Interior designers have traditionally included cosy rugs in living rooms to add warmth to the space and soften its acoustics.
The following examples highlight how creative variations on the classic rug, such as skinny floor-runners and quirkily-patterned textiles, can serve more than their original purpose by livening up the look of a room.
This is the latest roundup in our Dezeen Lookbooks series that provide visual inspiration for designers and design enthusiasts. Previous lookbooks include homes with exposed concrete, purple interiors and colourful kindergartens.
Local firm Woods + Dangaran updated a Los Angeles house built in 1965 by architect Craig Ellwood with interiors that nod to the home’s mid-century origins.
The living room at Moore House features an eclectic dark-coloured rug with shaggy tassels, which contrasts with the sleek surrounding furniture including an Arflex leather sofa by Umberto Asnago and bulbous Foscarini lamps placed on stone side tables.
A tall orange lamp in the living space connects to accents of the colour found in a geometric-patterned rug, which resembles a quirky playing card and makes a statement in the otherwise minimalist room.
Despite their closeness in colour, the soft materiality of a plush floor rug contrasts with the roughness of nearby exposed brick walls, highlighting how living room interiors can play with texture to create an eclectic feel.
Home to its architect, John Wardle, the property features brightly-coloured artworks that nod to the splashes of colour and elegant shapes found on the rugs.
“The goal was to design a somewhat traditional house with a few key contemporary elements,” explained Hendricks Churchill creative director Rafe Churchill.
Retro geometric carpets take centre stage in the Historic Schoolhouse, a New York City apartment with statement interior elements such as a towering indoor palm tree.
Brooklyn design studio White Arrow added an expansive rug to the living space, which serves as the focal point of the room thanks to its playful shapes woven in shades of lilac, green and dark blue.
Panel-formed concrete walls that were poured in-situ line the inside of the Wyoming Residence, a steel-clad house designed by American office Abramson Teiger.
The smooth texture of the walls contrasts directly with a luxurious fluffy rug placed in the living room, although both design elements are tinged in unusual shades of green.
Located on a clifftop in Cape Town, this mid-century house was overhauled by Antonio Zaninovic Architecture Studio and designer Tara Bean to connect indoor and outdoor spaces.
Interior walls were painted white to bring light into the home, contrasting against more dramatic visual elements such as a deep red floor rug that offsets the light-blue ocean horizon seen from large windows.
A cosy feel was incorporated at London residence A Cloistered House by adding a classic cowhide rug to the living room, which features original elements such as dark wooden floors.
Local practice Turner Architects renovated the house to include “cloister-like” rooms arranged around a central courtyard, with pops of interior colours and patterns that were chosen to bring the changing colours of the seasons inside.
Austin studio Nick Deaver Architects enlarged a traditional white gabled house in the Texan capital with a corrugated metal extension.
This mixture of old and new elements is also reflected in the project’s interior spaces, which feature furniture such as a richly-decorated Persian rug that contrasts with a minimal white armchair and statement bookcase.
The main image is of Kew Residence by Trevor Mein and Sharyn Cairns.
This is the latest in our series of lookbooks providing curated visual inspiration from Dezeen’s image archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing texture-heavy restaurant interiors, Shaker-style rooms and retro green bathrooms.