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When you sit in a room with a rug, it has an impact on your mind.

This impact can last for a few seconds or even for hours, as colors ripple over your perception. Its intensity will depend on how you were feeling before you entered the room. And it can also depend on the aesthetics of the rug itself. 

While there is no hard science to this, certain colors and their hues exert a few common psychological influences on humans. As some of you may know, this is called Color Theory, and it is the staple diet of many rug designers, interior decorators, and artists.

Furthermore, there are certain motifs and shapes that also project a variety of connotations into the human mind. These can be motifs reminiscent of traditional art forms—for example, foliate and curlicue forms of a Persian rug—or they can be modern, graffiti-like motifs composed in abstract. 

We will use 8 rugs to explain how these aesthetic ideas can affect the mood of a viewer.

1.Purples Mystify with Wonder & Wealth

Darker purples are often associated with creativity, mystery, and royalty. An area rug like Reverie can quicken the emotion of confidence in you. The viscous, coagulating, swirling, and bubbling purple formations on its design create a sense of reverent, deep wonder that is the fount of the creative drive.

People love feeling creative, so, despite the darker, secretive tones of the purples, this rug creates a positive influence on a viewer. The other positive aspect of this rug is its meaning of luxury, embedded in its rich colors. A homeowner who has highbrow tastes can consider a rug like this as an extremely favorable physical medium for their personal tastes.

2.Greens Rest Easy on the Mind 

From our Leather Luxe collection, the Zen rug has cooler greens that can summon feelings of relaxation, optimism, and refreshment to the space. The textural aesthetic mimics that of virginal bamboo shoots, reminding one of sacred groves in the East, where meditation and “zen calm” are ways of life practiced by the people.

Green is the color of Spring—of growth, new beginnings, and hope. This can inspire a rich possibility to the viewer’s perception, a possibility of a better future. Green is also easy on the eyes and will relax the viewer. The human eye loves green because green light (555 nanometers) is in the middle of the human spectrum and the color stimulates L and M cones almost equally.

3.Pinks and Yellows Lighten You Up

With its infusion of pinks and yellows—two of the most energetic, optimistic, and playful colors—only a cursory glance at Elegante Fusion can lighten up a mood. Pink has natural associations to Spring, romance, and tenderness. Yellow has associations to the Sun, happiness, and spontaneity.

While both colors can be off-putting in excess, this hand-knotted rug has the perfect balance. Its speckled effect introduces a sense of a flowering, pastoral scenery. It would be difficult to feel anything but light elation after being in a room with this rug! 

4.Grays Deepen the Color Palette

Icicle, a modern rug from our Alchemy collection, is a composition of graying hues mottled with faint greens and yellows, almost as if they are lichen on a rock face.

In color theory, gray and its many hues often create a feeling of solemnity and dependability. The palette also allows homeowners the freedom to use it as a complement to one’s interiors rather than as a central attraction. Gray is a mature, responsible color that subdues any overly distracting palette i.e. if your room already has bright and gaudy colors that excite the viewer, gray will be the necessary neutralizer to get the viewer’s mind back to sense and sensibility.

People love gray because it emphasizes life in other colors. 

5.Old-Fashioned Motifs Charm You Back to the Past

Poise, from our Arts & Crafts collection, is partly inspired by the arts and crafts movement popular in Britain near the turn of the 19th Century. It showcases botanical, folksy motifs that are over-scaled to create an impression of bucolic charm. As you may already know, old-fashioned motifs of country life have a way of calming the senses, especially when juxtaposed in the modern life of a city, presumably where you live.

The toned-down oranges and browns also ground the space in sobering, introspective emotions. All in all, this piece creates the warm familiarity of nature in home—undoubtedly a relaxing object!  

6.Warm and Cool Colors Balance the Mind

Foulard, from Rooshad Shroff’s designer rug collection of eclectic forms that mimic the mosaic flooring patterns of Indian bungalows, is an offbeat and delightful composition of blues and oranges.  Oranges shout warmth, energy, and enthusiasm, while blues exude coolness, calm, and security.

These are overwhelmingly positive colors, and create a world of rich optimism. Like red, orange catches the attention of the viewer, and, unlike red, it isn’t overpowering. The blue also dampens the composition enough that it does not annoy the senses. Overall, the effect on one’s mind is highly desirable.  

7.Scenic Motifs Can Create Tranquility

Strand, from the Elemental collection by Puran Kumar, is based on the Art Deco buildings of southern Mumbai, enchanting the senses with architectural vistas from that seaside place, reverberating sounds of waves, and the sea salt smell.

This hand-knotted rug evokes a sun-over-sea scene between the balcony balustrades of one such house. The evening golds and yellows of the sun and its light are calming and they work their way into the relaxing effects of the shadowed blues encroaching inside the balcony. Motifs of scenery are usually evocative of the personal quiet of life. They show little beauties in the complexity of life.

8.Browns Ground You in Humility

Florid, from Cocoon Fine Rug’s transitional collection of hand-knotted rugs, is inspired by medieval French tapestries, with its floral and foliate forms. It has a traditional border and field interspersed with these natural forms.

As we have already mentioned, natural forms have a calming, friendly effect on the mind. And the brown in the border further reinforces this grounded emotion. Brown, according to Color Theory, has a tendency to make people feel down to earth. It is a practical, supportive, and stable color, and it creates a feeling much appreciated by any human being.

In short, these 8 examples will introduce you to the idea of how design influences the human mind. You can further explore the world of hand-knotted rugs on our website in order to create your preferred ambience at home. As consultants who have worked in this business for decades, we can offer you more ideas to play with!