Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Rugs that Make a Statement

Rugs have been used throughout history for various reasons. While their first qualities were from a practical standpoint of warmth and softness – both significantly functional characteristics – others have emerged. Rugs define space, outline seating areas, and provide style that can easily set the tone of a room in an instant. Here’s how you can add style and visual comfort to your home using rugs:

Patterned Rugs

Geometric Pattern

Setting the mood of a room, a rug’s design and pattern is a wonderful way to reflect your unique taste and style. For a bold statement in your living room, choose a geometric print in a contrasting color scheme.

This stunning rug provides the right amount of visual contrast and balance. Its edgy pattern creates a focal point and offers a flattering backdrop against the simple furniture.

A rug with a geometric pattern in a contemporary living room
Contemporary Living Room by Austin Architects & Designers Chioco Design

Subtle Monochromatic Pattern

If you don’t want to disturb the serenity of a neutral room color but would like to add visual interest, try a neutral rug, but go for a pattern that draws attention. This large patterned rug freshens up the space while complementing the hue of the walls. It also opens the floor space with its subtle enlarged quatrefoil pattern in a lighter tint of the wall color.

A neutral-colored pattern rug in a traditional living room
Traditional Living Room by Atlanta Interior Designers & Decorators Niki Papadopoulos


Rugs with Color

Patchwork Southwestern Style

A modern take on vintage carpets, this patchwork rug offers a unique pattern that adds interest and a story. In this room, the rug sets the tone for a southwestern, ethnically rich decor. It also effectively ties in all the different pieces visually, helping to layer the room’s design.

A rug with a Southwestern style in a contemporary living room



High Pile Blue Shag

Like a prized piece of art, a rug can inspire you in setting the color scheme of a room. Draw from colors featured in a pattern rug to create a cohesive look of complementing or contrasting hues.

A high pile blue shag in a beach style living room

Multicolored Blended Rug

This multicolored rug brightens the room that would otherwise be nondescript or lackluster. The pillows in solid colors draw from the hues in the rug to incorporate the neutral-colored sofas. This rug brings much-needed life to this space and sets the tone of a modern room as shown in the accessories on the floating desk.

A multi-colored blended rug in a contemporary living room


Textured Rugs

High Pile

Sometimes, a different texture or material is all you need to take out some of the predictability and rigidity to a space. When your living room has more than enough color and pattern, a shag rug may work best. A high-pile rug provides depth and coziness without overpowering the space.

A high pile rug in a modern living room



Rope or Woven Rugs

Rope rugs give rooms a more relaxed feel. The texture is excellent for a beach house or summer home in that it feels good on the feet but traps sand and dirt, keeping them from going all over. With the grasses and straw associated with beach combing, the rope rugs appear to be part of the local landscape and do not force this room into a formal style.

A rope rug in a contemporary living room

Natural Fiber Rug

A room can benefit from natural materials both in grounding the space and adding texture. Natural fiber rugs provide an organic feel and work well with both casual and modern furnishings. Many are surprisingly soft and textural underfoot, too. Although wool is often more expensive, it has few rivals in durability. Because the fibers contain lanolin, the material serves as a natural soil repellent and also cleans beautifully.

Made of wool woven with sisal, this rug provides a great counterpoint to the furnishings and instantly creates a clean and inviting look in the living room.

A natural fiber rug in a modern living room

Patchwork Hides

Hide for an area rug makes a bold statement! Blend a cowhide patchwork rug with transitional furniture if you want to lean toward a modern/rustic theme.


Shaped Rugs

The room’s geometry, traffic patterns, and arrangement of decorative elements are among the things to consider when deciding on the shape of a rug.

Choosing a shape that accentuates the form of the table is a good start in achieving a clean, functional look. If you have a rectangular table, consider a rectangular rug to complement it.

Round Rug

In this room, the round rug complements the table while setting the seating area. Sufficient space was provided around the table’s diameter so the chairs have room to slide in and out.

A round rug in a modern living room

Natural Hides

A hide rug that takes a natural shape imparts an air of fluidity in a room. Perfect for adding a graceful touch to modern interior structures, this rug also adds a stroke of wildlife and nature to your abode.


Traditional Rugs

Traditional Oriental or Aubusson rugs can set the decor of a more traditional room. On the other hand, if you already have traditional furnishings in place, consider updating the look of your home with a modern rug that can transform your room into a more transitional look.

Oriental Rug

Oriental rugs are a great way to add character and a sense of history to rooms. While darker-colored rugs give a splash of pattern and color to a neutral palette, those with light tones help create a unified space that is very homey. The Oriental theme – with subtle hues – of this rug makes the living room feel larger. It also entertains a sense of timelessness to the room’s aura.

An Oriental rug in a modern living room


Aubusson Rug

Classic Aubusson rugs bring a luxurious feel to any room with traditional patterns and colors reminiscent of the French town of Aubusson. Featuring a classic pattern in soft colors, this rug is such a beautiful piece that works well with both formal and transitional decor.

An Aubusson rug in a traditional living room


Rugs are a great way to complete a room and make a statement. Define areas in your home and transform your floor into a work of art. Use any of these ideas for an individualized look, or find a rug you love and build a style around it.

About the Author
Dagmar Obert is a designer with over two decades of experience transforming homes into spaces that reflect comfort and elegance. Her sophisticated style emanates from her love of color, forms, and textures. From her choice of fabric to her selection of accent pieces, Dagmar pulls together the look of a room to deliver a statement of class. Surrounded by family and friends, Dagmar takes delight in turning her own home into a venue where wonderful occasions are made more memorable. Her how-to guides and inspiration articles on decorating and entertaining provide readers with unique ways to create the perfect setting for life’s cherished moments.

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