An area rug serves two purposes in life: (1) to enhance your decor and (2) to define a space. Let’s elaborate a bit on this two-fold role of rugs before getting into the list of Dos and Don’ts, so that you have the whole picture.
1. Area rugs help enhance your decor
Area rugs give you a unique opportunity to add a pinch of color or patterns that match with and complement the rest of your furnishings. That aside, hard surfaces, such as tile and wood flooring, that are often felt (and definitely look) cold underfoot are instantly softened and warmed up by just throwing a rug on them! Admittedly, an area rug is that small detail you have been looking for to make a room feel finished.
2. Area rugs help define a space
How is it possible? Take a closer look at a multipurpose room. If you put an area rug there, you help designate between functional zones. This allows you to group furniture that belong together. In other words, area rugs unify furnishings placed upon them, whatever pieces of furniture you may have in a room (see in the photo how the living room is defined by the rug). Also, the size of the rug can indeed make a room feel larger (the larger the rug, the larger it feels), and, of course, vice versa.
Now that we have gone through the basic reasons why you should consider having an area rug to top a room’s décor, here are the do’s and don’ts that will help you live in style!
Area Rug DOs
1. Use appropriate Size
The size of your rug, as mentioned above, is hugely important as it conveys the size of the room. The question is, what is the ideal size to get maximum results? In a living room, for example, many designers prefer to have all furniture sitting within the rug’s outer perimeter. However, you will also hear others advocating that it is best to have just the front legs of your seating arrangements on the rug and the back off. In a following post, we will show you how to break every rule and make your home look awesome, stylish, and unique (meaning totally YOU)! In the discussed case now, if you let the rug run beneath the furniture, you make your space feel larger because you trick the eye’s mind and make it believe that the rug continues indefinitely!
In a bedroom, we usually place the rug underneath the bed in a way it covers 2/3 of it (always perpendicular). So, you need a large enough area rug to step down onto it, when you get out of bed. Typically, the majority of living rooms, master bedrooms, and dining rooms will accommodate an, at least, 8 X 10-inch rug. As for kids’ bedrooms, it all depends on where exactly you have a twin-size bed. If it is on one side of the room (which is the most common), then a 5×8 inch rug beside it would be perfect.
Also, always make sure the rug the you have chosen to define the space is large enough and the only one in the room that commands attention.
2. Consider pattern
If you want to use a patterned rug, always check out what areas of the rug will be blocked by your furniture. Note that you will probably be the safest with a rug that has a repeat pattern all over it, given that you will still be giving a consistent view of its pattern anywhere you look from around the furniture. The secret when you want to use rugs with larger, more asymmetrical designs is to have previously selected furniture with an airy and more delicate frame. Then, the result will be superb!
3. Mix patterns of different proportions
You will read just a few lines below that having a bulky furniture over a rug with large patterns is not favored. So, if a chair or your curtains in the space features a print, you have to pick a rug with a significantly different pattern in scale than anything other sitting around and on it. Yes, we CAN have a patterned rug in a room that features print. You just need to know how!
Want a fab trick? Make one of the patterned elements stripped!
4. Pick your Seating Before your Rug
The selection of your seating should be made before you go out looking for rugs. As a rule of thumb, your sofa and chairs should be kept far longer than your rug. So, keep your priorities right when purchasing stuff for your home. After all, you have almost unlimited numbers of rugs to choose from but there are only a few sofas that you would like to see adorning your spaces and fit within your budget (and space, of course), right? Window treatments and rugs always come after you are 100% sure what those pieces of furniture will look like.
5. Use a flat rug in your dining room
We totally relate to those that don’t want to place a rug in their dining space because they have children that make a mess every time they eat, spilling everything ten feet away with very bite! However, if you have a separate dining space (a formal one that is used on specific occasions), then we encourage you to incorporate a flat rug, such as a kilim or dhurrie. Now, if you want to have a wool rug decorating your dining room floors, we are with you all the way. Just know that wool rugs are not as easy to clean as the ones mentioned before.
Area Rug DON’Ts
1. Use Tiny Tinny Rugs to define space
Using a postage stamp rug is a big no. You need to anchor the entire living room furniture arrangement with an area rug and not just the coffee table. The same applies to placing a postage stamp rug (that looks more like a bath mat than anything else) next to a grand bed. In short, if you use a tiny rug in a large seating arrangement or the master bedroom, you actually make it look dwarfed in its surroundings, which is something we don’t want.
2. Hide Special Parts of the Rug
Having a bulky coffee table, for example, sitting on a large patterned rug won’t please the eye. In general, furniture with big volume and rugs with large patterns should not mix.
3. Dread Custom options
There is no reason to shy away from custom options. Off-standard sized rugs, such as square shaped ones, are hard to find. However, if you think the only option is to settle for an either too large or too small rug in your space, you are dead wrong! FLOR tiles come in a broad variety of textures, patterns, and colors and are a super affordable option if you are into DIYing a custom rug. With FLOR tiles, which are square (usually 19.7 inches) you can cut the individual tiles and also create any shape and size rug you want. Since they are modular, the sky is the limit. We suggest you divide your ideal width and length by 20 inches to find out how many tiles are required to create the area rug of your preference.
If you want, you can have a rug dealer create the desired area rug out of a carpet (i.e. a wall-to-wall carpet). You will, unquestionably, find some pretty modern and aesthetically pleasing options in patterned carpet to stray from the standards and make a great area rug!
4. Leave living room tile or wood flooring bare
A rug makes every seating arrangement in a living room look, feel, and sound better and completes the décor by making the room feel finished. That aside, they absorb sound, hence make a room more peaceful and quieter, which is important if you are tired from the craziness of the day, and you just need a place to crash while your kids run around at, admittedly, high decibels! Rugs also feel cushier and warmer underfoot compared to tile or wood, especially if you like to lounge on the floor.
Our suggestion? Add a rug to your living room furniture arrangement even if you already have a carpet to help define the space better.
Every rule has its exceptions and below are some instances that you are free to sneak around rules!
If you want to shave a little money off your budget, start by purchasing a runner for the guest bedroom that will still work some color into the space. Use it near the bed for best results. This is way more preferred than going for a smaller rug for the living room when you actually need something bigger to make an impact.
2. Carpeted rooms
If your space already has a wall-to-wall carpet, there is no need to place a rug on top. However, if you want to you can (remember when we talked about giving a more finished look?).
Now, if you are wondering about how often you should clean your area rugs, super cleaning hacks that will make your life much easier, and everything there is to know about synthetic rugs, jute rugs, and shag rugs, feel free to browse!