Minnie Kemp explains how to choose the perfect rug


For such a simple and decorative room, there are a lot of things that rest on an area rug. And no, I’m not just talking about the furniture you put in there. I always think the rug you choose for your bedroom is a fine balancing act. It should be a centerpiece, breathing more color and life into the space, but it should also be uncluttered and not fight with the myriad of textures it sits beneath.

In my design process, carpet tends to be one of the last things I think about. Once I’ve put the living room scheme together and have a clear idea of ​​its tones and history, the rug can come to life as the line of the decor reveals itself to me.

Choose the color of your carpet

red curved sofa and red carpet in a living room

(Image credit: future)

Sniffing out that line of your decor, the one on which to base the rug color, is easy, if you know how. One of my all-time favorite tricks is to base my rug on one of the fabrics that are already in the living room color palette. In this way, I am advantaged by several knowledge: the colors work well together, the balance of the design works and the carpet will undoubtedly harmonize with the rest of the room.

When you sit down with your pattern in front of you, it’s usually pretty clear which fabric or pattern could become the pattern for the rug. I tend to choose the most graphic and impactful fabric in the room, so the rug has weight and presence. At home, I have an open concept ground floor. The kitchen backsplash is made up of tiles created in collaboration with ceramic artist Katrin Moye who is a dear friend and a very talented designer. The tiles are inspired by photographs I took while traveling in Papua New Guinea. When Katrin sent me the first samples, I immediately knew that I wanted to adapt this bold graphic design into a carpet design. Who better to call than The Rug Company to bring our designs to life? !

Get the right ladder

Depending on the size of the room, the real creativity comes when playing with scale. It’s amazing how a pattern will change from traditional to contemporary by simply increasing the scale and exploding the shapes. Colors are also very important.

The Rug Company has beautiful boxes filled with pom poms, yarn and yarn that when matched to your scheme will make up the final design. Even though it’s a very bold design, I wanted the rug to anchor the space. To achieve this, the colors had to be more subdued than the highly saturated glazed tiles.

Consider texture and durability

living room with white sofa and large rug

(Image credit: future)

In all elements of my design work, texture is key. This creates depth and intrigue, which is especially important for a rug. Play around with tufted and knotted techniques, the thickness of your pile will also completely change a design. Ask yourself, “Will this design last?”

Carpets are expensive and if the area is very busy, there is no need to install a white hemp carpet. Opt for wool with a darker base color and a flat pile or fitted sisal rug.

Go to the best sources

colorful rug with yellow and red stripes

Rug by Kit Kemp Design Studio x Annie Selke

(Image credit: Annie Selke)

Admittedly, designing a rug is not for everyone. There are many amazing suppliers like Vanderhurd, Christopher Farr, Tim Page and Pierre Frey who have great rug designs ready to order if you need some inspiration.

And, fresh off the press, Kit Kemp Design Studio has collaborated with Annie Selke on a new collection, a gorgeous assortment of not only fabulous rugs, but also pillows and bedding. We designed the entire collection on zoom during lockdown and it’s so amazing to see them come to fruition. We hope they bring joy and a splash of color to your life!


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