Few items in a home possess the decorative ability of a rug to just draw an area together. A rug can infuse any space with an unmatched depth of fascination and intrigue, whether it serves as the inspiration for the design or as a finishing touch.
Finding the ideal rugs, on the other hand, comes with its own set of limits, not to mention challenges. There are a number of factors to consider, including size, material, style, and manufacture—and having an apparently endless array of possibilities does not help.
What Should You Consider Before Purchasing a Rug?
To begin, determine the room and function for which the rug will be used. Is it a focal point that unites the aesthetic, or a utilitarian element that avoids slips in high-traffic areas? If you have pets or small children, it is probably not a smart idea to purchase a delicate old treasure. Following that, evaluate the size and shape of the rug, as well as its style and materials, pile, care and cleaning instructions, and rug pad.
1. Dimensions and Form
When it comes to choosing a rug for a certain room, finding the appropriate size is crucial. “It’s similar to the Goldilocks principle here,” Revival Rugs co-founder and CEO Ben Hyman explains. You want a rug that fits comfortably, regardless of its size. Something in the middle, similar to a postage stamp beneath your coffee table, but not too large. As a general rule, choose a rug that can confine the room’s focal points or act as a buffer between built-ins.
Living Room: If your sofa is against a wall, ensure that at least the front legs of the sofa, as well as the front legs of nearby armchairs, are on the rug. In a large living room with a floating seating area, the rug should completely encircle all furniture, front and back legs, with ample space around it.
Dining room: Use the table’s dimensions as a guide. The rug, whether round or flat, should extend at least 24 inches on both sides to accommodate even a pushed-back chair.
Bedroom: For a more expansive feel, choose a large rug that fits beneath the full bed and nightstands, with additional width on either side. Rugs should cover roughly one-third of the bed’s base in smaller rooms; alternatively, modest area rugs on each side of the bed may suffice.
Kitchen: Use a narrow runner or a smaller piece (think 2′ x 3′ or 4′ x 6′) in the kitchen and doorway.
Outdoor: When it comes to outdoor settings, greater is better, and you should choose a rug that is 12-24 inches shorter than the perimeter of the area you’re decorating.
2. Decide the Atmosphere of the Room
In conjunction with other furnishings, an area rug contributes to a room’s overall ambiance. While you may seek a calm and relaxing setting in your bedroom to assist sleep, a recreational environment may require more vitality and brightness.
- Light hues can amplify the appearance of a tiny area. Consider pastel colours, white, or a blend of pale and bright colours to create the illusion of space in a room.
- A relaxing ambiance is created by using muted or cold hues such as blue, green, and purple. Often, light monochromatic colour palettes work well for this purpose.
- Vibrant, bright hues convey a sense of vitality. Oranges, reds, and brilliant lime greens can infuse any area with vitality.
- Colours that are rich and deep create an intimate atmosphere in a room. Consider rugs in burgundy, chocolate, or navy for a comfortable family room.
3. The Rug should Complement the Rest of the Room
If the room’s wall colours and/or furniture are already chosen, it can be difficult to find a rug that suits. Indeed, many interior designers encourage clients to “start with the rug” and work their way up to selecting a colour palette. Even if everything else is set in stone, you can still discover a lovely rug for your area.
- If your space already has a colour scheme that encompasses a range of subdued and dramatic tints, consider a rug that incorporates those hues. This will work well with the current design.
- Greys and subdued tans are the ideal complement to brilliantly coloured walls. If your area features warm yellow or orange walls, use a muted carpeting to direct your visitors’ gaze.
- If your rug introduces a new accent hue into the area, consider incorporating complementary details. Throw pillows, wall art, or simply a vase in the same colour can instantly transform a space.
- Patterned rugs work well in settings with a more neutral décor. Match one of the rug’s tones to the furnishings.
- Solid or muted hues work best in spaces with vibrantly patterned furnishings.
4. Composition and Design
There are an almost infinite number of adjectives that can be used to describe the aesthetics of a rug. However, more often than not, the material used to make a piece has a bearing on its beauty. According to Lisa Wagner, a rug expert with RugChick.com, these are the most common material types.
Natural Fibres: Wool, cotton, silk, jute, and sisal.
Synthetic Fibres: Acrylic, polyester, and polypropylene.
Synthetic Silks: These include viscose, bamboo silk, and banana silk.
Choosing the right material for your area is highly dependent on your lifestyle and the space where the rug will be placed. Your aesthetic preference may also play a role, but keep in mind that you are never restricted to a single style, and mixing and matching is always an excellent approach to discover what makes you distinct.
The term “pile” refers to the density, or thickness, of a rug. Carpets with a coarser pile will always have more pile than rugs with intricate patterns. Ideally, two types of rug piles exists.
Low-pile rugs with shorter fibres and loops are ideal for high-traffic areas such as the kitchen (like flatweaves). In comparison to shag or Moroccan rugs, high-pile rugs are more-velvety and are therefore better suited to the bedroom or living area.
6. Maintenance and Cleaning
It is unavoidable that you will eventually have a stained rug, so consider care and upkeep before you purchase. Contrary to popular assumption, older or vintage products are more durable than modern, less expensive items that may be lacking in structural strength.
Due to the numerous compromises necessary to keep the rug so affordable, the contemporary rug may have more structural concerns than the antique rug.
7. Purchasing a Rug Pad
Once you’ve discovered your ideal piece, the following step is to verify that it will last the distance. This requires the acquisition of a rug pad. They not only prevent you from slipping on a bunched wrinkle, but also cushion heavy furniture, preventing dents and floor damage.
Choose a firm-grip rug pad for high-traffic rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen, while a cushioned rug pad will provide an extra layer of velvety softness to the bedroom or living room.