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Ideas and Advice > How to Style Floral Rugs

How to Style Floral Rugs

The area rug for styling a fresh, garden-inspired room

Design rules for floral rugs

From the vibrant color palette of an English cottage garden to the serene beauty of a Zen tea garden, floral rugs can have a vibe as varied as the gardens of the world. What they have in common is a fresh, outdoor-in feel that is bound to cheer up any space. Thinking of rolling out a floral rug in your space? Here are a few design rules to bear in mind:

  • Don’t let a fear of color hold you back! A floral rug can be bold and bright, soft and single-hued or even graphic black and white.
  • If you do opt for a floral rug with a bright color palette, let it be the star of the show — include some white space (i.e., crisp white walls) to give your eyes a place to rest.
  • When it comes to pattern mixing, remember the rule of three: Choose one big, bold pattern (most likely this will be your floral rug), one midsize geometric print and one narrow stripe.
  • Patterns that go well with floral rugs include stripes, dots, Indian block prints and small geometric designs like diamonds.
  • If your floral rug includes more than one color in the design, pick just 1-2 hues you love and repeat them in accessories (i.e., pillows, vases, throws) throughout the room.
  • Don’t get hung up on matching your curtains to your floral rug — crisp white or neutral curtains will create a lighter look around your windows and work with just about any rug you choose.
  • Large furniture pieces like armchairs and couches are foundational elements, so it’s generally best to keep these in neutral territory, too. You can bring a little zest (and pick up a color from your floral rug) by layering on pillows and a throw.

You might think of floral rugs as being exclusively for soft, romantic spaces — and while there’s no doubt that floral rugs have a sweet spot in vintage and Shabby Chic styles, these lush, garden-inspired rugs provide a welcome organic touch to modern and traditional spaces, too. Here are a few of the decor styles floral rugs work best with:

  • Vintage/Shabby Chic
  • Modern
  • Traditional
  • Country/Farmhouse

Get the Look

Not sure how to style a floral rug? Get inspired by these ideas.

  • Pair a bright, bold floral rug with vintage flea market furniture and white slipcovers to get that vintage-inspired Shabby Chic look.
  • Bring a touch of nature to a minimalist modern space with a tropical or stylized floral rug.
  • Complement an elegant traditional room with a subtle grey or beige floral rug and textiles in a range of textures from nubby linen to smooth silk.
  • Get that popular farmhouse look with simple, chunky furniture in solid wood and neutral upholstery paired with a floral rug in a single, soothing hue like blue or grey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers to your decorating dilemmas from our interior design experts!

Q:

Can a bold floral rug be put in a room with bold walls?

A:

Yes! It just depends on the look you are going for. Generally speaking, the smaller the room the more you can get away with in terms of bold color and pattern. For instance, you would do better to go bold-on-bold in compact laundry room rather than in a spacious living room, where all of that color and pattern might overwhelm. If you do opt to paint the walls a bold color, be sure to take a photo of your rug with you to the paint store and have one of the colors professionally matched for the best results.

Q:

What patterns go with paisley floral print?

A:

A paisley floral print is surprisingly versatile. Try pairing it with a small-scale geometric print, a ticking stripe and a large-scale block print. The key to remember when mixing patterns of any type is to choose one common color and repeat it throughout.

Q:

Are floral patterns always feminine?

A:

No! Leafy botanical prints, black and white florals and those that include geometric designs and neutral hues have a decidedly more masculine feel.

Q:

Should I pick my floral rug before I design my room?

A:

If possible, yes! Choosing a rug can be a great jumping-off point for a room design. Rug designers put a lot of work and expertise into creating a pattern and color palette that works, which means you can then use it as a built-in color palette for your space! But if you already have your room designed, no worries: it’s not too late to choose a floral rug. Just be sure to take into account the colors you already have going on in your space, and repeat them rather than taking off in an entirely new direction.

Pick the Right Layout for Your Room

While the most common shape for floral rugs is rectangular (a shape that works well in most rooms), because of the flowing, organic-inspired patterns of floral rugs, they also work particularly well in the round. Try a big rectangular floral rug in the living room, breakfast nook or bedroom; place a floral runner in the hall or kitchen; or accent a small room with a round floral rug.

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