bestyears, you are in the same school of thought as Palimpsest! Very interesting. Hmmm! I will test it out more as you suggest. You like the glowy pink walls? Actually my dh says, "You got it right the 1st time (wall color) & you just can't live with that!!!) He really likes it. He doesn't think it can be improved upon, but he keeps patiently listening to me whine & watches me paint boards (& walls) in an effort to change it. "Whatever makes you happy" is his motto, but he suffers through a lot of my angst in pursuit of this elusive decor bliss I seek!
    Thank you!

  • 14 years ago

    Thanks for looking for photos, Palimpsest!

    Cooperbailey, thanks for the lovely compliment. Would like to see your rugs too, if you have pics!

  • 14 years ago

    My opinion: I would love to see a warm, dark coral. Almost an orange-red.

    The blue could be beautiful, but it is too pastel. Need to go mid-range, not dark and not too light.

    But the one thing that I noticed while looking at your album is the lack of pattern. The rug is the only true 'pattern' in your DR.

    Look at monablair's pictures, for example. She can ignore her rug a bit because she has other patterns. A stripe, a pattern on the chairs under the table, a pattern on the tile. And maybe one or two other things (table runner, curtains) that have other patterns.

    Bring in some animal print lamp shades, put some patterned pillows on your chairs (in a green, perhaps?), put a diamond patterned table runner (not in pink!), etc., and I bet you will have a lot more range of colors to choose from for your walls.

  • 14 years ago

    I'll chime in with the chorus favoring deeper colors. Personally, I'd go with the gray, but I like gray. I also like paper-bag brown, but I think a deeper chocolate color would be nice.

    The pink sofa would glow against a chocolate wall. You've also got a lot of shiny textures--maybe swap out the cushions for velvet?

  • 14 years ago

    Thanks, Holley. I probably have more pattern than meets the eye in my photos, but point well taken. Have stripe chair seats in DR, plaid back on LR accent chair. Animal print, I've never thought about...cute idea.

    You said "mid range blue." How about Stratton Blue?

    Ideefixe, thanks for your reply. I hear you about pink & brown. I love it too. Unfortunately all the dining room furniture, which is very brown, would disappear next to brown walls. It's really a problem finding a color that works equally well w/both my upholstered pieces & my dark wood tones. I'm finding that I really wish I had separate dining & living rooms. It would be so much easier, decorating-wise, because what is stunning in A, is not usually stunning in B!

  • 14 years ago

    The other thing that I wanted to say about oriental rugs is that there are often colors that are created by the interface of two yarn colors that visually create a "phantom" color in the rug that is not there if you are on your hands and knees with a fan deck.

    There is a lot of interaction between the colors of the rug, so that a yarn color that appears in the rug may look really disappointing or even awful when you match it closely.

  • 14 years ago

    Here are a couple of blurry snapshots of snapshots which, of course, were taken of the people not the room.

    The first is friends of my parents LR. The rug was treated as background. There was also an elaborate "tree of life" crewel chair in there, but that picture is even worse.

    Here is my great aunt's house, and although that's me in the foreground, this predates the house as I remember it. Soon after this, there was a fireplace where that window is, and the furniture was arranged so that you would have been able to see a lot more of it. But you get the idea that the patterns of the rug were not accounted for. I am sorry that you can't really see enough of the other furniture for what I wanted to show.

  • 14 years ago

    Oh, wow. I'd forgotten about your pink settee. The room looks awesome, but do agree a bit more "deep" blue would be nice. But I am lovin' it all!

  • 14 years ago

    I agree with Palimpsest...
    I don't think that rugs (or artwork) has to exactly match, just look pleasing to the eye. Does that make sense?
    You have beautiful things!
    I would go with a gray/green paint, or a sage.

  • 14 years ago

    parma - I love the picture you posted. Do you have any idea what the wall color is?


  • 14 years ago

    Palimpsest, thanks for the great pics! First, I notice the adorable children, one of whom is you of course...what an absolute cutie pie! You look very busy...drawing up a design plan already no doubt! Well, you were certainly taking in the richness of your surroundings, that's for sure. Your environment left an indelible impression upon you & informed your style & tastes it seems.

    I do love the look featured in these homes. It's very unstudied, & elegant but casual & obviously really lived in! Great examples of everything HGTV doesn't do! There's an organic kind of style that can't be churned out from a trip to Macy's. That look is really what I grew up seeing in the old southern homes I lived in & visited.

    Yes, & I hear what you're saying about a "phantom" color. The total is greater than the sum of its parts. Thanks for sharing your always interesting insights, P.!

    Justgota, thank you for the very nice compliment!

    Loribee, you're a dear. Thanks for your kind words; I'm flattered. Love your style!

    Msrose, wasn't that such a great color? Maybe Parma can get the scoop on it!

    I have a lot of thinking to do! My takeaways right now are:

    1. Keep the rugs 2. Bring in some deeper colors 3. Don't be too fussy & literal about the colors I bring in.


  • 14 years ago

    Hi, another "ignore the rugs" person chiming in. :-) But do as I say, not as I do. Even though theoretically I ignore rugs, I always lend half an eye and try to play along, at least when piling more than one rug into a room. They usually have to be a similar style...tribal + tribal, for example. And I do admit to buying an orange chair to go with an orange stripe in the last house. Call me a hypocrite!

    I think you should revisit the gray idea. And I think that the way to love gray is not only to find the right one, but to use either full spectrum paint (Ellen Kennon) or maybe Farrow & Ball. Now that you seem to be fully into the paint addiction thing (welcome!) I feel comfortable suggesting that. You talk about "glowy" and that is exactly what you get with one of these more complicated paints. If you could find a warm gray or a greige in a paint that has a lot of life in it, I bet you would really love it.

    If you don't have it, I suggest sending away for the F&B free color card. There are a couple dozen really interesting neutrals that might be fun to explore. Yes, these boutique paints are not cheap, but if you're willing to spend the $$$ to change the rugs/furniture, fancy paint will feel like a bargain!

    I worry about using the deeper colors, particularly blue, on a thirty foot wall. That scares me a bit, but I don't know the space. In that regard, my guess is that a mid-tone would be better, but a mid-tone blue? I just don't know. I love the rugs and think the pink sofa is really refreshing. I'd hate to see the wall color take over, IYKWIM.

    How's that Georgian Green looking today?

  • 14 years ago

    Good morning, Amy! Thanks, for all the great feedback, & for telling me about the F&B color card...a freebie, nice!

    I really hear what you're saying about the perils of "deeper colors, particularly blue, on a thirty foot wall." (Actually, I think the wall is even a bit longer than that!) So, yeah, uh, that's lots of blue...or red, or any really in your face color!

    Actually, I recently revisited some of your suggestions for my entry hall, but w/ the lr/dr in mind: Elmira White, Grant Beige, & I also looked at Manchester Tan. I still don't know about gray. Dh really hates "muddy tones!" That's one reason I was freaking out about the GG yesterday. I could hear my dh's voice in my head saying "That color looks muddy," which is the cardinal sin in the world of color for him, be it for paint or for a sweater I'm wearing. So, he may be a tough customer when it comes to having gray walls, lol!

    Still going to investigate the grays further though, & it's back to work on the GG walls today, which, thank goodness, dh gave a thumbs up! He really seems to like it very much, though I think his orignial thought for the room was something brighter, like Folk Art. Guess it doesn't look *too* muddy!

    Thanks again for all your help!!

  • 14 years ago

    Laurie, isn't that a great color?

    I stole the pic off of the post that I've linked. The OP said she found it on Rate My Space.

    It might take a bit of sleuthing...

    Here is a link that might be useful: Brown bedroom