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Area rugs are the essential decorative accessory in a room. It is a functional piece (protects the floor and your feet) while enhancing design elements to the space. The styles, colors and materials to choose from are endless! Sometimes it can feel like it’s tricky business when it comes to selecting that ideal rug, but it’s a lot simpler than you think.
There are several main elements to keep in mind during this process. Finding the right rug can create a space to perfection but the wrong one can make it feel unfinished, awkward and even uncomfortable.
Color, size, texture and materials are some things to carefully consider. Read on for tips on mastering the challenge of choosing the perfect rug.
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Color and style choice is important as it sets a mood and creates a story or relationship between your room and the rug. About one-third of a room’s color is dominated by the color of the floor covering, so a rug will seem as one of the largest pieces of “furniture” in the room. Plan your color scene depending on the colors of the rug.
Darker colors help define a more intimate space while lighter colors create a more spacious feel. Fiery hues such as yellow, orange or red add warmth while cool colors (blues, greens) creates a calming mood. For a cohesive look, choose a rug that compliments two or three main colors in the room. If there are a lot of color and pattern going on in your space, then choosing a neutral color rug is okay, but don’t play it too safe. Choose patterns and bright colors if your primary furniture is a solid color. Geometric prints are best for modern settings while floral prints work better for a more traditional look.
Since rugs come in a myriad of shapes and sizes, remember that choosing your rug is also dependent on room size. A rug should fit the size of your seating area. All furniture should be placed on the rug. In a living room the rug should be large enough so at the very least the front legs of the furniture are on it. In the dining room, area rugs should cover beyond the chairs. To get the correct measurement, measure the table and add roughly about two feet. You can also sit on one of the chairs and measure the distance from the table, and add it all around. In the bedroom, you want to feel the luxurious rug on your feet so that you wake up every morning on the soft side, not the wrong side, of the bed!
A 5×8 area rug is a good choice for a medium sized room, such as the bedroom or under the coffee table in the living room. 8×10 rugs work best in dining rooms and master bedrooms. Square or round rugs are great choices for square rooms, and rectangular rugs oriented in the same direction in rectangular rooms.
Texture adds layers to a room so don’t overlook this aspect when choosing your rug. The way the rug feels also (literally) adds to the feel to the room. Shoot for contrast- use the texture of your existing pieces to guide you. Sleek leather sofas go great with shag rugs or rugs with fluffier pile. A soft, velvety sofa go best with hard rugs like jute and sisal. Wool rugs are elegant in texture and add warmth and definition to a room that has shiny or smooth surfaces.
When selecting rugs, think practical and choose materials depending on the traffic area of the room. The material that dominates the world of rugs is wool due to its low maintenance and high durability; however some people may be allergic to the fibers. Shag rugs can become a tripping hazard for elderly people because of the raised pile. Also keep in mind the maintenance of the rug. Jute, grass and sisal rugs have interesting textures and often cost less, but they stain easily, difficult to clean and don’t last as long. If you spill coffee or red wine, it’s time to say bye bye.
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*Consider adding a rug pad, especially to flat weave rugs to add a layer of comfort.
*Place dark-colored or patterned rugs under your dining table as they are better at hiding stains.
*There is a huge misconception to buy the rug last. Big no-no. When it comes to decorative accents, choose the rug first because it is THE piece that creates a dramatic impact and ties the room together.
After finding your perfect rug, you can move on to your throw pillows, then curtains and other decorative pieces like wall art and table tops.
Wait… did someone say pillows? Stay tuned for next week’s blog post on layering pillows. Meanwhile, shop for your perfect rug here.