How to Design Sophisticated Interiors with Orange Rugs

The color of happiness is also the color of fire, and indeed decorating with orange brings a vibrancy that can be used to make a room cheery and energetic. The effect can range from subtly sunny to flamingly intense, but ultimately what we get from orange rugs and orange décor is a sense of energy.

The Color Psychology of Orange Rugs

Like many colors, the psychological effect of orange rugs largely depends on the context. Pair an orange rug with bright green accents throughout the room and the orange takes on a floral note, suggesting the hue of Gerber daisies. Among starkly white and neutral tones, orange can feel like a bold and frenetic source of creativity and enlightenment. Pair orange rugs with reds and darker neutrals and you’ll evoke the orange of sunset. Consider that orange works just as well in a fall harvest theme as it does on a bottle of the Clinique fragrance Happy.

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The orange Aubusson rug pulls together the orange, yellow, coral and reds in this living area which has a “collected, not decorated” look. Interior design by Martyn Lawrence-Bullard. Image courtesy Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.

Notice how sunlight and shadows playfully interact with the energy of the orange rug above in this Martyn Lawrence-Bullard living room. Various traditional furniture and objects as well as the modern art interact with the lively and life-giving elements of the orange rug, which itself features a sunny array of hues. Orange rugs like this one set a tone so that the room boasts colorful and eclectic elements that exist in harmony rather than fighting for attention. In this room, you can feel both energized and comforted.


The Soothing Effects of Orange Rugs

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The warm coral and orange accents in the Oushak rug are balanced by a cool greyish white bakcground which makes a beautiful and well balanced color palette from which to derive the rooms colors. Image courtesy of interior designer Carol Glasser.

Among muted and stately settings, an orange rug can provide just a touch of energy while easily absorbing its surroundings. In the Houston home of interior designer Carol Glaser pictured above, the orange rug draws subtly on the hues of the banister and stairs and the copper light fixture above it. The orange and grey notes of the rug complement the hardwood floors and add just the right amount of texture and lines to the delicately handsome space. In this context, orange rugs provide a soothing and welcoming atmosphere.

Inspire and Collaborate with Orange Rugs

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A coral oriental rug anchors many patterns and colors creating a “Collected, not decorated look.” Interior design by Cathy Kincaid. Image courtesy Cathy Kincaid.

Notice how the collection of contrasting and complementary pieces in the above living room cause your eye to move around while stopping to admire each perfectly curated piece. The rug itself features a rich variety of hues but it’s the luscious coral and orange field colors that makes a statement. The neoclassical wood marquetry on the bureau resonate with with coral and orange tones in the rug, but the curtains, chairs and ottoman interact with the orange in a very different way. What might otherwise be a hodgepodge of individually pleasing items, comes together because the orange rug itself has a wide range of warm and cool colors. This room has a very wide mix of patterns, materials, colors, shapes and textures that all get pulled together by the orange rug. The orange rug is able to pull these disparate elements together because it contains colors that do not necessarily go with each other such as the navy border and the coral and orange field. But we accept this rug because it is an antique and antique rugs are judged by different standards in which it is acceptable to have colors that do not coordinate with each other. This lack of color coordination in the rug gives a license to the rest of the elements in the room to be not color coordinated and yet to work beautifully as an organic and natural look.

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