How to Bring Color to Rooms with Contemporary-Traditional Wool Rugs

“If you are struggling with what kind of a color combination to use in a room and what to blend with it—find a fabric that has a pattern and one of the colors in the fabric should be the main color in the rug.This fabric will then give you your whole color game plan”. Eric Guenther, Chief Designer, Whim Home, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Brick-raspberry-red-white rug, needlepoint rug,Contemporary-Traditional rug, Hybrid Contemporary-Traditional Rug, Bergamo 1327BR, Asmara rug

Bergamo Rug in coral and cream. Fabrics: Clockwise from top left: Chequers Velvet, David Easton for Lee Jofa, Pardah Velvet, Eric Cohler for Lee Jofa, Suzani Trellis, Oscar de la Renta for Lee Jofa, (Medium blue plain velvet) Baker 73-300, (Light blue plain velvet) Baker 12-790

Yesterday, Eric showed how to use the Bergamo rug to design a living room that is at the same time casual and dressy. Today Eric shows how the Bergamo rug makes it easy to bring colors to any room.

Why have you selected fabrics that have blues, lavender and teal, colors that are not in the Bergamo rug?

Eric  “It illustrates the fact that almost any color can be introduced in a room if it is in someway complimentary to the rug itself and if it is introduced by having it in a fabric. Having the colors in a fabric says to us “Hey we have tied all these colors together in the fabric so it’s OK to have these colors in the room.

“If someone is struggling with what kind of a color combination to use and what to blend with it—find a fabric that has a pattern and one of the colors in that patterned fabric needs to be the main color in the rug. The fabric will give you your whole game plan right there and this takes out all the guesswork. If the composition of the fabric is beautiful and when you look at it, you find it pleasing than those colors will certainly work in some balance with the rug itself.

How do you mix different patterns, colors and textures in fabrics and rugs?

“I love to mix something that has a more casual feeling – either the design or the drawing is more casual. In this case it’s the linen fabric with a diamond pattern printed by a technique that makes the colors look hand blocked. The pattern is not completely stamped or clear and has almost a handcrafted character to it.

“I like the fact that this linen fabric has several shades of orange or coral that are already in the Bergamo rug. The background of the fabric is slightly lighter than the rug, but there is that gold petal in some of the flowers that echo back to the creamy yellow color of the Bergamo rug’s background.

“I like the fact that the linen fabric brings to the color composition a few colors that are not found anywhere in the rug. This is an important element to look at. The rusts run to a little bit redder than the rug. The blue is introduced in a couple of different values. There is a tealy blue color and there is even purple in there or lavender purple, and a little bit of aqua in the center of one of the flowers. So we have got this whole addition of some blue greens and blues that are complimentary to one another along with the purple that are not found anywhere in the rug. It is not necessary that the accents in the fabrics used with this rug be these accents, but the fact that the rug by no means limits you because it only has multiple shades of essentially two colors, a coral and a creamy, almost yellowy background.

Is there something about the Bergamo rug that allows you to bring in more colors?

“The Bergamo rug has a simpler coloration than many of your other rugs, and this makes it more powerful, because it is very definitive. I Love the contrast and relief in the busy-ness of it. The repetition is very calming and I have often said that the rugs or fabrics that may appear the most busy, when you stand back and look at them from a distance, are actually the things that are the easiest to look at. This is because there is an emotional comfort in the repetition of the pattern.

How do you mix different scaled fabrics and rugs?

“I like fabrics that are a slightly different scale than the motifs in the rug. In the case of the linen which is the fabric we’ve just been discussing, the scale is slightly smaller, maybe 20% smaller than the pattern of the rug. The other fabric which is an Ikat velvet has a streaky effect, because of the way it is woven. The scale of the Ikat fabric is 15% to 20% larger than the rug. So we have gone on either side of the scale of the rug. I think this is important in having them work well—they are not the same scale. The Ikat is much larger, the linen is much smaller. The Ikat also brings to the table some colors that are not identical to the linen and are not found anywhere in the rug – a sapphire blue and a minty green and then the gold again, some are in the linen fabric and some are not, most of them are not in the rug at all. It is interesting that the drawing of the Ikat echoes the rug quite a bit and then it also validates the accent fabric of this figured velvet that is a sapphire blue. Again the sapphire blue has nothing to do with the rug itself, but the fabric gives you the ability to introduce the blue in a solid form that if you just dropped it on the rug, people would say “Why did they ever have a blue something”? I think art can also introduce an unusual color that is odd to the mix and once it is validated, can be used sparingly around the room”.

In a future blog post Eric will show where to use each of the above fabrics and in what proportions.

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