Decorating with area rugs is one of the easiest ways to update, revitalize and beautify any room in your home. You can change rugs when the seasons change and take them with you if you move. It’s a Godsend for the do-it-yourself decorator!
But, before you make that purchase there are some important rules to remember. First, make sure you measure the intended space for your rug. Seems basic enough, but you would be surprised how many people ignore this step, only to have surplus carpet inching up the side of the wall! When measuring your space don’t forget to take vents and doors into consideration.
The most common area rug sizes are 4-by-6 and 6-by-9 feet. Larger rugs (8-by-10-feet) generally go well in living rooms, while smaller area rugs work best in foyers, hallways, and bathrooms. A room-size area rug is not recommended for the bedroom where most of the pattern may end up hidden under the bed. Instead, try to use multiple smaller area rugs. For example, a rug at the foot of the bed and two on each side will actually better compliment your room and probably cost less.
Similarly, more than one area rug can be placed in very large living rooms, as long as they are similar in color and quality. Two or more rugs should always complement each other and vary in size; same-sized rugs tend to divide large rooms in half. Using multiple rugs of different sizes allows you to create more interest and define different areas or functions within the room.
Don’t be limited to the idea of getting a rectangular area rug. Allow your decorating style to determine the carpet shape. An oval, circular or octagonal-shaped rug can add flair and elegance to your room. While experimenting with the various shapes, keep in mind that medallion and round rugs should be centered in a room and ideally placed directly under any chandeliers.
Rugs placed under tables should be larger than the table itself, ideally with an equal amount of border showing on all sides. When placing a rug underneath a dining room table, the chair should remain on the rug when pushed away from the table. If putting it under a sofa, the front legs should sit on the rug and back legs on the floor, if you prefer.
Before making your choice, try to imagine the finished look of the room. Think about what will blend well with existing paint, furniture, and other design elements. Know beforehand if you are going to make the area rug the foundation of your space. If so, then work out from there to select decor to compliment (and not overpower) the rug. A large eye-catching, brightly colored rug, for example, looks best when the rest of the room’s decor is relatively neutral, allowing the eye to be drawn to charm of the rug. These types of showy rugs are ideally placed in spaces where they do not compete for attention with other bold works of art.
A rug is usually the largest splash of color in any room. For rooms with busy interiors, try using a rug with a simple pattern and subdued coloring. This will compliment your room without overpowering any existing art. For rooms where the fireplace is intended as the focal point, subtle patterns are ideal. Keep in mind that light colored area rugs help keep a room open and airy, while deeper colors make rooms seem cozier.
Select an area rug that best suits your practical needs. In high-traffic areas, you definitely want to consider darker colors, patterns, and sturdy fabrics. The material of the rug will determine its value and longevity. Wool is usually the preferred choice. It has higher durability than synthetics and is a non-allergenic fiber, which helps to deter the growth of bacteria or dust mites. The quality of the wool also determines the rug’s resistance to wear and tear. Cotton-wool area rugs typically cost less than all-wool rugs. However, cotton tends to wear more quickly than wool. Higher quality rugs, such as Persian and oriental often include silk. Living rooms are ideal to showcase silk rugs. However, keep in mind that silk rugs must be handled with special care and regularly cleaned by professionals. Synthetic nylon area rugs have excellent strength, and stain resistance and usually cost less than rugs made of natural materials, but do not hold their value like quality wool and silk area rugs. To even the wear on an area rug you should flip or rotate it every six months.
With the countless options nowadays, it is easy to select an area rug to help warm up your space that is beautiful, practical, and affordable.