I love the splotchy background of this vintage rug and use such photographs as inspiration as I hook my designs.
You can see evidence of this influence in the background of my design called Oval Antique.
Notice the lighter patches in several places.
And textures which add more color. Notice that all the background colors are muted.
The direction of the rows of hooking break away from outlining motifs, and so create movement.
I use variations of the basic background color, always working in gentle curves, no harsh angles or straight lines to distract the eye.
Backgrounds are interesting up close, like painterly lines. From a distance, the lines fade into each other.
Theres is so much dynamic energy in the directional hooking of these various colors. Instead of thinking of a background as a filler outside of your motifs, think of it as if you are painting a distant garden in soft focus.
Happy hooking ~ Karen