03/16/2012 11:52 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Introducing Colors Through Rug Choice

People can sometimes be timid or conservative when it comes to introducing colors to their interiors. The challenge is often how to introduce colors in a room and still maintain harmony, equilibrium, and visual interest. Should colors be introduced through accents, furniture, artwork, or through a larger surface like a wall? I always opt for sizeable, "statement" introductions of color instead of smaller, subtle infusions. In the end, it is a question of finding the right balance and intensity with the rest of the room, its architecture, light and furnishings.

I recommend choosing a rug at the beginning of the design process instead of having the fabrics, furniture, or wall paint dictate how the floor should look. Creating a custom rug allows anyone to choose from a broad color palette, while not restricting creativity or the opportunity to really impact an interior. The other advantage is that custom dimensions can influence the perception of the size of a room.

An extensive selection of colors (whether or not associated with patterns) helps with the introduction of colors in a decorating plan. It could be done through a solid texture, fading, or with abstract or more decorative patterns, which will emphasize the use of bright hues. Because carpets are three-dimensional, even simple textures that at first sight can be described as solids, can have several tones or even merge cold and warm tints. A color can gain very different perceptions when taken in the context of the other colors selected for a particular room. The fibers used in a rug's design also allow the designer to play with colors and light reflection. A material like wool on a loop pile will absorb more light than on a cut pile, while silk with its shine and luster will bring more dimensionality to a room.

Developing a bespoke rug for an interior (even if multiple samples are needed) will facilitate the establishment of colors in a room's overall style. Options from conservative to bolder trials can lead you to a true design statement. I always say that the eye needs to get used to newness; a color that you didn't even notice yesterday can become your favorite one today. Experimenting is crucial and pushing boundaries is healthy!

Introducing colors to a room's design through a rug is also a proper way to achieve a sense of balance and rhythm that will ground the décor and impact the interior architecture. It is a good way to convey style and personality in a room with ordinary architecture or to draw focus to a space's best elements (like great windows). The right rug choice can also bring a sense of direction and movement to a space. I consider the rug an architectural element that serves as a color statement as opposed to a purely decorative element.

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