How to Pick Out the Right Area Rug


How to Pick Out the Right Area Rug



Ever walk into a beautifully furnished room and (mentally) scratch your head: Something’s off but what? One glance down to the floor and the mystery is solved – the rug is all wrong. It’s like the room got dressed in the dark. If you’ve got a space that could use some rug love, check out the tips below so you can get exactly what you need.

Style Matters

First identify the overall style and design vibe of the space, says Kim Ripley, owner of Grace + Polish, an interior design firm in Bay Village, Ohio. “If it's traditional, keep with neutral colors and patterns that aren’t too busy and will blend in and complement the room,” she says. “If the room is more modern or eclectic, you can definitely pick bolder, vibrant colors and go for the fun element of mixing in patterns.” Your chosen rug should also complement any existing décor in the room. “Pick a rug that will blend in nicely with the paint color and up against the flooring,” Ripley says. “However, if the room is a blank slate, I like to start with a fabulous rug and design the room around it!”

Get in Shape

Though many rugs are rectangles, there are other shapes that may work even better. Traditionally, a square rug looks best in a square room anchored by a square or round table. A round rug always works well in a large foyer under a small, round center hallway table. But don’t be afraid to get creative: “I really love a round table with a square or rectangular rug,” Ripley says. “It's more fun to mix up the shapes in the room!”

Sizing Things Up

It’s crucial to get the right size – a rug that’s too small or too big will detract from the room’s appeal. In a family or living room, make sure that either all the furniture legs are on the rug or that the front legs are on the outer edge of the rug. In a dining room, all four chair legs should still be on the rug when your guest pushes the chair back from the table to stand. In a bedroom, the rug should extend about two feet on either side of the bed.

Material Matters

Wool is soft and warm and what you want to step on when temperatures drop and you get out of bed in the morning. Cotton is popular in the kitchen since it’s easy to throw a rug in the washing machine if it gets soiled. For a luxury choice in the bedroom, there’s silk, which has a natural sheen and softness. Natural fiber rugs made of sisal, jute, bamboo or grass are affordable but don’t last as long as wool and cotton. A rug made of synthetic fibers can handle high-traffic areas like entryways and hallways.

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