Decorating with Persian Rugs

I received this email from a friend a few weeks ago… 
“We inherited a beautiful – HUGE – persian rug that is filled with beautiful navy blue, deep red, and a little bit of teal with some cream background.  We’ve placed in the downstairs of our loft-duplex (ie our bedroom, no windows).  Any tips for bedding or decorating around it?” ~Marci in Manhattan

Persian rugs are beautiful and luxurious but decorating with them can be tricky, especially if your style isn’t traditional. Here are some great spaces that show different ways to work persian rugs:
Neutral colors & modern classic furniuture…I love the juxtoposition of old and new. 
Furniture that actually matches a color in the rug, with pops of other colors as accents. 
All whites and neutrals, this really shows of the rug if you love the pattern and color of the rug. 
Traditional furniture that is neutral and somewhat matches some tones in the rug. 

Persian rugs are often red and blue- I love the charcoal grey walls with this rug. Fabulous!
This is a rare Persian rug with pinks and oranges…but if you’re lucky enough to have a unique palette this is gorgeous. Use a complementary color on the walls like this robins egg blue!
Subtle & tonal. Do something interesting on the walls like a stencil or wallpaper. 
Modern setting with a complementary colored sofa. Again, I love the robin’s egg with the darker red rugs especially. 
Bohemian & eclectic with some colors matching the rug. 
Clean, traditional and contrasting. Bright white is always beautiful with intricate patterned rugs. 
Natural tones and textures and interesting shaped furniture. Love this feel. 
Funky furniture and solid throw pillows- an easy way to match your persian rug.
Dusty tones can be really pretty with the more muted rugs. Love the dark teal. 

Elegant and refined…makes perfect sense with a persian. 

Ethnic and matching in all one color- this could work with a multicolored rug as well. 
And one of my own designs- modern classic furniture, block-printed fabrics, matching palette. 
*Tomorrow I’ll be sharing Marci’s rug and little room design I whipped up!* 

23 Responses to “Decorating with Persian Rugs”

  1. Meet Vanessa

    My first job at The Pacific Design Center was at a rug showroom JH Minassian and I was in love with all of the beautiful antique and reproduction rugs!!! Great post!


  2. Marci Joy

    Caitlin – you are a dream and I love the inspiration you have found so far. Great mix of old and new. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  3. Heather

    It’s so funny that even though Persian rugs have so much color and pattern, they almost act as a neutral in a room, and you can do so much with them.

  4. Heather Peterson

    LOVE these inspiration images, and I haven’t seen a number of them before. Thanks!

    And this post is timely, as persian rugs seem to be coming back. Feels like a more taditional take on all the sort of global kilims that are popping up everywhere.


  5. Alena

    I love persian rugs and hope to own one someday. I love the images you chose to showcase how to use them. Just stunning.

  6. travelkate

    I just loved all of these examples: these rooms display the placement of a Persian Rug in such different ways but all are unfussy!

  7. Barbara Jordan Dettweiler

    Another combo I think looks great with persian rugs is mid-century, which I usually don’t prefer but I like it with persian rugs! I loved this post since I have a persian rug and have been trying to figure out what to do next to change up the room. I loved your design with the block print pillows – hadn’t occurred to me to do that so thanks for the great ideas!

  8. Persian Oriental Rugs

    So many different ideas to work around your rugs and all so wonderful. When you think about it, decorating ideas with these beautiful rugs are just endless.

  9. lyoeono

    I have a red couch and red rug? The rug is an older Persian rug, can I use them in one room? Should I replace the couch?

  10. sheri

    i have acquired a blue and red persian rug from my new marriage. i am not a big fan and am having trouble decorating with it. we are combining homes and have a lot of furniture in a tiny space. any ideas….tan sofa, darker furniture but want light and airy

  11. Noelle

    I have been swooning over these Persian rugs for weeks now, this post definitely gives me the courage to take the plung and purchase! I do have a question though, how many Persain rugs are too many? For example I have a rec room that I wold love to put one and also under our kitchen table but there is a direct site line between the two rooms. Any suggestions ?


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