Adding Pattern: A Modern Way to Use Rugs & Carpets

Adding Pattern: A Modern Way to Use Rugs & Carpets

Shifrah Combiths
Jan 8, 2016

Often the inspiration for a room's entire color scheme, a rug can play a major role in establishing the personality of a room. Modern rugs are bold, eschewing fussy and timid patterns and colorways. Whether it's with a non-repeating hand-loomed pattern, an unapologetic color scheme, or a bold motif, modern rugs demand to be noticed.

A modern look doesn't always mean a brand-new rug. The vibrant rug (shown above), which looks like a contemporary riff on a timeless theme, is actually a vintage Turkish rug purchased by Sara from a flea market in Germany. For a similar option that's more within reach, check out IKEA's Persisk Kelim Gashgai.

As Will and Rebekah show us, the color of a rug alone can punch a room up from staid and traditional to modern and vibrant. They purchased this one at HomeGoods, but here's a similar rug from

A streamlined damask rug in a contemporary color pairing of gray and orange makes a bold but not overpowering statement in Samara's living room. It's a Surya rug from All+Modern.

A more organic, neutral version of the same kind of geometric pattern is seen in Sarah & Brian's Illinois home. It was purchased at Rugs USA.

For a rug that plays the starring role, try a colorful Moroccan boucherouite rug like this one in Peach and Craig's house. Learn more about these one-of-a-kind rugs and explore sources here.

The Pottery Barn rug in Nancy's living room doesn't steal the show, but it does provide just the right kind of texture and pattern to simultaneously uplift and anchor the room. The rug is neutral and unobtrusive enough to last through many decor changes, and the contemporary style is subtle enough that the rug won't feel dated any time soon.

Another strategy for ensuring a rug has color longevity is, rather than opting for neutrals, choosing the rainbow. That's what Darren and Preston did with this rug that avoids garishness by being surrounded with solid furniture and stark white walls.

With its labyrinthian take on the stripe, this round rug injects color and movement into a placid room of woods and whites. Jen and Mark's particular selection is a no-longer-available IKEA rug, but check out this one from Thomas Paul or this one from

It's hard to go wrong with the classic pairing of black and white, which makes any pattern sing. This offset stripe IKEA Stockholm rug—not necessarily an obvious choice, given the rest of the decor—brings Ross' living room from subdued to strong and echos the sentiment of the print above the couch.

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