Enise emailed me this photo the other day with a great ‘Ask Maria’ question:
”I have a very colourful antique kilim that I would like to use in my daughters bedroom. Since the kilim is so colourful, I am confused on choosing the bedding. I know that I can use some colours from the kilim pattern but those are very vibrant colours so I am afraid the kids may feel too energetic to sleep.
So, how do we do it? Is it a mistake to use a colourful rug in a kid’s bedroom?”
And the answer is no, it’s not a mistake. You can absolutely use a brightly coloured rug in a kid’s room. Kids love colour and all of their stuff tends to be brightly coloured too, so in general, you’ll want to create a space where strong colours (and personalities) can happily live.
Pulling it off is a question of balance, you want a fun and colourful space without it being oppressive and overstimulating.
First, to address the core of the question, what sort of bedding will coordinate?
When you have a pattern this strong, you need something bold enough to stand up to it, but simple enough not to compete. For example, it would be a mistake to pick up on the diamond shapes in the rug, or to choose something with more than two colours in it because then you would end up with too much going on.
Or maybe not too much but certainly a look that says bohemian.
Jonathan Adler from Elle Decor
When in doubt, add a paired down pattern like a stripe or dot pattern to coordinate with a more complex pattern.
This strategy works for other intricate patterns such as florals too. You may also need to shift up or down in scale to get it to work.
Otherwise, it can get confusing and irritating to look at. Give your eye a clear difference in a related colour.
The graphic strength of black and white or cream patterns tend to work well with this kind of kilim rug. Then, you can add colour with pillows and throws, repeating colours from the rug.
- Duvet Cover by MyModernAbode Etsy 2. Bolster Pillows 3. Heart Pillow by LushTartProject Etsy 4. Squares Pillow by LushTartProject Etsy 5. Orange Pillow Houzz 6. Beanbag Chair Zipcode Design 7. Blackout Linen Pom Pom Curtains PBteen 8. Double Wall Sconce
Since the room is for a toddler girls room, I used a feminine black and white dot pattern for the first combination. It’s a simple and easy to read pattern with lots of airy white that gives a nod to the black in the rug without looking heavy.
By the way, that is another fool proof strategy when mixing patterns, add more white (or off white, or cream, whichever relates best.)
The really pretty modern bed in natural maple from Kalon Studios is already ordered and on its way.
The pillows pull colours from the rug in smaller proportions to create a related focal point and some interest. The fun orange beanbag chair (because what kid doesn’t love a beanbag chair?) reinforces the orange accent in a bold way.
The wall colour here is a softened version of the greens found in the rug, SW Acanthus, for a soothing effect that happens to look great with orange.
The curtains repeat the white in the duvet with cute little black pompoms for trim.
The sconces are admittedly rich for a kid’s room, but why not have a bit of good lighting and sophistication?
Sconces are great over kid’s beds for some cozy bedtime stories. It gets the lamps off surfaces where they can get in the way.
There is a lot of colour going on here, but the proportions are balanced and the wall colour is soothing, not a circus stripe in orange and green 😉
The next version of the room pares down the colour a bit by keeping the walls a pale neutral greige like SW Incredible White.
The duvet is also a black and white pattern called “angel’s wing” (so cute!), and I’ve added a soft quilted throw to bring in more green because the green and orange are so happy together 🙂
This is a good look for those that don’t want to commit to too much colour or want to be able to change it up easily.
Pinterest is packed with images of kilims in mostly white rooms, because these rugs really can carry nearly an entire room in some cases.
However, they can also support quite a bit of colour in a room.
For this board (above), I pulled the purple from the rug and layered in a strong orange duvet cover with delicate white polka dots.
The wall colour is a soft greyed lavender, SW Sensitive Tint. There is a bold orange border on the white curtains to tie in with the duvet and some purple pillows to work in the wall colour again.
I added the adorable striped heart shaped pillow to add some of that modern black and white graphic punch and repeat the black in the rug. This version of the room has more of a colour blocked feel with the bright green kid’s chairs. It would be a great colour for a dresser too.
Notice as soon as the duvet gets stronger and more graphic it starts to feel more like a teenagers room instead of a toddlers room.
My favourite is the black and white duvet covers. It’s strong enough to balance with the Kilim rug but not so strong that it gets you in the eyes when you walk in! Remember to use lots of airy whites and a bit of grounding black and play around with the colours in the rug for accents.
I think where you could go furthest astray is if you played it too safe with a bold rug like this and didn’t add anything strong enough to balance it.
So over to you my lovelies? Which one is your favourite?
If you have a question for my Ask Maria column, send it here with a photo (questions without photos will not be considered).