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Plain vs Patterned Rugs

Plain vs Patterned Rugs

In interior design, it is said to place a rug first and build the room around that. However, at Rug Mountain we know this is not always realistic. Instead, most people tend to look for a rug to match already decorated rooms, and find what would best fit in without intruding and looking out of place. But before choosing colour or size, the question of plain or patterned is perhaps the most pertinent of all. For that reason, we have compared the two to help you decide which would be most suitable for your home.


The types of pattern can range from those on our traditional rugs, to more subtle, intricate and simple shape patterning. For louder and bolder patterns, it is recommended to only use these alongside plain furniture as to avoid clashing. This would be overwhelming and unattractive, and make the room look too clumsy. That being said, subtle patterns such as thin and faded stripes can fit in without looking busy if the room is large enough. Patterned cushions on a plain couch are recommended to tie in with a patterned rug whilst eliminating risk of clashing; this applies to any kind of pattern. Also, if your room looks too minimal and you want to change this, a patterned rug is a good starting point here too. Another benefit of patterned rugs is their ability to hide damage caused by busy households or children and pets - definitely something to consider if you value longevity.

If you do decide on a patterned rug, they are best used when matching their accent colours to other décor so there is the look of an intentional theme. They also look best in small plain rooms to give the illusion of more space, and should not be placed under furniture – this would harm the ‘feature piece’ intention of the rug. Try pairing a traditional rug with antiques and traditional decorations, or put stripes in a room to extend it.


Plain doesn’t have to be boring, but rather it can be used for minimalist themes or linking colours together. They also help make a room appear larger, more welcoming and cosy, and can unify a room without being the focal point. If deciding between a plain or patterned rug, plain would suit patterned furniture better, as the crowded look would be minimised. It is important however to ensure the colour suits the décor, although this doesn’t have to be exact. For example, black and white go together, as do neutral and natural colours like cream, white, beige and brown. Neutral colours such as these are also flexible, meaning better value for money as you wont need to purchase a new one upon any future redecoration. The absence of pattern in a plain rug also really highlights a colour scheme within a room and makes it pleasing to the eye, but it should be noted too much of one colour makes a room lack depth.

If you decide to purchase a plain rug, ensure you choose the correct shade in relation to the traffic – high traffic areas should avoid use of light coloured rugs whereas dark ones hide dirt best. Sisal rugs are also recommended for those wanting a more natural look, or wanting a coloured border to fit in with other décor without an overpowering block of colour.

In conclusion, if you wish to showcase your personality and add character or depth, choose a patterned rug. If you only want comfort and warmth underfoot, or are tying together colours in a room, try a plain rug. If you cant decide between the two, why not try a plain rug with an indented pattern, rather than a coloured pattern? This will add character but maintain the colour scheme and avoid overcrowding. Alternatively, our modern rugs provide designs rather than repeating ‘patterns’, so take a look here if these sound more your cup of tea!

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