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Oriental Rug Colors

By : The Rug Gallery 0 Comments

Oriental rugs come in a variety of bold, beautiful colors. However, choosing the right colors for your home décor scheme or your personality can seem difficult with so many choices available. Here’s an easy guide to the best Oriental rug colors.

John Maher:  Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Sam Presnell, owner of The Rug Gallery, an Oriental rug company and carpet store in Cincinnati, Ohio. Today we’re talking about Oriental rug colors. Welcome Sam. Sam Presnell:  Hi John.

Popular Oriental Rug Colors

John:  Sam, what are the best Oriental rug colors today?

Sam:  Today, it is gray. I always say that gray is the new black. There’s no doubt about it. It’s dominating the scene in about everything. I think anywhere you go that’s been recently done, you’re going to see that influence pretty much everywhere you go. Commercially, residentially, wherever.

John:  That’s really interesting because I always think of Oriental rugs as being these sort of bright colors, or you have those red ones and the green ones and things like that. That’s what my image is of an Oriental rug. Is gray really popular just because it’s very neutral and it can fit in any room in your home?

Sam:  I think so. It’s something that’s easier to work with. It goes with a lot of other colors. If you think about how the economy has been and how the world has been, and such turmoil in the last six, seven, eight years, since the recession in 2009, I think gray is a nice comforting, calming coloring that’s safe. You can’t go wrong with that. I think that’s also played into the psyche of people’s heads as far as buying something that’s safe and something they feel comfortable with.

Timeless Rug Colors

John:  Do you feel like there is such a thing as a timeless or a safe color? Like having that old navy blazer that just never goes out of style.

Sam:  Today, I would have to say, John, I don’t know. I think gray’s going to stick around for a while. It has for a long time. Like everything, if you come up with a new color, somebody’s going to think “Wow, that’s really cool. I’ve never seen that before,” and start buying it and it can catch on. The tried and true color of, especially oriental rugs traditionally, it’s always been red. That’s always been like I would call the navy blazer coloration that everybody feels comfortable with buying, because they know that they can use it forever. It’ll never go out of style per se. I think you’re going to see a lot of colors in the next coming up, that work with gray. The big color today, on top of gray, is blue. Either be light, soft blue, or all the way down to deep navies or cobalt blues, are very, very popular as well with the grays. I think anything that looks good with gray, the teals are very popular, goes good with gray. I think we’re going to see more orange influence in the future, if I get my crystal ball out. That goes great with gray as well. Definitely brighter, more cheery type of colorings. I think we’re going to see a lot more bright colors as we go down the road here in the next year or so.

Important Factors in Choosing an Oriental Rug

John:  Why do you think that color is the most important thing in choosing an oriental rug?

Sam:  We have an old saying here at The Rug Gallery, “If you listen to Sam Presnell, you’re going to hear that color is king.” A lot of people don’t understand what that means, but it is the most important thing to picking a rug or carpet. Color is what is emotional. I don’t know how to explain it, it just really is. Color will tell you to “buy me” or not. If you put the wrong color in a room, you will know it. You will know it immediately. If you put the right color in there, you’ll also know it immediately, it’ll snap. I would say it’s not so much the design. A lot of people think it’s all about design. It really isn’t, it’s really about color.

Rug Colors to Stay Away From

John:  Are there any no‑nos in choosing trending colors? Or are there colors that maybe I shouldn’t pick?

Sam:  There are always colors that date you. I think you can look at some of the old bathrooms and some of these houses that were made in the 60’s and 70’s. I could go into a house and almost tell you the year it was built because of the bathroom and the tile used or whatever. There are some things that will date you and not carry through with time. Again, color is always evolving. It’s always constantly changing. I would say there will be times when you sit there and say “Wow, you bought that orange rug back in 2015, or ’16.” This may be in 2022. You might think that color’s gone, nobody’s buying that. Colors do come and go. Right now, there is not a no‑no, it’s really what you like. I think today rugs and carpet are a little more of a throwaway thing than long term like it had been in the past, when I first started this business, a long time ago. I don’t think people care about it. They like it, it’s cool, it’s happening. That’s great. I think as long as you’re willing to not invest into something and expect it to last an eternity as far as color and design, you’ll be fine.

Matching Rug Colors to Your Surroundings

John:  What are the things that people look for in terms of matching an Oriental rug color to their room? Is it the wall color? Is it the color of their furniture in their room? How do people go about finding the proper color?

Sam:  Most of the time, furniture or art are the two things that come into play when selecting a rug. Walls can be changed fairly easily and inexpensively compared to some of the other things. You can match to the color or whatever you want with the rug for painting. With furniture, you’re probably not going to go out to buy a new sofa or new love chair or whatever you have, or the art you absolutely love. It’s by somebody famous, and it’s kind of centerpiece to the room. You’re going to have to coordinate with that. In that case, it’s always about color. Color looks good together. I think a lot of times, it’s not always the same color, it’s a color that looks good with that color. I always say it’s the opposite end of the color scale that usually works. A lot of people think, “I want red and my furniture’s red,” and I think well, you probably don’t want red, you want something that looks good. What other kind of colors are you using? Those other colors, blues, or whatever that you like, or that you’re working with.

John:  It’s kind of the same thing like when you’re dressing yourself. You don’t wear your red pants with your red shirt at the same time.

Sam:  You can, but no. You’re right.

John:  You try to find that color that goes with it, but not that necessarily matches it exactly.

Sam:  I have a good friend, who I can’t believe he dresses himself. He’s actually a designer. I’m thinking, “Oh my God, who would hire this guy?” He’s quite good for other people, it’s just for himself he’s a little [different].

John:  That’s really great information about color and oriental rugs. Thanks Sam, for talking with me today.

Sam:  All right John, you’re welcome.

John:  For more information about oriental rugs and carpets visit or call 513 793 9505.

Categories: Ask Sam, Rug

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