How To Design A Bedroom With A Bold Rug

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In this Ask A Designer column, Joel Bray shares his ideas for decorating a bedroom anchored by a striking rug.

Question: The large Bokhara rug in our bedroom is quite overwhelming and I’m not sure how to incorporate it into the decor. What color scheme, nightstands
and lighting do you recommend to make this room more cohesive? — A.O., Maple, Ontario.


Answer: A special piece, like your rug is a great jumping-off point for developing a color scheme. Good news: You don’t need to paint your white walls; they’re an ideal envelope for the rich coppery hues of this traditional rug.

I suggest layering your upholstered bed with a neutral striped duvet cover that complements the tones of the carpet. To add texture and more color, accessorize with pink cotton-velvet and burgundy suede accent pillows. A handsome upholstered bench will make use of the empty space at the foot of the bed. Consider replacing your current nightstands with matching round side tables, which will help soften the lines of your long, narrow bedroom.

Then, I would move your sconces farther apart so they relate more to the side tables. Position them over each table, one-third of the way down from the top of the headboard. For an updated alternative to your swing-arm sconces, I recommend adjustable bronze versions with some industrial charm.

Take advantage of the long wall on the right to hang oversized artwork — the bigger the better — to balance the weight of the king bed. In addition, instead of the ornate damask drapes you have now (not shown), try a simple roman blind in a neutral linen that won’t clash or compete with the rug.

As a final touch, add a small potted plant and a few books on the side tables. With these tweaks, your bedroom — with its statement-making rug — will convey a sophisticated style that is both casual and elegant.

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