Tag Archives: color inspiration

Shades of Gray at The Kellogg Collection

All puns about a certain book-to-movie aside, gray’s many shades make it a wonderful “color” to decorate a home. It’s a neutral shade, which means it goes well with any other colors going on in a room. It’s also a contemporary color trending now in the design world.
Gray living room
Gray living room vignette
Gray can make a strong anchor color for a room. If you select a gray fabric for your main living room upholstery and a gray rug, you won’t have too much trouble matching pillows, rugs, lamps, throws and other pieces of furniture to this “blank canvas” – you could even add more grays, like left’s pillow with its bold pattern. Should you feel the desire to add more color, simply swap a few pieces out for the new color you’re in the mood for. This swapping is harder to do when anchoring upholstery, a main rug or wall color in royal blue or bright yellow, for example.
Gray home decor
A big upside to gray is it is easy to find, and almost all of its shades naturally match well together. Dark grays and light grays go well with other shades, including metallic silvers, mirrors, white and black. In the above photo, you can see how nicely the gray chairs and darker gray-and-white pillows look lovely with clear vases, white flowers, and a mirrored table with black trim.
gray pillows
Instead of mix-and-matching colors in your pillows, play with different shades and textures of grays. Above, a central pillow pulls together the cooler and warmer grays in its flanking pillows. The soft texture of the medium-gray throw, chunky white fringe and light gray sofa add more gray texture layers to the sofa vignette.
Home office
Gray and metals can add an interesting element to a room that would otherwise just be white. A metal storage bin, a gray-and-white throw and a darker gray pillow tie make this office vignette more eye-catching.
decorating your home with gray
Pantone Grays
Image via Pantone
Pro tip: Not all grays are created equally. As we said earlier, there are warm grays and cool grays, which have yellow, blue, purple or green undertones. This may not matter when mixing gray home accessories, but gray’s warm and cool tones should be considered when picking rugs, wall color and upholstery.
All images (c) The Kellogg Collection unless otherwise stated

An Ode to Blue & White



Timeless, classic and always pretty, blue and white might be our favorite seminal color combination. A staple in traditional decor, it seems as if almost anything pairs nicely with blue and white. And it’s one of the most livable color schemes, evoking a peaceful, elegant aesthetic that is hard to tire of.



The versatility of blue and white is one of it’s strongest attributes. The two hues go well in any room. For example, its lovely in a bedroom evoking harmonious vibes, as seen in the slightly feminine bedroom top right. Conversely, the use of blue and white stripes works perfectly in the breezway pictured top left. The horizontal striped fabric used on the outdoor curtains is light, airy and almost whimsical.


A master and long time fan of blue and white color schemes, American designer Charlotte Moss uses the combo all the time.


Charlotte scrapbooks often and gathers her inspiration, making elaborate collages, all of which are on display in her recently published book Charlotte Moss: A Visual Life. Her ability to pair traditional blue and white toile patterns or chintz prints with more modern pieces creates the updated, English look she is known for. In the above bedroom, she not only does the bold thing of putting the bed smack dab in the middle, but also uses three different blue and white patterns including wallpaper and two different fabric prints. To finish it off, a blue velvet ottoman placed next to the bed, which has nice pops of pink.


Of course, one of the most common instances of this color combination can be seen in porcelain and china wares. Collecting ginger jars has risen in popularity, we see them all over the decorating magazines. If you’re interested, you can read a full history of where these jars originate here, the short version being that the real antiques date back to the Tang dynasty and were made to hold ginger, the most valued spice. Hand painted in blue and white patterns, they come in all shapes and sizes, adding a touch of historical charm to any space they occupy.

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There’s nothing like pairing blue and white with creamy yellows. It’s just a pretty, happy color scheme. At home this works well, seen in the yellow, blue and white dining room above.
Like this pleasing look? Here’s how you can add some blue and white via The Kellogg Collection:



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Warmer Days Ahead


Nothing says that Spring is coming quite like the first sight of a brightly colored bird against a cold grey landscape.  The contrast of this Goldfinch’s bright yellows against the greys of winter is such a welcome sight!

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” -Victor Hugo

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A creative way to bring some warmth back into your home after a long cold winter is with the color yellow.  Yellow in many ways signifies sun, warmth, energy and happiness.  Cut forsythia in a rustic hanging basket makes a welcoming entrance for your guests.


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What better way to liven up an all white kitchen but with fresh forsythia, bowls of lemons and yellow tulips.

“How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.” – Vincent Van Gogh


The color yellow can be subtle and pretty like these painted beadboard walls and geometric dining room rug as shown in Traditional Home.  This cottage look is sure to make you wish for summer days at the shore.

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Accents of bright yellow bring energy into a room’s color scheme with accessories, lamps and throws.  Cheerful bouquets of fresh flowers add an invigorating touch.  That pop of color turns a traditional blue and white scheme into something young and chic.

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Legendary designer, Mario Buatta brought into his traditional design a splash of bold yellow with this whimsical canopy bed draped with a blue and white Ikat fabric. The yellow canopy lining gives this bedroom a wonderful glow.



Local designer Mary Douglas Drysdale is famous for her crisp and classically designed rooms.  The yellow and white decor instantly translates to pure sunshine. Nobody does yellow as good as she does!

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Stop by The Kellogg Collection for a dose of sunshine to get you through these last few weeks of winter!  Our Astor chair shown above in a cheery geometric fabric will liven up any space!

Photos without credits are courtesy of House Beautiful.

Tom Scheerer Decorates


Interior designer Tom Scheerer is having a moment. Which, after 20 years as a staple tastemaker in the design world, is due time. His new book Tom Scheerer Decorates debuted last month and everyone is raving about it’s perfect mix of practical advice, dry humor and inspiring visuals of his timeless interiors.
Although this native New Yorker has a degree in architecture, he prefers the term “decorator.” How refreshing is that? He puts it this way, “We’ve lost confidence in the power of decorating, which is the part of design I like the best.”

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Scheerer’s style is hard to pinpoint because it rests so firmly outside of “trendy” decorating. He says in his book that he likes to think of his rooms as “cheerful” with a reference to his great influences trying to achieve the same thing.

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His rooms tend to be tailored, textured, and tonal rather than heavily embellished, although his “relaxed modernism” often embraces what one might call more old fashioned antique pieces. Think a bentwood chair, or series of mallard prints hung in a grouping. Somehow he makes incorporating it into his mix look chic!
Above, he’s had this chest handpainted to match the chintz on the chairs, for an overall pretty look that seems completely appropriate for a bedroom.

Interiors of Tom Scheerer for Book

“In keeping with Scheerer’s personal style, the book is unpretentious, straightforward, contains a smattering of his pet peeves and exhibits just a touch of dry humor. The reader learns about his background (which so clearly informs his aesthetic) and then is skillfully led by Mimi Read through a broad range of projects from Maine to Paris, with frequent stops down in the islands too.”—Style Court

How to Paint a Room and Get a New Look

  Paint a Room – Get a New Look
Whether you have moved into a new home and want to make it your own or want to refresh and/or update a current room all it takes is a little time.  Painting a room is the fastest and least expensive way to rejuvinate a room yourself.  There are an infinite number of colors and painting is the most versatile and easiest thing to change in a room.  So, if you are changing many things in a room (rug, upholstery, artwork) choose the paint color last.
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Painting isn’t hard but it will take a little patience.
Step 1 – Choosing a Color

First you should decide whether you want the color to be a background to the other elements in your room or whether you want the color to make a statement in and of itself.  According to Barbara Jacobs of HGTV.COM “the effects of color are subtle and significant; physical and psychological.”  Keep in mind that neutrals and soft colors are soothing while darker colors are more powerful and dramatic.   Use your local paint store or home improvement store to do research on colors.  Use the internet too.  There are thousands of articles on paint color and how color makes you feel.
The best advice I have heard (and taken advantage of) is to buy a pint of the color you like (usually around $10) and paint a piece of poster board or a section of your wall.  Try a few colors or shades within that color.  Remember to view the color in different types of light, evening with lights, strong natural sunlight and even on rainy days.  The light will affect and change the color you choose.
Finally consider what finish you need or want for your walls.  Flat and eggshell are great for hiding imperfections while semi and high gloss add drama and reflect light.
Step 2 – Preparing the Room
This is where patience comes in.

  • Remove all window treatments, artwork and mirrors then either remove or move rugs and furniture to the center of the room and cover them with a tarp.
  • If you have wall mounted light fixtures remove those and wall faceplates.  The safest way to do this is to turn the electricity off in the room prior to removal.
  • Use spackle to fill in nail holes, cracks and any other dents.  When the spackle dries use a fine grade sandpaper to smooth the spots on the wall.  And sand the woodwork.
  • Vacuum the floor, the walls, the woodwork and the ceiling – starting at the top and working your way down.
  • Use a damp cloth and soapy water to remove any remaining dust or grime.  If you are painting a kitchen or bathroom you may need to add a little elbow grease or stronger cleaning solution.  Be sure to rinse thoroughly if you use a stronger solution.
  • Most DIY painters need to tape the windows and ceiling.  Because the wall is painted last you don’t really need to tape when doing the ceiling.  When painting the walls reverse this and tape the ceiling (wait until the paint is dry).  When painting woodwork tape the wall that abuts the woodwork.

Step 3 – Painting the Room

  • When painting an entire room, like cleaning, start at the top with the ceiling, tackle the trim and finish with the walls.
  • Typically a ceiling is painted a shade of white.  Cut in with an angled brush about 3 inches from the wall in.  Cut in all around the room. Then using a roller with an extension and starting at the furthest corner from the exit (don’t want to paint yourself into a corner).

painting a ceiling (1)


  • The window trim, base boards and doors are next.  Using an angled brush begin with the windows and doors, ending with the baseboards.  Remember to tape the floors so you don’t drip.  Again don’t worry about taping the walls unless you are painting the walls a neutral color and the trim a stronger color.
  • Finally it is time for painting the walls.  When the ceiling paint and trim are dry you can tape them to avoid the wall color seeping.

painting walls

  • Before you roll the color onto the walls, cut in with an angled brush.  You should cut in around the ceiling and around all the baseboards, windows and doors.
  • After you have cut in you can use your roller and extension to paint the walls.  Start at the top and work your way down, one wall at a time.
  • Once the wall paint dries you can remove the tape.

Final Tips

  • Make sure you have all your supplies ready before you start.
  • Make sure you have enough paint.  If you run out mid-room you will be able to get the “same” color but it may be slightly different because it was mixed at different times.
  • You will probably need two coats on the wall and if you are painting over a strong color you should start the walls with a primer.
  • Have a roll of paper towels ready for spills and drips.
  • If you take a break mid painting clean your brushes, latex paint dries quickly.
  • When you have finished clean all your tools and mark the paint can with the date and the room in which the paint was used.

It may seem like a lot of work but if you plan ahead you can have a new look in a weekend.
If you need help choosing a paint color or trying to coordinate your room please stop by The Kellogg Collection, our associates are always here to help.  You can also try many of the apps available for coloration – Benjamin Moore’s ColorCapture or Sherwin Williams ColorSnap are easy to use.
Good Luck!

Guest Post: 15 Stylish Interiors: How to Decorate with Needlepoint Rugs and Red


This week we are lucky to have a guest blog post from Abid Ilahi from Asmara Inc. which manufactures many of the beautiful needlepoint rugs you can find in our own stores.


After reading all the great posts by Abid on his own blog I thought it would be a treat to have him share some of his knowledge.  So without further ado:

It is an honor to be invited to write a guest post for the Kellogg Collection, a company whose excellence and integrity in providing the stylish home decors and interior design services I have admired for the 23+ years they have been an Asmara dealer.

With the view to the fall which will soon be here, I have chosen 14 fabulous interiors and decorating schemes with red, pink, coral and pomegranate needlepoint rugs with a variety of different decorating styles. There are many talented interior designers at your favorite Kellogg Collection showroom who are highly qualified to offer you personalized decorating assistance. The interiors and design schemes below are offered as a travelogue through the decorating styles of other parts of the country. They may not be your decorating style, but I hope they will stimulate your own ideas on:


  • How to create beautiful traditional or contemporary living rooms with needlepoint rugs that contain red, coral, pink or pomegranate.
  • How to derive the room’s color palette from a needlepoint rug
  • How to create several different color palettes and looks from the same needlepoint rug
  • How to create two fabulous adjoining spaces with two needlepoint rugs of the same design
  • How to create a dazzling living room with reds by choosing a needlepoint rug with no reds.
  • How to accentuate the rooms architecture with the right needlepoint rug.


1. Interior designer Eric Guenther of Whim Home in chose the Bergamo Needlepoint Rug in pomegranate red and cream for a contemporary seating area in his Southern California showroom. Image (c) Asmara, Inc.

The pattern and color is provided by the needlepoint rug, the screen and the painting while the sofa and chair are in neutrals. The dark wood floor accentuates the drama in this seating area. There is an interesting interplay between the geometric pattern on the screen and the organic pattern of the needlepoint rug.


2. Eric Guenther shows how to freshen the look of the above room while keeping the same Bergamo needlepoint rug and just changing the fabrics on one chair.

Eric believes that by using a high fashion or strongly patterned fabrics on one or two chairs and pillows you can easily update the look of a living room while upholstering the sofa in safe neutral colors.

The picture shows several fabrics choices for chairs. Eric is comfortable with the idea of mixing strongly patterned fabrics with patterned needlepoint rugs. The blue fabric are designed to create pop against the red colors of the needlepoint rug.


3. The Bergamo needlepoint was chosen for this traditional living room designed by Washington DC interior designer Susan Nelson. The pomegranate red in the needlepoint rug inspired the color of the Venetian plastered wall. Susan created pop with blues in the ottoman, the William Morris fabric on the wing chairs and the client’s  blue and white porcelain collection. Image courtesy Susan Nelson.


4. Susan Nelson chose fabrics with yellows, golds and warm reds to create a warm ambiance in this bedroom with the same pomegranate red and cream Bergamo needlepoint rug. The head board and the sofa in the seating area are upholstered in cool blues to create pop and to balance the warm colors in the needlepoint rug and the fabrics on the bed and pillows. Image courtesy Susan Nelson.


5. Sea Island, Georgia interior designer Lisa Torbett painted the walls and ceiling white to dramatize the red and gold geometric Agra needlepoint rug in this living room on Sea Island. The red colors in the upholstery and drapery fabric move the eye towards the brilliant blue of the Atlantic visible through the arched portico. Their is a wonderful resonance between the geometric pattern of the needlepoint rug and the architecture of the portico.Image courtesy Lisa Torbett Interiors.


6. Southern California interior designer Eric Guenther literally slided in the Canterbury Bessarabian pile rug in his own living room without changing any of the fabrics, furnishings or wall covering. Eric was demonstrating his approach to creating an authentic European look right out of the pages of London’s The World of Interiors. TheCanterbury needlepoint rug offers the same color and pattern in a needlepoint rug texture. Image (c) Asmara, Inc. 


7. Eric did an instant refresh of his southern California dining room by just adding the Hermitage Needlepoint Rug to the existing furnishings in his dining room. Eric marveled at how the black and gold Greek-key border in the needlepoint rug resonates with the carved pattern in the leg of the dining table. He points out that the high contrast of red and black against a cream and beige background of the needlepoint rug brought a lively energy to the previously somber dining room.  Image (c) Asmara, Inc.


8. Eric demonstrates how he could create a different look in his dining room with the Hermitage needlepoint rug by selecting a different fabric for the dining room chairs. Image (c) Asmara, Inc.


9. New York design icon Bunny Williams anchored this timeless English living room on a fabulous antique Bessarabian rug. The Bessarabian rug’s complex balance of cool and warm colors- reds, yellow, gold, green, blue, and brown create just the right tension and resonance with the colors of the floral fabrics, wall, porcelain and impressionist paintings. Image courtesy Bunny Williams.


10. Alexis McDermott Asmara’s Marketing and Design Manager created this bedroom design scheme on the Modlova needlepoint rug which has a design similar to the Bessarabian rug in Bunny Williams living room above. Alexis wanted to show how you can create a modern bedroom with a traditional needlepoint rug with a multitude of vibrant colors- reds, yellows, purple, blue, black and green if you chose contemporary furniture with large expanse of neutrals from the needlepoint rug- in this case white and black. She shows how to create pop with accessories by restricting their colors to no more than two from the needlepoint rug-in this case red and yellow. Image (c) Asmara, Inc.



11. Maryland interior designer Justine Sancho defined two adjoining spaces with two Mid Summer Nightneedlepoint rugs. Notice how Justine created two distinct color palettes for the two rooms from the same needlepoint rug- demonstrating how multiple color schemes can be derived from a well colored needlepoint rug. The dining area pulls out the red accents from the needlepoint rug and the seating are fabrics harmonize with the golds and yellows in the needlepoint rug. Image courtesy Justine Sancho.

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12. Natural light filters through the garden into the sunroom seating area anchored on on the secondMidsummer Night needlepoint rug. The tree and branches pattern of the needlepoint rug and the trellis leaf pattern of the drapery fabric continue the garden theme. Image courtesy Justine Sancho.


13. Interior designer Bill Barr moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts from San Francisco. Bill says decorating flexibility has become more important for clients when chosing needlepoint rugs and other major pieces for a living room. A well chosen needlepoint rug will allow you to create new color schemes and decorating styles should your life style and tastes change. Image (c) Asmara, Inc.


“I guess the surprise came for me when I started pulling images for the World Traveler collage” (pictured above), wrote Bill in the Designer Rug Blog. “It amazed me that the Summer rug which is a traditional floral and vine motif rug, looks so good with South East Asian, Middle Eastern and British Colonial furnishings.


Bill created two more living room design schemes for the Summer needlepoint rug:


14. “Of course the Summer rug is right at home in the traditional vernacular” wrote Bill Barr, “but keep in mind the sofa for instance, could have been red, yellow, beige, green, pink, brown, tan or off white, now that is flexibility”! Image (c) Asmara, Inc.


15. “I love the way this rug softens the sharp lines of the French Deco inspired scheme I pulled together above. It is unexpected too, a truly Art Deco rug would have felt predictable and uncreative” wrote Bill Barr. Image (c) Asmara, Inc.


The above images show just a few of the many different patterns and colorations in needlepoint rugs at The Kellogg Collection. The best way to see the exciting possibilities of decorating with geometric patterns or other colorations in needlepoint rugs is to view the rugs in person at The Kellogg Collection.

Interior Design In Action – Color Me Happy


Interior design has a powerful affect on our everyday lives.  Our built environment can affect the way we feel and function within a space.  Psychologically, color is one of the most influential aspects in interior design.  There have been studies on color psychology and how it affects the way we feel.  Ancient Egyptian and Chinese cultures have used color as a healing regimen, called chromotherapy. In these treatments, and other studies, the following has been said about certain colors:


Red, orange and yellow are considered warm colors.  Warm colors have stronger arousal qualities as they can increase blood pressure.



RED: can make one feel active, energetic, adventurous, stimulating, and vital. It has been said to stimulate the mind and body and increase circulation.


ORANGE: was used to heal the lungs and increase energy levels in chromotherapy. Studies have also shown orange and red can stimulate appetite.



YELLOW: used to stimulate intellect; associated with cheer, gaiety and fun. In chromotherapy it was used to purify the body and stimulate the nerves.


Researchers have established that cool colors like greens and blues can lower blood pressure and therefore enhance feelings of peace and tranquility.


GREEN: affiliated with feelings of comfort, serenity, and calm. It is also associated with nature which has been proven to lower stress levels.


BLUE: associated with calm, security, rest and peace. It was believed to soothe pain and heal illness when used for chromotherapy in ancient cultures.


NEUTRALS: whites, browns, grays and creams can bring a feeling of stability, practicality, and sophistication to a space.


Neutrals can also offer balance when paired with bolder, brighter colors:



Most people have a favorite color or at least a preference towards the warmer or cooler color spectrum.  Now knowing it affects your mood, you might have learned a little something about yourself!


Where Does Inspiration Come From?


Every so often I am asked about what inspires me while decorating.  My immediate answer is fabrics and color, which I adore.  It’s the easy answer because the real answer takes some explaining.


My inspiration is intangible, it is the feeling I get when I go to a beautiful New England beach. The combination of sounds, smells, textures and colors generates a serenity I haven’t felt anywhere else.  So I want to surround myself with that feeling whenever I can.


(Beach doesn’t mean starfish and sailboats to me.)

Take a look at the two rooms below.


This is soothing, warm and filled with textures.


This room is serene and soothing to me.

To me, the rooms pictured above are easy to live with over time.


You might look at the rooms I love and think they don’t have enough color or are boring.


The great thing about decorating from inspiration is that there is no right or wrong.  My inspiration comes from a feeling I get from a particular place.


Your inspiration will be different.


So what inspires you?
Maybe it is something intangible like the way I feel about the beach. The feeling you get at church, walking through a riot of wildflowers or traveling.


Maybe it’s tangible. A piece of art that you have or have seen, a quilt from your childhood, or even the flowering lilac bush outside your back door.


You can use your inspiration in a way that reflects you

Perhaps it’s as easy as painting a room



Or maybe it is creating a  bright, happy room with no lilac to be found, but feels like spring to you.

Collections of things are also a wonderful way to articulate your passion and/or inspiration


Perhaps it’s antique books, or blue and white chinoiserie as shown in the photos below. It could be anything from maps or small boxes to spoons. If you love it use it.


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You can display the books that you have collected and let that be the focal point of your room.


Or you can take the essence of the books and use that antique book “feeling” you get from them.



These rooms use the blue and white chinoiserie as a jumping off point.

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Another way to convey your inspiration or passion is through paint color, fabric choice or accessories.

Find a fabric that you love. Like this one.

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And then build a room around it.  Sometimes your inspiration fabric is very busy or expensive.  Use it subtly on an ottoman or for pillows.

Remember it is your inspiration, your jumping off point.  You don’t have to go crazy with a fabric or color.  What joy a jolt of orange brings.  Use it as inspiration to brighten up a ho-hum room.


Tangerine is Pantone’s color of 2012


Finally, look through design magazines, websites and books.

Collect pictures of rooms to which you are drawn. There may be something specific you like in a particular photo or it may be the feeling the room generates for you. After some time you will begin to see a pattern in your choices.


You can also talk to a professional, his/her job is to articulate your vision and bring it to life for you.


If you develop a room that you love it will outlast the current trends. The room will be about you and what makes you happy.


So to find your inspiration, look anywhere and everywhere.

Starting From Scratch? Start With A Rug!

Have you ever started decorating a room from scratch and ended up with pieces that you like but just don’t gel together?  Most people tend to shop first for what they need the most which tends to be functional pieces like sofas and chairs.  This may make sense at first but you will end up making the process harder on yourself down the road.  The selection of rugs is limited compared to the endless possibilities of fabrics for your furniture – so make it easier on yourself and start with a rug!


The rug sets the foundation of the room, which is important when starting from scratch.  It will determine the color scheme of a room and the color scheme will influence every other aspect: wall color, upholstery, pillows, artwork, and accessories! The rug even has the ability to guide the furniture layout of a space.  When trying to figure out the correct rug size for your space, a good rule of thumb is to go as big as the room allows.  Using a larger rug that fits the entire room will allow you to utilize the entire space.  With all of these design factors that rely on the rug, you can understand that if you start the decorating process with the rug, everything else will fall into place.  Here are some examples of how a rug can set the foundation of a room:


Dhurrie rug in soft blue, taupe, and ivory tones


Casual, striped rug in coral, blue, and yellow


French country style Nourmak rug in reds and golds



When designing the scenes in our stores, we always start with the rug which we display on the wall so you can see how much of an impact it can have on the rest of the furniture in the space.  Here are some examples from our store scenes:


Blue Thaelia needlepoint rug sets the color scheme for this space


Grouping the rug with fabrics and pillows on a smaller scale will help to coordinate colors


 A warm and inviting space



If you already have a room of furniture and are finding it difficult to find a rug that matches your current color scheme there is always the option of going neutral on the floor with a neutral colored rug as shown here:


A neutral wool rug creates a flexible foundation for this handsome window scene


You can also incorporate pattern and texture in your neutral rugs like this diamond sisal