How a Needlepoint Rug Brings Life to Antique Furniture

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Interior designer Eric Guenther chose the Madeira needlepoint rug because it brings energy and movement to this living room seating area with antique painted furniture.

I asked Eric to share his tips for decorating with antique furniture and needlepoint rugs.

5 Decorating tips for adding lively energy to antique furniture with a needlepoint rug:

1. Look for a needlepoint rug that creates energy through it’s pattern.

Antique furniture can make a room feel overly formal and staid, so it is important to find a way to introduce energy and movement. Nothing adds energy better than a needlepoint rug with a dynamic pattern. To see how this works, try this experiment: Place a white sheet of paper over the needlepoint rug in the picture so that only the furniture is visible. Notice how the room suddenly becomes lifeless.  Remove the paper and the room gains it’s energy back.

2. Avoid strongly colored needlepoint rugs that overpower the antique furniture.

Eric chose a needlepoint rug with soft colors- aqua and greens. These colors bring out the beauty of the antique furniture. Notice how the gold cross legged stool pops on the needlepoint rug. A strongly colored rug would have taken the attention away from the antique furniture.

3. Do not try to achieve perfect color matches between the needlepoint rug, fabrics and furniture.

If you perfectly match all the colors, you may be disappointed when the room lacks vitality and energy. Learn to decorate in a “collected” way- as if things were acquired over time for their beauty, every color having to match. In this way you will create a more natural and enduring harmony.

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Notice the natural harmony and beauty when the colors of the needlepoint rug, fabrics and the painted wood furniture are not matched exactly. Eric recommends taking the needlepoint rug as the jumping off point for the rooms design and color inspiration.

4. Chose a subtle needlepoint rug when the furniture has exposed legs.

If the furniture has long exposed legs (as opposed to upholstered furniture where the legs are mostly covered by the upholstery fabric), it is important to choose a needlepoint rug that is subtle enough to go in between and under the legs without looking busy. Note how the subtly the Madeira needlepoint rug works with the legged furniture. A dinning room is a perfect example of a room where the furniture has a lot of exposed legs and the needlepoint rug needs to be subtle.

5. Finally, try the needlepoint rug in the room.

Place the antique furniture on the needlepoint rug and see how the room looks and feels. The right rug will pull everything together. One of the most important functions of a good needlepoint rug- is to create a unity for all the elements that would otherwise be sitting at odds with each other.  

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