What’s the most important piece in this room?

THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE IN THE ROOM IS…
(Click picture for a larger view.)

I’ll bet you said sofa!
But look again — what is the largest piece in the room?
Yes, the carpet!
In RL, a decorator will choose the rug first, then choose pieces that compliment it. It is often by far the most expensive thing in the room as well.
That’s not so in SL, of course. But a rug should still be chosen with care. It should not only look good at a distance, but when you zoom in close. Look at the rug in the picture below — when you zoom in close, you don’t see a blur of color, but the actual pile, and crisp definition of the pattern.
(Click picture for a larger view.)

A lot of my upholstered furniture has neutral or solid colors, so they will go well with rugs. The one in the picture is new — and is tintable: see it in black below. I tinted the silk pillows to go with the rug.

If you don’t know how to tint things — it is easy and fun. Instructions and a video link are in my Picks. A lot of my beds are also completely tintable, so you can experiement to find the color combination you like.

MATCHING THINGS
I think matching things is good — to a point. Too much matching feels claustrophobic to me. It is boring.
I prefer to create a little drama by choosing things that go well together, but do not match. In the room in the picture, I have a traditional sofa and chair, a contemporary brass coffee table and brass planters, Asian accent pieces, an antique chair with leopard print, and of course a rich oriental rug. Sounds like a hodge-podge, but it works, and it looks sophisticated but comfortable.
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