Rugs & Fabrics – How To Mix, Match & Decorate


Before you start your next decorating project, create a color scheme to guide you in your choices, from furniture to accessories to wall paint. It’s the best way to ensure a cohesive space that conveys the look and feel you want.

First, you’ll need to pick an inspiration piece – something you absolutely love – to help you pull together a palette. It could be a piece of fabric, a rug or a vase in your favorite color. Some designers use places or pull from nature to spark their inspiration. Find what moves you and sets the mood you want.

To show you how to pick the perfect palette, we paired our most popular rugs with our favorite fabric combinations. Imagine using these swatches in your own home as curtains, throw pillows or upholstery. Or, match the color to accessories or wall paint.

Perfect Pairings

Chocolate Delight

Can’t find your inspiration piece? Find a fabulous fabric with all the colors you love. We created the look you see here simply by pulling colors from one of our favorite patterned fabrics, Palomar Black. Every palette needs neutrals for balance – ours are a combination of twills.

RUG 1. LePoeme Indoor/Outdoor Rug in Chocolate

FABRICS 2. Palomar Black, 3. Small Black Check , 4. Khaki Twill, 5. Off White Twill


Seascape Neutrals

We selected a soothing spa blue to lay the groundwork for this crisp and airy color scheme. The rug’s Persian motif and the paisley fabric introduce patterns in similar colors that meld together rather than compete. We incorporated shades of taupe to warm things up ever so slightly.

RUG 1. Satari Rug in Blue

FABRICS 2. Imogene Blue, 3. Small Check Toffee, 4. Mineral Linen, 5. Zebra Woven



Sophisticated Gray

Your style preferences will influence your palette and how the colors work together. The traditional pattern of the rug is secondary to the color, especially when paired with the contemporary Ikat and geometric patterns in equally sophisticated shades. Again, lighter neutrals balance out the heavier colors.

RUG 1. Monterey Indoor/Outdoor Rug in Gray

FABRICS 2. Malabar Gray, 3. Natural Linen, 4. Laguna Khaki, 5. Sand Twill


Traditional Neutrals

Many designers prefer to keep larger items, such as the sofa or rug, a neutral tone and use accents to add in color. The soft, tonal patterns of the Catherine Rug let you do just that. For a totally neutral palette, use texture to add interest, as we did here with the quilted and linen fabrics.

RUG 1. Catherine Rug

FABRICS 2. Natural Danish Linen, 3. Off White Quilted, 4. Etiene, 5. Salisbury, 6. Natural Linen

Bold and Beautiful

Color adds warmth and reveals your personality. Here, the saturated tones of indigo, brick and yellow are the stars. Play it safe with solid colors, but don’t be afraid to mix and match with bold patterns when you’re ready to kick up the color quotient.

RUG 1. Josslyn Rug

FABRICS 2. Ashford Paisley, 3. Wheat Fleur de Lis, 4. Moroccan Stripe, 5. Butter Twill, 6. Indigo Twill


Mediterranean Warmth

We can imagine a rustic earthenware jug serving as the inspiration piece for this color scheme. Warm earth tones bring instant energy to any abode. Mix greens, golds and reds and anchor with khaki for a fresh yet classic look.

RUG 1. Tahira Rug in Tan

FABRICS 2. Tuscan Vine Easy Care, 3. Linen Sage, 4. Small Check Sage, 5. Moroccan Stripe, 6. Crimson Twill, 7. Khaki Twill

Natural Neutrals

Create a neutral palette that’s anything but boring when you mix in lots of natural texture and interesting patterns. An oatmeal-colored sisal rug serves as the foundation while soft quilted cotton and patterns in muted hues create an incredibly calming flow.

RUG 1. Trellis Rug

FABRICS 2. Malabar Sand, 3. Laguna Khaki, 4. Caramel Twill, 5. Zebra Woven, 6. Off White Quilted


More Tips for Successful Coordinating

  • Use a neutral texture or solid color for large upholstered pieces to anchor your room
  • Accent with the larger print – mixing and matching pillows, tablecloths and small accent pieces
  • Smaller prints work well on accent upholstery or on drapery panels, tablecloths and lampshades
  • Try to pull together different prints, solids and textures – it makes the room visually interesting
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment – start off small by adding a bit of an accent color
  • When in doubt about how much color to use, follow the 60-30-10 rule:

Devote 60% of your color to the sofa and walls; 30% can be drapery panels; tablecloths, occasional furniture i.e. (accent chair); and save 10% for pillows, throws, lamp shades and accessories. Always order swatches of the fabric and rug so you can visualize it in your own environment. Please remember that each computer monitor’s color may not represent the actual colors of the fabrics or rugs – so make sure you order sample swatches!

Patricia Palermo

Patricia Palermo

Patricia Palermo has been writing about home décor and design since 1999, which is when she first learned the term faux bois. She's passionate about helping others find their design style, because she believes with a little know-how and inspiration, anyone can decorate with confidence. Patricia has a degree in Journalism and lives in Atlanta with her husband and four-year-old twins.



  1. Reply

    Carolyn Williams

    April 22, 2017

    Need idea for room with white walls dark brown leather sectional dRk brown laminate foor and large persian rug with browns greens reds and beige what kind of curtains and wall decor

    • Reply

      Annika Dupree

      June 5, 2017

      We would love to help you with decorating this room! We offer a free service in which our interior designers help pick out furniture, fabric, and accessories! Just send in your question and a picture of your room here, and a designer will contact you with a design plan!

  2. Reply

    Gina Lizarralde

    July 5, 2016

    Hi, I’m planning to re-upholster my formal dining room chairs seat pad and add curtain on the bay window.

    Please I need desperate help me pick a new chair pads color and curtain that will match my formal dining room rug that has black and gold rug, beige and red wall.