The Bold, the Basic, and the Beautiful: How to Decorate with Area Rugs
An area rug creates a look and feel that sets the mood for the entire room. It stands out more than drab, neutral carpet and can be selected to match your furniture, curtains, and other accessories.
Whether your style is hip and modern or classic and traditional, the right area rug may be that missing piece that will make your room really pop.
Size the Room
To determine which size of area rug will be ideal for your room, size up your room and select the space you’d like to cover.
Remember, your rug should not cover your entire floor. Leaving some space around the rug defines the living space and adds flow to the space surrounding the rug.
Designers recommend choosing an area rug that’s a bit smaller than the area your furniture covers. You’ll probably want at least the front legs of your furniture to be placed over the rug, so take note on where you’d like your furniture to be before choosing your rug size.
Select the Shape
Area rugs come in all shapes, and you’ll want one that flatters your room’s natural design.
- Rectangular rugs are probably the most common shape; they work great under a long table or in a long, rectangular room.
- Hexagonal rugs are a unique design that can highlight a square table.
- Round rugs accent round tables or floor lamps and work well with other circular-shaped accessories in your room.
Choose the Material
No two area rugs are alike. Select a material that works best with your style.
- Wool: sturdy and has good heat insulation; great for spill-prone areas like dining rooms but not good for damp rooms
- Silk: soft and luxurious; great for bedrooms, but not good for high-traffic areas
- Cotton: strong and stable; popular for kitchens, but can attract dirt
- Chenille: heavy and thick; popular in formal living rooms but not great for high-traffic areas
- Synthetic: durable and stain-resistant; mimics wool fabric for a lower price
- Polypropylene: the most common material; stain- and fade-resistant
Other materials include plant fibres, bamboo, leather, and sheepskin.
Create the Mood
Whether your rug is the first thing you place in the room – with all other furniture based around the rug’s design – or whether you add the rug last as a finishing touch, you should know that area rugs play a big part in creating the overall mood of your room.
The Rug as the Focal Point. If you want the rug to be the centerpiece of your room, you’ll want to choose a bold and unique design. However, make sure the colour(s) you select fit with the overall colour scheme you’d like for your room.
Traditionally, soft colours like blue, white, brown, and green are used in living rooms so people feel calm and relaxed. But, if you want your room to make a statement, you can select a bold colour for your rug. Keep the walls and most of the furniture neutral colours, and match the rug’s colour with smaller accents such as picture frames and throw pillows.
Blend It In. A well-blended rug adds to the overall look and feel of the room without standing out. By choosing a colour and design that matches the furniture and accessories you already have, you allow the rug to unify the colour scheme and style of the room.
Lay it Flat
To prevent your rug from moving and sliding around, find a non-skid rug pad that’s two inches smaller than your rug. Place it underneath your rug; it will help the ends of the rug lie flat despite it being walked and sat on. It will also prevent the rug from flattening over time, thus retaining its ability to keep spills from setting in.
No matter how stylish your rug may be, it won’t retain its luster if you don’t protect it.
- Apply a rug protectant. A protectant bonds with the fibres to seal the rug against spills. To ensure that you don’t damage the color or texture, you may want to get a professional rug cleaner to apply the protectant.
- Rotate the rug. Rotating your rug periodically prevents damage focused on just one area, including fading from sun damage, flattening, and wear where most people stand and walk.
- Vacuum and clean. Vacuuming (lightly, without a power brush) and dry cleaning will preserve the rug’s natural appearance. Choose a professional rug cleaner that will provide a full cleaning treatment for your rug, including beating, soaking, rinsing, wringing, and drying.
Say It with a Rug
Do you have a plain, boring space in a carpet-less room? Find your fashion focal point with an area rug. Whether it’s large or small, round or hexagonal, simple or colourful, designed or plain, classy or modern, the perfect area rug sets the mood for whichever room it enters.
Choose the right rug and protect it from damage and you’ll have a staple for your home for years to come!