One Valuable Lesson from HGTV’s Meg Caswell

June 15, 2012

Meg Caswell
For the love of  interior design and decorating, I took down notes during one of the rare occasions I watched TV, and learned one valuable decorating lesson from the winner of HGTV Design Star’s 6th season, Meg Caswell.

She swooned the panelists as she transformed a dull living/dining area into a stunning, timeless and classy room for an expecting couple.

One tip she shared during her final makeover in the show, I see as a valuable lesson on decorating. It was a first for me, and I find it so brilliant—so brilliant in fact that I had to share it with you.

It isn’t exactly how she said it, but it went something like:

[When decorating] always start with the area rug.
It should be the basis for the room’s style and color palette.

Is this decorating tip a first for you? It definitely was for me! Brilliant, isn’t it?

To give you more out of this valuable lesson from Meg Caswell, I want to show you ways to make an area rug the basis for a room’s style and color palette.

Take this dark traditional area rug as an example:

Dark Rug

Take the floral pattern from the rug and bring it to the walls. Bring in a beige sofa with dark brown throw pillows, gold artwork, black sidetables topped with metallic table lamps with beige shades—all inspired by the colors of the rug, and this is what you get:

Room by Dark Rug

Another example would be this whimsical pink military-printed rug:

Pink Rug

Then take all its colors and do variations of tints and shades, and apply them all over the room, choosing pink as the main color and accessorize with black and gray, and this is what you get:

Room by Pink Rug

Indeed, Meg Caswell’s tip is a valuable lesson on decorating a room! So next time you’re faced with a decorating dilemma, base the room’s style and color palette on your favorite area rug!


  • Reply Penny June 15, 2012 at 6:26 am

    That’s one option…a good one…but there are others. A favorite painting works, or fabric…or as I learned from an interior designer/color specialist/paint consultant –choose a gorgeous paint palette for the whole house (or room) and base everything on those colors. Choose maybe up to 5 colors which can be used on walls or be picked up in accessories & soft furnishings, upholstery etc. The results are always stunning, interesting and layered, never hodge-podgy looking. I think Martha Stewart does this as well, or has in the past. I’ll never forget a book she did on one of her homes, a cottage in which each room was a different gorgeous soft color. The whole book was how to choose a palette…her entire paint line grew out of this approach. Your palette could be mostly all neutrals with just one pop of color, or it could be several colors as long as they work together. I find it to be remarkably effective and makes choosing furniture and accessories a snap, no guess work at all, if it blends it blends, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.  In the end you get a really beautiful, cohesive decor. 

    • Reply Jen.C June 15, 2012 at 8:49 am

      I totally agree. I guess you can draw inspiration from any favorite item you have such as you mentioned; a painting or fabric. Thanks for sharing your advice, Penny! 🙂

    • Reply jencederstam June 15, 2012 at 9:16 am

      I totally agree. I guess you can draw inspiration from any favorite item you have such as you mentioned; a painting or fabric. Thanks for sharing your advice, Penny! 🙂

  • Reply Meg October 30, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Hey! So glad you learned something!!! How great are you for blogging about my tips!! Thanks so much!!

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