How to Choose an Area Rug

a rug

Area rugs are considered artwork for the floor. But with creative license comes a certain amount of pressure. With so many shapes, sizes, textures, colors, and patterns to choose from, how will you pick the right one?

We’re here to help. Just keep in mind these 10 tips and have fun with your floors!

1. If you’re working with a small room, try a non-textured solid or lighter-colored rug. Both will make a small room look larger. Conversely, darker rugs will make a large room feel cozy.

2. Tie a large room together by using multiple rugs. Select rugs of different sizes with one being dominant. The patterns can vary, just be sure the colors coordinate. Layering rugs is a popular trend and makes the room feel intimate and dynamic.

3. Be mindful of size. A rug that is too big for the room can look like carpeting; a rug that is too small will look like a floor mat. As a general rule area rugs should be a minimum of six inches away from the wall and no more than two feet away. More specifically:

  • In the dining room: The rug should be 24 inches larger than the table so that when you push your chair back from the table, it remains on the rug and has six inches to spare. (Make sure the shape of your rug matches the shape of your table: round  on round and rectangular  on rectangular, etc.)
  • In the bedroom: Ensure that both parties get a warm wake-up call with a rug that extends three feet on either side of the bed. Smaller rugs placed before dressers or wardrobes can make the room feel cozy.
  • In the living room: Traditionally, the rug should be large enough to fit under the front legs on sofas or chairs or large enough for all of the furniture to sit on the rug. For a more casual look, furniture can sit off of the rug—But it should be the same width of the sofa.
  • In the kitchen: If you have a galley or oddly shaped kitchen, consider a runner  or a small rug in front of the sink or wherever you spend the most time.

4. In high-traffic areas such as entryways opt for detailed patterns  that won’t show dirt and a high-quality fiber such as wool that is naturally stain resistant and doesn’t flatten easily.

5. Choose a bold rug if you want it to serve as the focal point of the room. If the room has another focal point or a stunning architectural detail (for example a fireplace) choose a solid rug that won’t compete.

6. If your drapes and/or upholstery is patterned you may want to avoid a patterned rug.

7. Patterns are fun, but so is texture. If you feel a plain rug would be a better fit, but want a touch of flair, consider a rug with an interesting texture such as hemp or shag.

8. Are rug pads essential? No. However they will prevent slipping and absorb sound and can also add years of life to your rug, as there will be less friction between the rug and the floor. They will also keep the rugs from damaging your floors.

9. Be sure you check the maintenance requirements before you purchase a rug. Some rugs will need to be professionally cleaned or require specialized cleaning products. If you have pets or small children, you may want to consider a stain-resistant rug that can cut your cleaning time.

10. Once you have your rug home be sure to rotate it every six months to a year so that it wears evenly.