A well chosen area rug can pull together a whole room. While there are many ways to approach decorating a room, starting with an area rug you love is one of the most logical. The rug you choose can set the design direction for the whole room and choices are available for every possible situation, from a trendy flokati to a classic oriental, and everything in between. That said, here are some guidelines to help you with your choices wherever the rug selection falls in your process.
1 Size Matters
One of the most often made mistakes in decorating is choosing the wrong size rug. For both visual and practical reasons, the size should be determined by the size and layout of the room and the furniture going into it. For example, dining area rugs should extend beyond the dining table at least 2’ in all directions so chairs don’t catch on the edge. For rugs defining seating groups, chairs and sofa legs should sit, at least partially, if not totally, on the rug. And, take care to make sure that rugs don’t end up halfway into a traffic path…walking with one foot on/one foot off the edge of a rug is awkward at best, and can pose a tripping hazard.
2 Material Matters
There are so many options for rug fibers and all are available at a variety of price ranges. Wool has a nice soft feel underfoot and wears well so is a perennial favorite for us, but there are some synthetic options that mimic wool quite well. Indoor/outdoor rugs have come a long way and are no longer all obviously plastic – these can make a great option for high traffic and informal eating areas since they can be taken outside and hosed down for easy cleaning after they are assaulted by muddy boots or sloshed beverages. Sisal, jute or coir natural fiber rugs can add great crunchy texture without a lot of color or pattern, and for softer feel underfoot, wool in a sisal weave is an excellent alternative to get the great look without the rough feel.
3 Pattern Matters
Rugs can be art for your floor. The scale and type of the rug pattern must take into account all the other patterns in the room – fabrics, wallcoverings, even finishes like stone or tile – and play well with others! This is especially important for upholstery fabrics that will be in close proximity. Also, be aware of the rug pattern in relation to your furniture – a rug design with an obvious center medallion, for example, will look “off” if furniture cannot be arranged centered on it.
4 Color Matters
Choosing the rug first, means you can select all the other colors in the room to go with it. Obviously, you want to choose colors that are appealing to you, but be aware of the “colors” the room may already contain in the architectural surfaces - i.e. brick, stone, tile, hardwood, stained millwork - and select the rug colors to work with the undertones in these surfaces. Just like paint, rugs should always be chosen only after looking at them (or at least a color sample of them) in the room where they will ultimately reside.
5 Lifestyle Matters
Do you have pets with claws? You will want to avoid rugs with a continuous loop pile that could catch and pull. Do you anticipate a lot of stains? An organic pattern in medium color tones is the best at disguising these, but there are services available to preemptively treat your rug for stain resistance as well. Do you spend all of your time at home barefoot? The rough texture of a natural sisal rug is probably not for you. Does pet hair and lint multiply in your house? A very dark or very light mostly solid color rug may drive you crazy since it will show those things most readily. Do you have small children or babies that will be crawling on the rug? You will want to choose something soft, but cleanable. Your lifestyle requirements will help determine the parameters of your rug choices.
A note about rug pricing:
Many things determine the price of a rug and there are price options that work for everyone. Some factors that drive pricing include size, design, construction process, weave, density, fiber, dye process, and country of origin. The various combinations of these factors determine the price, so you will find wool rugs, for example, that are very inexpensive, and ones that are the price of a luxury car. The difference may depend on the type of wool, the processing of the yarn, the density of the weave, the type of construction, and where it was made.
With so many options, you can choose the perfect rug to enhance your space and your life! Need help narrowing down your options or professional advice on a direction? We offer design packages from consultations to full service design to help you create the perfect solution for your lifestyle. Contact us at here to start the conversation.