The Hermitage needlepoint rug was slipped into Eric Guenther’s dining room without changing anything else in the room. Eric did this as a demonstration of the validity of his 6 decorating tips.
Readers have told us that they find interior designer Eric Guenther’s tips on decorating with Oushak rugs, Needlepoint rugs and Bessarabian rugs very helpful. So I asked Eric to share his insights on how to add fresh color and zip to traditional decor with the right needlepoint rug:
1. Avoid perfectionism in matching colors of needlepoint rugs and fabrics.
My biggest advice when picking a needlepoint rug or for that matter furnishings for a room is to let go of trying to make everything happen absolutely perfectly-because even if you achieve this perfection the result will be a room that is lacking energy and beauty that comes when things are not matched perfectly. This is a concept that is very hard for non designers to grasp- “how can something that is perfectly matched turn into a flawed design”?. If you do not believe this, just look more closely at any room that you love. Look closely and you will discover that all the colors are not perfectly matched. This will come as a great surprise to many.
The dining room in the picture comes across as “look we found this marvelous needlepoint rug and this old furniture, and they found each other and it all just works”. If on the other hand this room was very carefully administered and everything was perfectly matched, it would have certainly spoiled it.
2. Select a needlepoint rug that make it easy to bring color and freshness to the room.
People struggle with how to introduce color into a room. Some are just fearful of selecting colors others are fearful of selecting the wrong colors. The Bessarabian needlepoint rug in the dining room above illustrates that colors of the needlepoint rug do not have to be radically different from the colors already in the room. The Bessarabian needlepoint rug does not add any colors that were not already in the room. What this needlepoint rug does bring is a range of colors that are a companion to the color of the terracotta floor and the mahogany dining table. The chocolate brown in the needlepoint rug is the strongest accent and the ivory is the lightest and this contrast brings life to the room that is hard to describe. Adding this needlepoint rug makes the whole room take flight. The needlepoint rug also creates contrast with the legs of the table and the legs of the chair that would otherwise have blended with completely with the terracotta floor and the dining room would have lost all sense of style and form. The contrast of the lighter against the darker makes the geometry of the look is pattern and a freshness of contrast.
3. Use the colors of the needlepoint rug as a color recipe for the room.
A well colored needlepoint rug gives you the foundation for additional colors, it brings liveliness and fresh energy to the room that would otherwise not be in the room. The needlepoint rug artist has created a balance of color which is a kind of a color recipe for color palette for the whole room. You know that all the colors in the needlepoint rug work together so use them for selecting your fabrics and wall colors.
4. Add visual softness to the room with needlepoint rugs
Try to imagine this dining room without the needlepoint rug. The wood of the dining table and the chairs has a shiny surface that is physically hard and the terracotta floor is also visually hard and unyielding. By adding the needlepoint rug, you immediately create softness as well as movement through the needlepoint rug’s pattern and contrasting colors. The colors of the needlepoint rug are not so fresh that they would make the surroundings look aged. The freshness of the needlepoint rug is of the kind that brings life to this room. Without this needlepoint rug this room would go unnoticed.
5. Choose a needlepoint rug that brings out the beauty of the furniture
A major reason this Bessarabian needlepoint makes this traditional dining room look so good is that that the classic pattern of the needlepoint rug goes looks so good with the shape and geometric carving on the leg of the dining table-they are a perfect companion to one another. The fretwork on the angled corner of the dining table leg is a perfect marriage with the needlepoint rug’s string of pearls on the outside border and the Greek key in the inside border. It is all about geometry. It is really wonderful.
“By picking different fabrics you can exercise complete control on the colors and style of the room” – Eric Guenther, Interior Designer, Whim Home, CA.
6. You can control the decorating style and color balance by the type of fabrics you select for the needlepoint rug.
You can create a relaxed country decor or a formal traditional room or a modern space by changing your choice of fabrics. By picking different fabrics you can exercise complete control on the decoration of a room.
Needlepoint Rug: Hermitage Bessarabian Needlepoint Rug; Fabrics on the floor: Clockwise from top: Lee Jofa Sassenage Tapestry-Loden; Lee Jofa New Sevilla-Red/Olive; Lee Jofa Danthe Embroidery-Java.