Ask A Designer ™
Selecting An Area Rug, Making the Most of A Bedroom Makeover
Q. I would like to add a rug to my livingroom, which is already decorated, and would like help selecting something which coordinates well. The room has natural maple floors and a vaulted ceiling. The seating arrangement is on one side of the room with the fireplace and a large wall unit and tv on the other.
We have a large recliner in the corner which is forest green with small streaks, two small chairs with trumpet flower tapestry, and a solid brick red sofa with contrasting pillows of each of the other fabrics. All the tables and wall console are cherry without a lot of burgundy tone. I was thinking about a round red floral rug. Would that work? What else would you suggest?—K.S.
A. Generally speaking, round rugs draw focus to the center requiring furniture to radiate around the rug or align in a square. Rectangular seating areas are usually best with rectangular rugs.
Any rug selected for your seating will require the coffee table to be placed off center. For this reason, and since you have a natural walking area, I would choose a rectangle to complete the look already started. A rug with a flowing pattern but without a medallion or strong center focus would be best to connect the furniture and not draw attention to the placement of the round table off center with the rug.
My first choice for the background color is gold or light olive, because it would have only slight contrast with the hardwood, reducing the one sided appearance of the seating group. However, since the pull to the side is already strong, if you really want red, I wouldn’t reject the idea.\
The wall unit and decor need to be sufficiently rich to balance the seating group. If the rug is too strong, the airy feeling of the vault will seem odd. Try to keep the drama of the rug in balance with the overall feeling of the room. An Oriental style of floral is my first choice of pattern for the traditional feel of the room.
Also, finding a rug with natural depictions of flowers that happens to complement the trumpet vine tapestry may require extensive searching. Most Oriental rugs have substantial borders. In this case, keep the contrast between border and field moderate as strong borders make the space seem smaller.
Place the rug so that it is in front of the sofa and just beneath the edges of the chairs (not under the legs), because seeing the hardwood within the seating group is crucial to balancing the space as a whole.
Q. Our home has custom woodwork and antique furniture throughout. We like one of your bedding designs for our master bedroom, because the coloring fits perfectly. I’m wondering about changing a few things to finish out the look. What do you think about painting one wall in the bedroom to reduce the amount of pattern? I want the decorative carving on the bed to show. How small can the pillows be made without losing the effect of the layered design? Can we use a duvet cover smaller than the coverlet to save on the cost? What fabric would you suggest for the settee? What paint color should go in the bathroom?—R.G.
A. The beauty of special ordering something that is already designed is that you can see what it looks like before making your investment. In this case, the bedding looks tailor made for your room.
The pillows should not be reduced very much since the headboard is very tall. You would never ask yourself why you can see only a portion of the decorative woodwork, but you would wonder why a large bed has tiny pillows. The back row of Euro pillows should be no smaller than 24-in. The pillows in the front should be a few inches shorter to keep the layered effect.
So long as the coverlet hides sheets and blankets, the secondary bed covering can be any size. Sometimes, we use only a throw. A super queen coverlet combined with a queen duvet cover is customary. The wall covering of your room looks authentic with the architecture and antique furniture. Personally, I like the pattern play.
The olive-bronze color of the coverlet separates the paprika in the damask from the rust of the wall which breaks the rust pattern movement. Any single color of paint would be very bold in comparison to the antique effect of the wall covering background. If you chose to paint to reduce pattern, you would need a faux finish of at least two shades of rust.
The quilted bronze velvet in the bedding is a good choice for the settee to provide some cool tone and solid color. Also, velvet is historically accurate for the piece.
A paint color very much like the velvet is ideal for the bathroom to further the cool range and complement the white fixtures. Some suggestions are Benjamin Moore HC 97 Hancock Gray (shown in back), HC-98 Providence Olive (not shown, similar to fabric), and 516 Ivy League shown at right. Conside natural-antique white for accessories to lighten things up without being stark (and to complement the rug). A little charcoal-black can also work to link to the bronze, cool things down, and add contrast. Your room will have a beautiful, rich look with a comfortable, approachable quality.
Note: We welcome all questions related to home design—ask us about color, room arrangement, planning for a new home, selecting furnishings, lighting, flooring, and more. Answers provided by Tanna Espy Miller, who has operated her award winning interior design practice DesignNashville.com for 23 years. You may also contact Tanna at 615/ 601-0552.