In previous blog posts I have advised that a major quality to look for in a needlepoint rug is it’s design flexibility. One of the virtues of good art, and a good needlepoint rug is a work of art, is that it never goes out of style. Another major quality of good art is that it works in many different settings and with many decorating styles. For today’s blog post we will look at a blue and white needlepoint rug that was used to create two very different, yet equally stunning and original rooms by two highly original and talented decorators. Each room offers valuable decorating lessons.
1. Give Modern Vibe to a Stately Living Room with Blue Needlepoint Rug
Polly McKenna of the Kellogg Collection in Richmond, VA assisted a customer with a highly refined decorating aesthetic design this modern and stately living room around a Bergamo blue and white needlepoint rug. The needlepoint rug, furniture and image are all from the Kellogg Collection.
It is extremely rare when a living room deserves to be described as “clean, airy and modern” and also “stately, elegant and sophisticated,” because rooms are either the one or the other. How did McKenna and her client manage to meld two sets of qualities that are rarely found together?
Here are my observations:
1. Give the room a clean and modern look by edited the color palette to two or three colors and some neutrals. In the above living room the palette has been limited to blue and a pale yellow to balance the cool blues. If more colors had been added, the room would not have looked clean and modern.
2. Create a peaceful ambiance by using one or two patterns and lots of plain fabrics. In the above room patterns are confined to the blue and white needlepoint rug and the blue and white upholstery fabric, all the other fabrics are solid.
3. Use lots of white to bring out the beauty of the room’s architecture. The walls, ceiling, moldings, fireplace mantel and wainscoting were all painted white. This makes the room feel clean and airy and also brings out the beauty and stately elegance of the room’s architecture.
4. Create a feeling of comfort by choosing a needlepoint rug that is large enough so some of the furniture can sit entirely on the rug. The above room feels comfortable because the sofa is entirely on the rug and the upholstered chairs are at least half on the rug. If the rug had been smaller and the furniture had been placed off the rug, the room would have looked severe.
5. Make a room feel welcoming year round by adding warm colors to balance the cool blues in the needlepoint rug and fabrics. This room feels inviting because the cool blues were balanced by warm colors spread throughout the room such as the yellow drapery, yellow sofa, gold mirror frame, brass table and dark wood in the floors and furniture.
6. Make the room feel inviting by bringing in natural light. We are drawn to rooms twith natural light and this room is particularly well designed as light comes from windows on two sides of the room instead of on just one side. Light from windows on two sides of a room feels softer and natural.
2. Create a Cheerful and Artistic Seaside Living Room with Blue Needlepoint Rug
Lisa Torbett Interiors designed this living room in a seaside home in Sea Island, Georgia also on a blue and white Bergamo needlepoint rug. Image courtesy Lisa Torbett Interiors.
Lisa Torbett gave this living room a cheerful and uplifting ambiance while still following many of the same design principles that Polly McKenna and her client used.
Here are some additional design takeaways from Lisa Torbett’s design:
7. For a livelier effect broaden the color palette add warm colors that pop, but still keep the overall color palette and patterns well edited. In this room the major areas of color and pattern come first from the needlepoint rug and then from the wall tapestry.Pop is created by yellow silk pillows and by the red and yellow accents in the tapestry.
8. Connect the rooms colors to the view from the windows. Torbett chose blue as the dominant color to connect with the magnificent seaside views.
9. Enhance the enjoyment of the sea views and the blues in the room by painting the walls and ceiling a flat white.
10. Use subtle touches to tie in the main colors and patterns. The blues in the needlepoint rug are gently connected to the blue piping in the two white sofas. The pattern in the rug is echoed by the rounded geometry of the ottoman fabric.
11. Introduce dark and light shades to complete the range of shades in the main item in the room. The wall tapestry and the chair fabric in the far corner bring in navy and dark blues thereby completing the light blues and medium blues in the needlepoint rug
12. Create an artistic ambiance with selected works of art. Lisa Torbett introduces art in two tactile mediums-the tapestry has color, pattern as well as texture and the wood table has curves, dimensionality and a natural material.
Here is a selection of blue and white needlepoint rugs:
Bergamo CB Needlepoint Rug is handmade in hand spun wool in a highly texture needlepoint stitch reminiscent of Madiera needlepoint rugs and old English needlepoint rugs. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.
The Bombay CBL Needlepoint Rug has an elegant geometric pattern in cream and soft blue that works with both modern and traditional decor. Available in other colors. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.
The Ascot Needlepoint Rug was inspired by French wood inlaid floors and wood marquetry patterns and is available in several other colors. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.
Kenya textured needlepoint rug has a geometric pattern in dark blue, medium blue and beige on a cream background. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.