Designing with Rugs
When decorating your home, think of your floors as the foundation for
your design scheme. An area rug can visually integrate or harmonize eclectic
elements in any decor or can revitalize a room.
There's an endless array of rug designs to choose from. Oriental,
Persian, contemporary and Native American designs are just a few that can be
found in nearly any price range.
Tips for selecting a rug for your home:
- Visualize the desired total look of the room. Do you want a room
that's uncluttered and monotone or a room rich with colors or textures? If
you start with a totally empty room, choose a rug, then paint or paper the
walls in colors found in the rug.
- Remember, the rug has to fit the room – in more ways than one.
Consider how the room is used, how much traffic the area gets and who will
view it under what light. For high-traffic areas such as hallways and
foyers, you may want a durable, patterned rug.
- Choose furniture that enhances the rug design or colors found in the
- If you start with furniture, choose a rug to pick up the colors used
in your furnishing patterns. Patterns can be mixed if they are coordinated
by color. Elements of a rug design can be further incorporated into the
overall design scheme. For example, if the rug is floral, add framed
prints or flowers in similar colors.
- Size up the size of the room and the area you want to cover. The most
common area rug sizes are 4-by-6 and 6-by-9 feet. They work well under a
coffee table. An 8-by-11-foot rug or larger can cover an entire room.
Smaller area and scatter rugs can be ideal for adorning smaller spaces—a
hearth, a bedside, the area in front of a kitchen sink—with a splash of
color and warmth.
- A rug with a bold, overall design can be the focal point of a room
with a chair and sofa in solid or subdued patterns.
- Light colored rugs make a room look more spacious, and deeper colors
lend coziness to a room.
- Choose a rug that will perform well, with the right combination of
density and fiber. The denser the pile, (with closer tufts or stitches),
the better your rug will wear.
- Synthetic yarns - nylon, polyester, acrylic, and polypropylene - and
the naturals - wool and cotton - are durable, soft, and easy to clean.
- You’ve got to hand it to machine-made rugs: they may look strikingly
similar to the handmade kind, but they’re usually much less expensive.
- Watch out for fringe elements. If the rug you like has fringe, make
sure it’s sewn on well, and very carefully use the vacuum cleaner.
- Don’t be boxed in by the idea of getting a rectangular rug. A circular
or octagonal-shaped floor covering can add flair.
- Remember to take a swatch of any fabrics you’d like to match with you
when you shop for a rug. That way, you’ll have a better idea of what will
complement your existing décor.
- Don’t underestimate the value of an underlay. Not only will it absorb
the impact of feet and noise, it will reduce wear and tear on the rug and
make vacuuming easier.
When buying a rug, it pays to select a reputable dealer with a
knowledgeable staff, wide selection, and a guarantee that the store will
stand behind its merchandise.