Rugs and Spring Interiors

It’s Spring revitalisation time again (it used to be called Spring cleaning, but nowadays people re-arrange and replace as much as they spruce up). It’s clearly something to do with the end of winter and all that emphasis on warmth and cosiness, and new expectations for the longer, lighter days of Spring and Summer. We’re about to leave behind the cabin fever of Christmas, and get out into the fresh air again !

Many homes are getting a thorough cleaning, increasingly with more natural, gentler cleaning products that don’t leave a chemical smell around the house. Decluttering is also part of it. Throwing away the old and creating open, tidy spaces in a house. And these cleaner, neater interiors can then be touched up, or wholly transformed, with new design ideas.

Rugs - A lighter Shade of Pale

In the rugs area, Spring brings renewed interest in whites, creams and pastel shades, a contrast to winter when customer tend to look for rich, warm reds, purples, teal blues, golds etc in the run up to Christmas.

Pure white is actually unusual in a rug. White rugs tend to be a “natural” or off-white” colour. Rug materials such as wool and acrylics do not reproduce the brilliant white of for example cotton. And the uneven pile itself adds a sort of internal shadow that softens the white. Hence a white rug looks duller than say the brilliant white of a painted white wall, which can bounce light off perfectly. As a result you will see a lot of rugs described as ivory, light cream etc, and even a majority of the rugs described as white will in practice fail the “brilliant white” test.

Most of us tend not to worry about this. Outside of photographers’ studio sets, who wants to live “inside a fridge,” and in a practical sense, who can keep a pure white room looking clean and new ? Many interior designers prefer working with whites on white, meaning that a range of whites, off-whites, creams etc are blended together. The effect can be wonderfully calming, adding light and simplicity to a room, but also avoiding an over intensity of white, and instead creating a graceful easy balance of light tones.

Pastel tones can also blend into this type of scheme, maintaining a light touch but with a hint of subtle colour, either mixing a pastel shade with whites, or another light pastel shade.

Below: an ivory shaggy rug alongside a white fabric sofa and white curtains. The depth of the pile makes the rug look even creamier, but rather than intense whites, the outcome is a blend of light tones that brings an easy elegance and freshness to the room.

ivory rug in white setting

Again, the simple cream rug below adds another soft, light tone to this "white-on-white" setting.

Cream rug white setting

The soft tones of this traditional rug blend with the light pastel tones of the wall, furniture and lampshade.

Rug in pastel setting

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