12 Ways to Use a Rug to Pull a Room Together (PHOTOS)

12 Ways to Use a Rug to Pull a Room Together (PHOTOS)

Rugs are kind of like the superheroes of home decorating -- able to light up a room with unexpected color, unify the random into a beautiful whole, and leap design styles with a single pattern! Rugs can both set the stage and steal the show, and we've tracked down 12 great examples that show you how to up your decorating game.

Sofas, tables, and chairs are actually kind of lost without their leader: the area rug. Rugs help define a space while also bringing dimension, color, texture, and pattern to your home. Tip: If you've got wall-to-wall carpet, don't be afraid to layer an area rug on top! Think of it as a decor element rather than flooring.

Image via flor.com 
  • Gray Area


    Image via crateandbarrel.com

    This vintage-looking Anice Rug ($999 for 5'x8', crateandbarrel.com) takes the classic Persian design and renders it in shades of black, gray, and white. Its inky color grounds the room and accentuates the other gray-black furniture pieces. And boy does it ever make the bright-colored accessories pop! 

  • Natural Beauty


    Image via potterybarn.com

    Afraid a traditional rug will look too busy or heavy? A jute rug will hit just the right, sunny note. Light and airy, this natural Jute Lattice Rug ($499 for 8'x10', potterybarn.com) is incredibly versatile. Its warm, neutral color and rich texture pairs perfectly with just about any palette but really shines with crisp whites and saturated colors. 

  • Grand Entry


    Image via garnethill.com

    The entryway is a great place to pack a punch with color and pattern. This Arden Hand-Knotted Rug ($798 for 5' x 8', garnethill.com) does two jobs beautifully: It makes this small area brighter and livelier -- and the busy pattern hides wear in a high-traffic area. Try pairing a rug like this with white walls and white furniture for a modern-boho vibe.

  • What Hue Can Do


    Image via serenaandlily.com

    Color is so powerful and evocative, especially when it is focused and dramatic. A great example: This room is filled with neutral-colored furniture, yet it feels like a bright sapphire jewel! The Mirabelle Rug ($1,695 for 8' x 10', serenaandlily.com) acts like a sparkling indigo blue canvas. And with the matching drapes, this dining room feels enveloped in color, and the subtle batik-inspired print keeps the rug from feeling too heavy or bland. The orange tulips are the perfect accessory. 

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  • Creamy & Dreamy


    Image via westelm.com

    Who doesn't want a bedroom that feels plush and inviting? The Darby Wool Rug ($399 for 5' x 8', westelm.com) is a shaggy hug-of-a-rug that will single-handedly make a bedroom go from cold to cozy. The creamy color keeps the look soft and seasonless, and it will match all kinds of bedding. Don't be afraid to let your bed sit on top of the rug -- it's great feng shui!

  • Outdoor Rugs, Outdoor Rooms


    Image via ballarddesigns.com

    You can bring together all the patio furniture you want, but until you add the outdoor rug, it just doesn't feel like a room. An outdoor rug will define a space without walls, and this Sicilian Coral Indoor/Outdoor Rug ($649 for 8' x 10', ballarddesigns.com) is a savvy choice with its zesty color and bold beachy print. Once you've set the stage with a rug, dress up your "room" with other accessories like throw pillows, potted plants, and fresh cut flowers. Okay ... where's the sangria? 

  • Black & White & Chic All Over


    Image via anthropologie.com

    Man, this is a great rug! Why? Because the black-and-white combination is just plain chic, and the broad stripes give huge visual punch while remaining clean and classic. This Boldstripe Dhurrie Rug ($598 for 5' x 8', anthropologie.com) can dress a space up or down and play snazzy or stark. As shown, the broad stripes unify an eclectic mix of furniture -- the room has a coherent yet funky vibe instead of feeling like a random collection of styles. 

  • Surprise & Delight


    Image via landofnod.com

    This Boucherouite Rug ($349 for 5' x 8', landofnod.com) breaks a popular rule -- you know, the one that says soft, pastel colors belong in nurseries -- and wins the day with unexpected bright, fun colors. Even with all the whimsical decor, this rug simply makes this room. Yeah, rugs can do that!

  • All Tied Together


    Image via ikea.com

    This room is the opposite of a shrinking violet. It's visually exciting because it's playing with several cheery, saturated colors. Yellow, green, white, and brown all vie for the spotlight, and the Stockholm Wool Rug ($349 for 5'7" x 7'10', ikea.com) comes along and, like decorator crazy glue, weaves all those color elements into a seamless whole. And at $349, it's a steal! 

  • Minimal but Luxurious


    Image via domino.com

    Don't let your minimalist side fool you into thinking you can't go plush and cozy. This Grayson Ivory Sheepskin Rug  ($70.49 for 2'6" x 4'2", domino.com) creates a gorgeous and dramatic contrast to this room's spare furniture and accessories. Its unique shape and pillowy texture may look sculptural, but the feeling underfoot is pure comfort and luxury.

  • Time Traveler


    Image via cb2.com

    If you are trying to create a mood or an era -- say, 1970s LA (pretty sure I can hear Joni Mitchell playing through an open window) -- the right rug can be like a time machine. This Heenalu Jute Rug ($299 for 6' x 9', cb2.com) has bohemian cred and loads of texture and character -- and it's just plain pretty. It's feminine and modern but perfectly at home with mid-century furniture and macrame plant hangers.

  • Focus & Symmetry


    Image via flor.com

    This Outer Banks Rug ($1,170 for 11'x12', flor.com) is a serious multitasker. It contains the living area, creates symmetry and balance, and establishes a focal point, and it does it all with style and wit! Instead of an all-over graphic pattern, this rug's fuchsia (sexiest color ever) stripes and band of ivory act as a framing device, telling your eye where to travel and the furniture where to sit. The results are both sophisticated and playful.

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