One of the greatest influences of personal style in your home is the floor you’re standing on. With ninety percent of your furnishings sitting on the floor, flooring has a big impact on the overall look of your space, including material and color. Your rug selection plays a significant role, as well and should complement your flooring in style, tone, and pattern to help further your design scheme.
That’s not to say that your rug and flooring have to match (contrast can play a strong role in your overall scheme), but they should relate in some way. Alternatively, a rug can serve to distract from a floor you would love to change but might not be able to right away.
Tips for Choosing Flooring
When choosing your flooring, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Find the best-wearing and most realistic-looking material that fits your budget.
- Consider what the floor will sound like against hard-heeled shoes, as some flooring can be terribly noisy underfoot.
- Consider how slippery the flooring may be when dry or wet.
- Consider the floor’s color and pattern and how adaptable they are to changing trends and your evolving style. Always opt for timelessness.
- Consider the visual flow from one space to another. Take a walk around the house to determine which direction you should lay the flooring. Consider the house as a whole rather than each room as separate spaces.
Pairing Your Floor and Rug
Your rug and floor combination is based entirely on your style. Depending on the intended effect for your space, the possibilities are endless. My typical approach to color and pattern pairing is to create a smooth flow from flooring to rug pattern for a uniform look. If your rug contains at least one color that ties into your floor material, you’ll be pretty safe with the pairing. That said, the suggestions for each type of flooring below are purely subjective.
Rugs for Concrete Floors
Concrete floors provide a neutral base that pairs well with every rug and decor style, and color combination. The modern, industrial vibe contrasts really well with richly patterned rugs in deep tones for a strong, sophisticated look.
Rugs for Hardwood Floors
The more details there are in your wood floors, including color, texture, grain, and knots, the more organic, rustic, or traditional your space will look.
Typically, your wood floors are laid in the direction of your room’s length. If your rug shape follows this direction, you’ll create a cohesive flow through the space.
For the main rooms, try to stick to a theme or stylistic thread. Home offices, kids’ rooms, and nurseries, on the other hand, offer an opportunity to break the rules and reflect the personalities of whomever will be occupying them.
Rugs for Marble Floors
Marble floors look and feel rich, formal, and elegant, but at the same time look cold, hard, and reflective. If the marble is polished, it can be slippery. A soft, warm rug creates a sweet place to land and offers a beautiful textural contrast to the floor.
If you choose a rug that contrasts with the floor, like a bold color or pattern, look for a common color in your rug that ties in with the marble color.
Another option is to coordinate your rug with your furniture. This will unify everything that sits atop the rug, creating an island of cozy while making the space feel pulled together.
Rug for Tumbled Stone Floors
A stone floor adds a rich, textural, and aged elegance to a space. For the best effect, the rug selected should continue that elegant vibe that the stone flooring creates rather than fight against it.
Rugs for Tile Floors
When selecting a rug for a tile floor, it’s important to consider the tile style and color. If your tile is contemporary, most likely your interior style is, too, and so the pattern of your rug should complement that.
Remember that contrast works to complement, too. Modern with a touch of antique and ornate often works quite well.
Rugs for Laminate, Vinyl, Cork, and Linoleum Floors
Laminate, vinyl, cork, and linoleum are great flooring options because of their long wear and cleanability. The colors and patterns as well as price points and quality levels available in these flooring options are endless. This enables the consumer to find the color, pattern, and material that perfectly fleshes out their style while serving their wear and cleanability needs.
How to Pair Your Rug and Floor Color
Rugs for Black or Dark Brown Floors
Darker wood floors—in either real wood, engineered laminate wood floors, or the latest vinyl floors that mimic real wood—pair well with intricately patterned rugs such as kilim, Moroccan, Persian, and Turkish with rich, moody colors like scarlet red, hazel brown, or charcoal.
Rugs for Red or Reddish Brown Floors
Flooring with red and red-brown tones pairs well with a rug that carries these same tones. That is not to say that your rug and floor must match. Some contrast will complement your space and furnishings. But keeping a common thread, like a bit of red or red-brown tones in the rug, will unite the two and work well to unify the space.
Rugs for Natural or Medium Brown Floors
Flooring with gold and warm tones pairs nicely with cool-toned colors, like blue, which lies opposite on the color wheel.
High-contrast black and white, blue tones, and a wide range of yellows and oranges also pair well, leaving many options to select from. This is where personal style and taste come in. Let your rug pattern and color selection reference both your style and the elements you’ve filled your home with.
Rugs for Blonde or Light Brown Floors
Blonde and light floors create a warm-neutral base for a calming interior color scheme. Golden blonde floors pair beautifully with grey, taupe, and caramel tones, and also look gorgeous against deep, rich blue and green colored rugs. They can also play off of lighter tones in a wide spectrum of colors.
Rugs for Ash or Grey Floors
Grey floors seem to be the ultimate neutral, often selected for their calming effect on a space. The cool neutral tone pairs best with a cool neutral palette highlighted with pops of warm color, like caramel, bright pinks, yellows, deep oranges, as well as graphic black and white. Grey and cream are also an elegant combination.
Rugs for White or Beige Floors
White and beige floors provide a blank slate for an interior space, ready for you to impart the textures and tones that you like best. Start by narrowing down your favorite furnishings, deciding what you want to highlight, then look to tie these colors or patterns into your rug selection.
A darker rug on top of a light floor works well to create an island or focal point for your furniture on top. On the other hand, less contrast between the floor and rug keeps your eye flowing, making the room look larger.