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Scoring the Perfect Area Rug to Create the Home You Want

By RL - June 05, 2020

Some homes just have that cozy, comfy feeling, inviting, and warm. You know the ones? A home where you walk in and immediately feel, well, at home. Area rugs can help set the tone for a house, creating spaces that feel special, cheerful, safe, and welcoming. The hunt for the perfect area rugs can be a daunting task though. The sheer amount of options can be overwhelming and, oftentimes, consumers end up abandoning their virtual shopping carts or buying something that doesn’t truly suit their needs. Fortunately, we’ve rounded up tons of essential information on this page to help you in your quest for creating a quaint space.

When starting your search for the perfect rug to fit a specific area of your home, first decide what shape and size might be needed. Scanning a gazillion area rug options will get you nowhere – and fast. If you can narrow down your search by rug shape and size, you’re halfway to setting up the room of your dreams. Popular rug shapes pretty much revolve around round and rectangular choices. Hallway, staircase, and kitchen runners are close runners-up. Rectangular rugs are a safe bet to use for any room in your home – bedrooms, living room, the dining room, or the playroom. One size might “fit” all! Round rugs are popular choices for entryways and kitchen eating nooks. Sometimes people opt for circular rugs in dining rooms as well.

Now that you’ve landed on the rug shape for your room, you’ll want to consider the best size for your space. Bigger is always better. A larger option can really pull a room together. On the flip side, if you opt for a smaller rug, let’s say, for a living room, the space may seem smaller and sections of the room may feel incohesive. Plan for the largest size your room can accommodate (and your wallet can afford).

If you’re struggling to visualize a rug in your space, some experts recommend using painter’s tape to see just where your rug size or shape would fit. Much like using painter’s tape to set up a picture gallery wall, you can stick that tape right down onto your floor a check out how a rug would potentially fit the space from all possible angles.

Industry experts often suggest purchasing area rugs that fit under furniture, let’s say a couch for example, instead of fitting a smaller rug into the center of a large room. This way, the room appears as large as possible, and the entire room benefits from a cozy feel. Another trick of the trade is to leave equal amounts of space on all sides of the rug. With this in mind, you’ll want to try to center the rug right in the middle of whatever room you’re working to style. Keep in mind high-traffic areas. Those include hallways, entryways, and stairways. Runners work well in these spaces as do smaller, overlapping area rugs. You can really set the tone for your entire home by purchasing a stunning area rug for the immediate entryway. Your choice of color palette and pattern can set the mood for the rest of your house.

When styling a monochromatic room or a more neutral high-traffic area, don’t shy away from more colorful area rug options. These punches of color, whether subtle or more daring, can really amp up the wow factor in your space.

You’ll want to keep in mind that your most expensive rugs probably shouldn’t find their home in the most used and abused areas of your space. For example, opt for a washable area rug in the kitchen or dining room so that you don’t need to be constantly concerned about messes. Equally, think first before spending big bucks on whichever rug you’ll place in your playroom. No one wants to deal with juice stains and blobs of paint atop expensive white rugs. Colorful patterns are the most forgiving in these spaces. Quick tip: think outside the box and consider using trendy indoor/outdoor rugs for these busier traffic areas. They are often more durable than solely indoor options.

There are so many cool options for tones and textures. Popular rug materials include wool, cotton, and jute. For synthetic alternatives, opt to nylon or polypropylene. Tufted woven rugs will last the longest so they’re likely your best bang for your buck.

Finally, don’t forget to buy a rug pad for your newly purchased area rug. Beyond preventing slips and slides, the pad can make sure rugs are gentle underfoot. Pads can usually be cut down to size so when in doubt, always size up. Trim around the edges of your rug pad only if needed. A smart rule of thumb when looking for a pad is to measure 1 inch smaller than your actual area rug on each side. In other words, your rug should overhang the pad at least 1 inch on all dimensions.