Color draws us in and creates a mood that soothes, uplifts, and inspires. When choosing a rug, consider the tone of the rug's colors. Do you want a soft or dark look? Bright and vibrant colors? Or something more neutral and muted? A soft-toned rug can brighten up a room; a darker rug sets a more intimate mood.
The lighting in the room is critical. Before purchasing a rug, see how it looks as the light changes throughout the day. A reputable rug dealer will let you try a rug at home before purchasing. If you are considering broadloom, lay the sample on the floor where it will go and view it at different times of day to see how the color changes in response to the changing light. And remember, a handmade rug will appear lighter or darker depending from which side it is viewed.
All the knots in a hand-woven rug face in one direction. The images above show the same rug from opposite directions. If you look at the rug from the end where the knots point (left), the rug will appear darker because the ends of the knots absorb the light. If the rug is viewed from the other end (right), the rug will appear lighter because more light reflects off the sides of the yarn forming the knots.