Choosing an area rug is quite a challenge considering the vast sizes, shapes, colors, fabrics, and designs. You must consider the purpose the rug will serve whether it will provide a splash of color/design for a small room or a great deal of color/design for a large space. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to start with a blank palette, then you can choose a rug that pleases you and build the room around its colors and designs. But if you already have furniture that you want to compliment, then choosing the right rug is an important addition to draw your eye and yet make a subtle statement while uniting the elements of a room. Take into account your style and what types of rugs you admire in others’ homes and in stores that sell rugs. The color, style, and texture of your rugs will show your guests what feel you want to convey. Lighter rugs make the room seem cooler and larger while darker shades warm the room and form a cozy more intimate space.
Now that you’ve decided what look you want, you must decide on the fabric that suits the use of the room. Wool rugs are hugely attractive but can be difficult to clean if used in extremely high traffic areas. They are long-wearing, lush, and command respect and admiration so should be chosen for those areas where people sit and relax and in dining areas that are of a more formal nature. Spills on wool rugs are not a problem if they are blotted up quickly; wool rugs repel dirt and liquids not allowing them to absorb quickly into the fibers. The scales of the fibers make wool fibers resilient, soft to the touch, and tough. Wool rugs also dye easier and richer making them a striking focal point. Another natural fiber is cotton that makes a longwearing rug much like wool but of a lighter weight.
Man-made fiber rugs are good choices for brilliant colors and great service in high traffic areas, areas of sun exposure, and areas of heavy use. They are strong and durable and easy to clean. The look of synthetic rugs is not as rich as wool rugs but is substantially more attractive today than they were in the past. There are many ways synthetic rugs are set and woven and many imitate wool’s overall look and feel. Many rugs combine synthetic fibers with natural fibers so read the descriptions carefully.
Much of the look and feel rests with the construction of the rug. Some of the modes of construction include hand-knotted, hand-hooked, hand-tufted, machine-made, and flat-weaved. There are others so you can see that this is not a simple choice. Any rug that has “hand” in its prefix will be high quality and a bit more expensive in most cases. But you get what you pay for, as you know.
About size, a great way to determine what size rug is best for your room, spread a bed sheet or butcher paper in the area and try different sizes. In dining areas, you’ll want a rug at least 4 feet longer and wider than your table, which would allow diners to push their chairs away from the table without slipping off the rug. In areas where the rugs will serve as a place for feet to rest while sitting in conversation areas, choose rugs that are at least as large as the open area in front of sofas and chairs. You can leave up to a foot right in front of the furniture because most people don’t place their feet right up against the front of the couch or chair. You can let the size of the rug determine the size and intimacy of that area or you can place your conversation area/s as you wish and then order a rug to fit that space. A large room can have a cozy feeling by dividing it visually into sections you choose with an area rug or two. Keep these rugs from extending into high traffic areas to avoid tripping.
Of course, many rugs will be chosen to stop dirt from entering the main parts of the house. The foyer, back door, garage entry, and side porch doors are some of the examples of these entry points. Rugs for these areas should be fairly flat, absorbent, and easy to clean. Rug pads that are a non-skid type are a necessity for these areas for obvious reasons.
Rug pads can keep rugs from moving, avoid turning up at the corners, help them wear longer, and make them feel cushy under your feet. Shop carefully for the right pad for the rug you’ve chosen. The pad is no place to skimp on quality since the pad will influence so much about your new rug. Be sure the pad provides a firm, non-slip backing and a cushion that reflects your style. Decide if your rug will be on carpeting or bare floors and choose the pad that is correct for each by reading the descriptions carefully. Rug pads prolong the life of your rugs since rugs wear from the bottom up; the pads cushion the rug from the hard floor below.
So, you want to find the rugs that will reflect your personality and style while providing room definition, comfort, design elements to unite the room’s elements, and the designer’s touch every room can have. Choosing the right rug for each area can be daunting and use more time than you have. Unless, of course, you shop on line like I do. The “running’ from store to store is a thing of the past. There is no way I could have perused the vast amount of rugs in stores that I was able to examine from my family room sofa with my laptop. As you search this site, you’ll get new ideas and begin to form images of the way your home will look with the addition of their beautiful, versatile rugs! Have fun looking for rugs for all the special areas of your home!