Rug Colour Guide - How to Choose the Best Colour Rug for your Room

Posted on September 17 2019

Rug Colour Guide - How to Choose the Best Colour Rug for your Room

How to choose the right colour for your contemporary rug

‘Without doubt, colour affects your mood. It’s such a powerful tool for both fashion and interiors.’ Designer Mathew Williams is a great believer in colour, and what better way to allow it to impact your room than with a designer rug. Whether you opt for a bright bold hue, or something more laid back, will depend greatly on the room itself. It is worth reminding yourself that a rug will consume more surface area than any other item of furnishing, so even if you decide on a fairly neutral rug, results can still be quite dramatic. Take the advice of Interior Designer Frank de Biasi 'The rug shouldn't be the dominant element in the room, it should be a part of the overall scheme.'

Consider the existing colours of a room

Take a step back and consider the general overview of the room. If it already includes a wide array of colours, don't overwhelm it by adding yet another hue. Instead draw on existing accent tones, such as those found in cushions or artwork. This will help create a sense of synergy. However, don’t feel they have to be exact matches- often a slightly lighter or darker shade will work just as well. 

If you have a boldly coloured sofa or walls, a primarily neutral rug can help break up the large areas of colour. This will create a more restful space.

For a more neutral room, a contemporary rug can be the perfect way to inject colour. If you’re not very confident in choosing from scratch, be inspired by magazine photographs or choose colours from a favourite painting or fabric print. Alternatively, you can try layering different shades of neutrals. However, ensure you choose a rug that provides a significant contrast with the sofa fabric, and ideally also the floor and walls, or the room will lack depth.

Consider the amount of light in the room

For a room that is a little on the dark side, introducing a pale coloured rug can have transformative effect, drawing in light and enhancing the space to make it appear larger. However in the correct setting, dark rugs also have their advantages. They can work splendidly in rooms with a lot of natural sunlight, giving a more dramatic effect than a paler rug.


Consider the colour of the flooring

When choosing a rug to complement a floor, there are differences in opinion on whether to camouflage or contrast. In our view, it is the undertones of the wood colour that matter the most. Woods that have cool or yellowy undertones such as grey oaks and walnuts work well with grey and blue rugs, whereas those with warmer, more reddish undertones combine well with other warm colours.

Consider the purpose of the room and the effect you want to achieve

Julia Green from Greenhouse Interiors says; ‘remember, rugs can either quieten the volume of a room, or turn it up!’ Ask yourself the mood you want to create in the room and if you want the rug to make a statement or be absorbed into the background. A dark richly coloured rug can make a room more cosy and intimate, whereas a bright or light colour can be more energizing. Pale neutral or pastel colours are calming so are the ideal choice for a bedroom for example. Practicality should also be considered, so avoid black or white in high traffic areas; a medium tone neutral or grey rug will be the most forgiving to everyday use.


Building a room around a rug

Many designers, such as Staffan Tollgard,  create their interior schemes from the floor up. ‘We choose one or two patterned fabrics or look to a contemporary rug or piece of art and then draw out a colour link from that.’ This can be a really easy way to create a colour scheme for a room.

There are other advantages too. It’s great to have the opportunity to buy a rug you really love, rather than just one that fits with items you already have. It's much easier to find fabrics to complement the colour of your rug, rather than the other way around. Remember a good quality hand knotted rug can last a lifetime.


Colour’s Summarised:


  • Help create a calming mood in a room
  • Are easy to combine with existing furnishing colours
  • Give flexibility to change the colour scheme of a room without having to change the rug
  • Risk making a room appear flat if there isn’t enough contrast with other furnishings (particularly the sofa)

multi coloured striped rug

Bright Colours

  • Are a great way to add personality and energy to room
  • Can provide a focal point to the room
  • Are more subject to changing trends and personal taste
  • Create limitations for the other colours you can use in the room both in current and future schemes 


  • Provides colour inspiration for the rest of the room
  • Adds colour without it being overwhelming
  • Is more forgiving to stains than block colours
  • Is more difficult to combine with an existing rooms colour scheme

transitional luxury rug-1


Dark Colours

  • Can make a room feel more cosy and intimate
  • Lend themself to creating a contrast with existing furnishings
  • May make a room too dark if it’s already lacking in natural light
Pale Colours
  • Will add light to a room
  • Will give a calm but energising mood
  • May appear washed out a very bright room
  • Will need to be cleaned more regularly than a neutral or deep colours

Any Core Collection or archive design by Bazaar Velvet can be created in any colour at no additional cost. We can help you explore the options by creating realistic computer visuals. View our Core Collection now or contact us for archive designs.

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