Adding a great rug not only takes the chill off cold floor, but also ties in the elements of your décor and makes a space appear more welcoming. Learn all about the principles of proportion, color selection and types of fabrics to make an educated choice that will best compliment your room.
One of the most effective ways to accent your décor and finish off the look of a room is to add a rug, but don’t be lead to believe that it is all about patterns and colors. Decorating with rugs is to a large extent based on the principles of proportion and usage requirements, so you will have to learn a bit about this as well.
Of course, you must love the rug – it is not like throw pillows that you can change every season, but something that should last for years. However, be careful not to fall into the trap of getting a rug simply because you like its design or texture. For the best fit, do consider some guidelines specific for your lifestyle and your rug’s target location.
At the same time, you need to decide whether you want your rug to be neutral and blend into the space or make a dramatic statement and be the focal point of the room. Do you want it to unify the elements of décor or are you trying to visually separate different areas of a larger space? Read on for some helpful tips and design inspirations.
The color scheme of your new rug might be the principal consideration for you, but its size is also important for the way it will fit in with the rest of your decor. A small rug in front of a large sofa will seem skimpy, and the other way round, a wall-to wall rug in a modern, minimalist arrangement would be way too generous. So, you choice should be based on a good balance of what you love and where the rug is going to be located. Obviously, the right size can differ with each room in your home.
A common dilemma when choosing a rug for a conversation area is a question whether the legs of sofas and chairs should be on or off the rug. While it is mainly the question of personal preferences, different sizes of rugs yield different feels to a room. A large rug that frames the sitting area gives an elegant, calming effect, whereas a smaller rug that sits under the coffee table is just enough for a minimalist, contemporary home design. A very popular option, though, is to strike a compromise between these two options and place only the front legs of the furniture on the rug.
Avoid placing very small rugs in front of a lone sofa just for the sake of not leaving the floor completely empty – they will look like a doormat! The area rug that you place in front of seating furniture should be slightly longer and wider than the piece itself, and placed not too far from the seating. When a rug sits inside a conversational area, between sofas and chairs, it can be a little smaller but large enough to accommodate all four legs of the table.
If you have a conversational area placed centrally in a living room, a large rug that accommodates all the seating furniture is a great solution that unifies the space. In this case, it is best to leave an equal amount of flooring exposed on all sides to frame and accent the sitting area. Also, leave a sufficient margin around the furniture to avoid the impression that the pieces are balancing on the edge of the rug.
If you’re planning to have sideboards, cupboards or armoires placed against the walls, it’s generally best to keep them off the rug. Of course, it’s not a decorating crime if the front legs rest on the rug, but you need to ensure the pieces stand straight and don’t wobble. The easiest solution is to place furniture coasters under the back legs to level them with the rug.
An area rug is important to a dining space for a variety of reasons. It adds comfort, finishes off the look and defines the space by framing the table, which is particularly important in open floor plans. A rug also deadens the sound of moving chairs and protects the floor from scratching, but there’s one rule you have to remember – the rug needs to be large enough to allow sufficient room for sliding the chairs out from under the table.
In other words, the chair legs shouldn’t fall off the rug when people are pulling the chairs away from the table to seat themselves. The minimum that allows for this is about 29” added to each of the four sides of your table measurements. If you’re planning to get a patterned rug for you dining room, remember that the center of the rug will be covered by the table and chairs, so you may want to choose a design whose most interesting part comes close to the edges of the rug.
Treat your feet with a soft plush rug rather than the coldness of the floor and alleviate the shock of a morning wake up call. When it comes to rugs in bedrooms, there are two popular options. One is to place a square rug underneath the bed so that it create a perimeter around its lower two-thirds and stops short of the side tables.
The other option is to place a small runner on either side of the bed, with rug pads underneath to prevent sliding. The colors on the rug will be determined by the bedroom style and the style of your bedding. If you prefer solid-colored linen and there are no bold patterns on the walls, you may go for something fancy and decorative. If there are already some patterns in the room, keep the rug neutral to balance the whole design.
Furniture in open floor plans often lack a “common denominator” and create the illusion of floating. While it is not the best idea to anchor them with one large rug, several smaller rugs carefully placed in different areas of an open-plan living space will help define specific zones and create a cohesive look between them. The rugs don’t have to be identical, but they should be tied together with color, design, or texture to provide a linking element. Of course, they need to complement the furnishings in a space and work for the overall decorating scheme.
Remember about balance and harmony when choosing patterns and colors – unless you’re decorating a boho-style room, it’s better to complement patterned or brightly-upholstered furniture with neutral rugs. And the other way round, a solid, pastel-colored furniture will enjoy the company of a bold rug design.
There’s nothing more annoying than a rug that wrinkles every time you swing your front door open, so make sure you take proper measurements before you purchase anything and keep the door’s pathway clear. Generally speaking, less in more in spaces that receive a lot of foot traffic, but if you insist on having a rug in transitional places, get one that’s easy to clean.
For a hallway, choose a runner that’s neither too long, not too short. It should fill the central space and allow even room on both ends for balance. If you want to place furniture in the hallway, they should ideally be kept off the rug. Square-shaped entryways and large foyers look best with round or irregular area rugs centered under the source of light.
A rug can be a great way to introduce color and texture to a bland room or serve as a springboard for the rest of the room décor: wall color, furniture selection and accessories. Whichever decorating option you go for, you need to ensure the rug balances against all the other elements in the room. Consider the following factors:
Different fabrics create different feels and personalities. While some people may insist on the superiority of natural fibers over synthetic options, it is not so much about which one is best, but which one is most suitable for your space and needs. Factors such as foot traffic and ease of cleaning will have to be taken into consideration. While hallways and dining rooms will require rugs that can withstand spilled drinks or muddy shoes, bedrooms and living rooms can go with something less resistant to heavy wear.
Natural rugs are woven using a range of fibers extracted from natural products, including cotton, wool, jute, sisal and hemp. They are generally valued for their resistance to heavy wear and are recommended for high traffic areas.
Synthetic fibers (acrylic, polypropylene, nylon, polyester) have the advantage of being much cheaper than the natural ones, and now offer a wide range of choices, including rugs that bear close resemblance to wool. Of course they cannot compare to natural fibers in terms of quality and comfort of use, plus they are not sustainable resources, but in certain contexts, they might even be a better choice.
A rug pad is a useful purchase for a variety of reasons. First of it prevents the rug from wrinkling and sliding all over the place, which is important to keep the rug properly positioned, but also to prevent dangerous accidents. A pad will also limit the impact of feet, protecting the rug from the everyday wear and your flooring from being scratched by the back of the rug. Finally, a rug that doesn’t slip is so much easier to vacuum! Ideally, choose a pad with a natural rubber bottom so it won’t stain wood floors.