Interior Styling The Scenery House

But What Rug Goes Best with Those Dark, Moody Walls?

April 9, 2017

I love rugs. When I decorate, I usually find myself picking a rug first and then building the whole room around it. And that’s probably the issue here because I started decorating our living room without a plan, just a bunch of quick decisions.

Here’s where we are now, no art on the walls and sporting a giant rug pad. We have the rug pad because I ordered a big traditional Persian rug the whole way back in November (this has been quite the saga) but decided it was just too much red and blue and shipped it back.

I went with dark walls to make the room cozier and bring out the unpainted woodwork – plus, I’ve been seeing them everywhere and they look gorgeous. To balance that out, I picked a light gray KIVIK from IKEA because it was budget friendly, the room is suited for a large sectional and we were dying to sprawl out in here. Our coffee table is marble with an iron base and I’ve brought in black and white and pink accents. And now I’m stuck.

A quick note on our TV situation – there just isn’t a great place for a TV in our living room but we love hanging out in here and watching Netflix, so we came up with a solution. We decided to put the TV on a cart that we can roll away into the sunroom when we want to be fancy for guests. The extension cord is temporary until Andy and my dad rewire a closer outlet into a 3 prong. Dealing with old house electrical is a treat and probably deserves its own post.

At the other end of the living room is Andy’s record collection and listening nook. In our apartment, his record collection was kept in the dining room and we were really happy to have room for it in our living room. The shag rug is too small for the space but works for now until we figure out the whole larger rug situation.

The room is a large rectangle and needs a rug that is at least a 9×12. That could be a lot of look and has the potential to change the vibe of the room. And at that size, it’s also a big spend so I want something that will last us a long time without feeling dated. With this in mind, it makes the most sense to go with something either traditional or simple. Andy would love a thicker, densely piled rug so flatweaves are out. To keep things clean, modern, and flexible, I’m thinking neutral is the way to go. That way, I can refresh accessories over time to make this thing last.

Here are some options I’m looking at:

[ 1. Tiger Stitch Rug | 2. Niles Rug | 3. Carmel Hand Knotted Rug | 4. Arlequin Cream Wool Rug | 5. Essouara Rug | 6. Basket Weave Textured Wool Rug ]
Here’s each option in mood board form.

This Tiger Stitch Rug from West Elm caught my eye months ago but its availability date keeps getting moved. It is ivory and navy and is likely to look lovely with our walls. The availability shifts and lack of additional product photos makes me hesitate on ordering this one.

The Niles Rug from Serena & Lily has a distinctly modern visual texture from the gray lines but enough imperfections to make it more classic. This is a very pricey option but a really nice one.

Another spendy option is the Serena & Lily Carmel Hand Knotted Rug. This gives a traditional vibe which would go well with the kilims I have throughout our home but is also an overall neutral.

Morrocan style rugs are pretty timeless but I’m wary of how trendy they’ve been lately. This pattern on this Arlequin Cream Wool Rug from eCarpetGallery might be unique enough and the price is great.

This is another beautiful Morrocan style rug with a modern twist in the form of small abstract shapes in muted colors. The Essouara Rug from Anthropologie is one of my favorites and looks insanely comfy.

Last up is this very neutral but very textured rug. It’s the Basket Weave Textured Wool Rug from Rejuvenation and it’s the type of rug that would add the right kind of visual texture but not steal the show.

Good heavens, please help. Which of these neutral options is your favorite? Am I going in the right direction with the neutral rugs or should I be thinking color?

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click through and buy, I’ll get a few cents. All opinions on these products are my own.

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  • Reply Amanda Lamborn April 27, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Love love love number 1, West Elm rug. Very cute, pop of color plus a fun little tiger pattern. You’ve already been rugless for a while so why not wait a little longer for this beauty.
    Runner up, number 5, Anthropologie rug. It’s neutral BUT still has such a fun geometric pattern and tassels. Blends in the golds and grays already in your living room.
    You’re welcome for my input

    • Reply thesweetbeast April 27, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      Guhhh, Manda, I think you’re right. I have a rug on the way from Target but I already think I changed my mind about it. This is so tough! I change my mind 10 times a day over this whole thing but right now (for the next 5 minutes) I’m thinking the Anthro rug would be great. I don’t believe the West Elm Tiger Stitch Rug is ever going to be ready to ship. The thing I’ve been doing lately is waiting til a rug sells out and then feeling a great sense of loss, convinced it was the perfect rug. Over and over again.

      I’ve already changed my mind about the Anthro rug. Please help.

  • Reply KCK June 16, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    HI, there. May I ask where you got the nifty wood album storage? Thanks, really enjoying your site!

    • Reply thesweetbeast June 16, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Hi! The wood album storage units are NORNAS from IKEA, but seem to be discontinued in the US. Target’s Darley Cube Storage is similar in appearance but isn’t solid wood so I’m not sure how it’ll hold up under the weight of a lot of records.

  • Reply Leslie February 20, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Off topic and way late- that top picture really shows off the texture of plaster walls. Love the look.

    • Reply thesweetbeast February 20, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks! There’s something so special about old plaster walls. I love them!

  • Reply Becky Reeves April 16, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    I’m wondering what rug you decided on? And could you post or send a pic? I’m considering the #3 one the Serena & Lily Carmel hand knotted for my living room but would love to see it in a room first. Thanks!

  • Reply Joanna January 7, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    I’m sorry if I missed it and you shared it somewhere else on the blog but I’m wondering what the living room color is? We also have the same red oak trim and I’m looking for a dark moody color.

    • Reply thesweetbeast January 7, 2022 at 5:35 pm

      Hi Joanna! The living room walls are painted Benjamin Moore Raccoon Fur. I had Home Depot color match w/ behr paint in a matte/flat finish. Hope that helps!

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