Years ago when I was a novice rug designer, an industry veteran quizzed me “What are the three most important criteria for judging a decorative rug?”. I was halfway into mumbling a response when he interrupted me “No, no, no! the three most important criteria are: Color! Color! and Color”! In real estate it is location! location! location! and in decorator rugs it is color first, second and third.
To understand why color has such a powerful influence on us, try to imagine how our hunter-gatherer ancestors survived in the primeval forest and plain- it was by noticing and remembering the colors of fruits and grains that denoted it they were ripe and edible, or sour, bitter or even poisonous. The ability to notice slight differences in color shades was crucial to our survival. The best artists, architects, interior designers and decorative rug designers are color fanatics. They do not rest unless they have gotten the colors just right. They are guided by instinct and practice and are masters at composing emotionally pleasing color palettes. Many of us have inherited the ability to emotionally respond to color, and we can develop it further through practice. Looking at pictures of beautiful rugs and interiors is a good start. Creating your own color compositions is the next step. So when you look at today’s eye-catching interiors, pause to notice how you feel when you look at a room or a rug.
1. Celerie Kemble creates a lyrical harmony with colors. The red in the traditional rug, the coral in the pillows and oil painting warm and soothe us while the the turquoise in the upholstered chair invigorates us with it’s coolness.
2. Barry Dixon evokes the forest floor with a leafy decorator rug in a warm beiges and overlays with a refreshing palette of citrus greens.
3. John Fowler painted this stunning geometric decorator rug design on the floor of Pauline de Rothschild’s London bedroom in the 1970’s. This rug pattern, so fashionable today, reminds us again that great design is timeless. Our response to color are conditioned also by the climate and culture we live in. The pink walls are very English as is the particular shade of green in the rug pattern.
4. Jamie Drake created this room for a client with a strong personality and this dictated the choice of the vibrant colors. One of Jamie’s long term clients is Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose luxurious apartment suddenly appeared in the New York Times last fall, before it was hastily pulled from Drake Designs website!
5. Bunny Williams painted the walls in this New York dining room a delicious shade of apricot and then energized the room with the tiger patterned decorator rug. Image courtesy www.sfluxe.com
6. Kendall Wilkinson’s turquoise walls evoke the sea which he warms with the apricot drapery fabrics and a chocolate decorator rug.
7. LD Design warms mid-century modern furniture with the terracotta in the decorator rug.
8. Jonathan Adler evokes Albert Hadley and energizes this dining room with a black and white chevron patterned decorator rug. The color palette of lemon yellow, turquoise and ruby surprises us.
9. Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s living room Zebra decorator rug introduces a wild energy. What do you feel when you look at the colors in this room?
10. Madeline Stuart’s feast of color is highly original for a traditional library. The vibrant blue decorator rug is needed to balance the strong reds in the sofa and wall covering.
Which rooms do you find pleasing? Wich are your least favorite?