Most of the time we know instinctively where to place an Oriental rug in a room. But it is worth stepping back for a moment and challenge our preconceptions. A rug does not need to entirely fill the space in a room, especially if the room has a nice floor. What matters is the proportion of the rug to the furnishing around it. The rug can be placed under furniture, surrounded by furniture, or separate on its own, although it is best to keep it at least 1 foot away from the wall.
An Oriental rug sets the atmosphere of your interior decor. There are a number of elements to consider when decorating with an Oriental rug: colors, style, texture, size and location. But the foremost criterion is that you love the rug. Do not choose an Oriental rug just because it matches your decor.
Do not feel obliged to fill every nook and cranny in your house with an Oriental rug. Rather, be strategic. A few beautiful Persian carpets strategically placed around the house can be most effective for your interior decor.
The living, family, and dining rooms are the most natural areas for decorating with Oriental rugs. So is an entrance or a hallway. You might say Oriental rugs were traditionally made for such areas, i.e., places of gathering or reception.
This very much depends on personal tastes. New rugs are fresh, clean and crisp, whereas antique rugs have age-old colors and a certain cachet. Interestingly, an antique rug can be stunning in a modern interior decor, a testimony to its timeless character, whereas a modern rug would not fit well in a classic decor.
Oriental rugs come in many styles: with a central medallion or an all-over pattern; a classic or modern look; floral or geometric; complex and luxurious or spacious and open. Different patterns can often work with the same decor, so there is no formula for choosing a style. Nonetheless, some patterns complement better certain interior decors. Geometric rugs for instance may not fit well with florid interiors; a central medallion focuses attention on the center, whereas an allover pattern lets one's sight wander around the room.
Choosing the colors in an Oriental rug is no different than matching furniture. Typically, an oriental rugs has up to three prominent background colors, allocated between the field, the border, and medallions if any, and multiple secondary colors in the motifs. For instance, the rug above has marine blue and brick-red as the main background colors, and lighter shades of the same colors plus white in the motifs. When decorating, it is practical to determine first what main background colors in the rug would match your interior decor, and then what secondary colors would further complement it.
Often overlooked, the texture of the rug is nonetheless an important element to consider. A silk Oriental rug for instance projects a very different look than a wool rug. More generally, the luster of the pile, its thickness, the coarseness of the grain, the sturdiness of the rug will all contribute to a certain feel in the interior decor.