Rugs do create a visual impact to a room. Compare your area with and without rugs and see the difference. Rugs are a great alternative to wall-to-wall carpet, and they are easier to clean, remove and replace.
You put rugs on your floor for practical reasons like adding comfort, but they do a lot more than that without too much effort. Here are some other things rugs can do:
- Add warmth. A rug is one of those finishing touches you add that makes it feel more like home. It helps to warm up the room and soften hard surfaces that can be hard on the feet.
- Define areas. In an open floor plan area, studio apartments or large rooms, rugs can serve as dividers. They define which space is separate from another.
- Control volume. Rugs can visually quieten a room or make it louder. It helps balance out elements of colors and patterns in a room. If the furniture, upholstery or wallpaper in a room have details and patterns, a subtle rug keeps the volume down. Otherwise, if everything else is fairly subdued, you can add a rug with bolder colors or intricate patterns to liven up the room.
- Unify an area. Proper placement and good choice of rugs can create harmony and unify a room. In a large room, place two rugs with complementing styles adjacent to each other to create a sense of unity. They might define two separate areas, but rugs can make them blend with each other. If you’ll use rugs that are entirely different from each other, it can create an eyesore.
- Create a focal point. Rugs can effortlessly serve as a focal point to any room. You can simply lay them down on the floor and they would instantly make a huge impact.
- Update a room. Do you want to introduce a new color or style to the room with less effort? Simply change your rugs and pillows. Rugs are fairly easy to replace if you want a new look for your rooms.
Rugs are important accessories for interior decoration. You might be overwhelmed by choices, so here are some factors to consider:
When buying an area rug, color is one of the major deciding factors. Obviously, you have to choose a rug with the colors you like because you will be seeing it day and night. But other than that, you need to take into consideration how it will work with your existing items. Your furnishings and upholstery are one of the things you have to keep in mind when choosing a rug. If your other items already have bold colors or patterns, then you can go with a neutral rug, or at least a simple, one-color rug. Otherwise, a brightly colored rug can make a statement in a neutral space.
Remember how colors create a visual impact on the size of the room. Light colors make objects or spaces appear visually larger, making it a better option for a room with cramped space. Meanwhile, dark and bold colors seem to occupy more space, making a room appear smaller. Dark colored rugs work in spacious, open floor plan areas.
A lot of people are very particular about mixing and matching colors. But colors should not always exactly match – a combination of hues actually make a space look more livable. Choosing a brown rug for a living room with brown sofa, brown tables and brown curtains make the room bland, artificial and trying hard.
Just a bit of tip when shopping: Bring some fabric swatches, flooring samples and paint chips to the rug store to help you decide better on the color that can best coordinate with the other existing colors in the room where you want to put the rug in.
2. Styles and patterns
With a lot of interior design, styles come to a whole lot of style choices for area rugs. Homeowners are no longer limited to traditional Persian rugs or classic European rugs because of the many modern and contemporary alternatives. Now you can choose from simple sisals and pieces of jute, bold florals, geometric patterns, and other novelty designs. Before you decide on a specific design and pattern, think about the kind of atmosphere you want to create in your room. Do you want a lively, vibrant effect? Or do you want to turn the volume down? An area rug’s style and pattern can work on that.
Some people are fond of patterns, while some are not. But when everything else is plain in your room, then don’t be afraid of getting a patterned rug. Don’t be afraid of it. It’s your way to add some contrast to your room. The best move should be choosing the rugs first before picking the color of your walls, but sometimes it’s inevitable, especially if you’re just looking for a replacement rug.
For the living room, the choice always has to be about balance. If you already have furnishings, upholstery and wall color or pattern, you can use a rug to balance these other items out. If your upholstery has a solid color, use a patterned rug to create visual interest.
For the dining room, it’s often a good idea to get a patterned rug. Since a dining area is dominated by a large table and chairs that are usually in plain and solid colors, the pattern creates a contrast, plus it also hides food stains.
For the bedroom, you can experiment with styles and patterns with more confidence, since it’s a personal space. Get whatever you want because anyway, it’s your bedroom. It’s best to get a rug that feels good for the feet. Bedroom rugs are always about comfort.
Rugs are made of different types of fibers. Besides the color, style, and pattern, your most important consideration regarding the rug’s material is how hard it’s going to be on the floors. You must also consider the amount of effort you are willing to put into maintaining it. And rugs made of different materials have different ways of cleaning and maintenance, so always check the cleaning instructions before buying one.
Rugs can be made of:
Wool – a classic and popular material of choice for rugs. It provides a soft feel and can stand up well to traffic. It may come as a thick rug (which is very soft but prone to shedding), but it can also come as a flatweave rug (which is very durable). It comes in many grades, but generally, wool from sheep raised in higher altitude areas produce the finest and strongest of fibers. Pure wool rugs are easy to clean and maintain by regular vacuuming, but if you need deep cleaning, you may have to take it to a professional cleaner.
Sisal, jute, and seagrass – natural plant fibers that easily adds a distinctive texture to the floor. Among the three, jute is the softest and sisal is the strongest. They often come in their natural neutral color, but they are also available in more lively colors and designs. They can’t provide the softness of wool and cotton, but their weaves create an interesting effect that other fibers can’t always achieve. Plus, if you’re allergic to wool, these natural fibers are your next durable option. Rugs made of these fibers are more economical but they can’t be thoroughly cleaned, so if there’s a huge ugly spill on it, you need to replace them.
Cotton – a cheaper and more casual alternative to wool, and a softer and less durable substitute for sisal, jute, and seagrass. Cotton rugs typically come braided or flatweave, and are available in a huge variety of colors since cotton can be easily dyed.
Silk and viscose – silk is an expensive material because it takes a long time to form and be made into usable material. When used in rugs, silk is typically woven with wool. It gives a fine and shiny appearance and is extremely soft to the touch. But their softness makes them delicate, making them practical only in areas where foot traffic is minimal. It’s also difficult to clean because of the extra gentleness it needs. Viscose, meanwhile, is a usual replacement for silk. It gives the same feel like silk and it is much cheaper. However, it can’t level up to the beauty of a real silk rug.
Polypropylene – a heavy-duty rug that comes in various colors and patterns. It’s a synthetic fiber that is stain resistant, making it a perfect choice for outdoor settings or in the presence of pets and young children. It’s easy to clean and maintain, and it doesn’t need professional dry cleaning.
No matter what material you choose, never forget the rug pad. It keeps the rug in place and prevents sliding and slipping. Plus, it adds an extra layer of comfort for the feet, especially when using a flatweave rug.
Choosing a rug that’s too small is one of the common interior decorating mistakes done by a lot of people. You have to make sure that a rug is large enough to extend beyond the sides of the key pieces of furniture. As a general rule of thumb, a rug should be left around 8” to 24” of floor space on all sides depending on the size of the room. Usually, leaving 18” is good, but if your space is too small, having 8” is fine. Basically, it must be placed on the center, and the distance between the rug and the wall on all sides should be the same. But if you have open floor space, measure the area you want to highlight then choose a rug size based on that.
The rugs available in the market come in these standard sizes: 6′ x 9′, 8′ x 10′, 9′ x 12′, 10′ x 14′, and 12′ x 15′. You may get a custom-made rug, but if you can’t, choose the rug that is closest to the size you need. With that being said, you have to know the measurement of your room or area before buying a rug.
For the living room, it’s best to put all the furniture on top of the rug. If this isn’t possible, at least let the front legs of all furniture to land on the rug. You want every occupant sitting on your couches to have their feet landed on a rug-covered floor.
For the dining room, the rug should be large enough to accommodate the table and all four legs of the chairs, even when they are pulled out from the table. The best way to determine the rug size is to measure the surface of the dining room table and add 6 feet.
For the bedroom, the majority of your rug should be under the bed. It must have at least 2 feet of space exposed on all three sides. A comfortable distance from the side of the bed from the edge of the rug is between 3 to 4 feet. When you go down your bed, your whole feet must land on the rug.
For the hallway, the rug must be wide enough to accommodate both feet while walking. It should have at least 6” of bare floor showing on each side.
When choosing a rug, it’s important to choose what kind of pile you prefer – whether it’s low, medium or high. Rug’s pile simply refers to the density of the fiber material, which also determines the thickness of a rug. Pile heights are low (1/4” and below), medium (1/4” to 1/2”) and high (1/2” to 3/4” or even longer).
As a general rule, areas that receive a lot of foot traffic should use low pile rugs, since they are more durable and easier to clean. The shorter the pile, the durable it is. With that said, high pile rugs would last longer in a low-traffic area. These type of rugs are obviously softer because of the longer shags, making it more comfortable and more luxurious-looking.
Ultimately, your lifestyle should be the biggest determining factor when picking a rug. If you have little kids or pets, stay away from white rugs with high piles. If you need a rug in a high traffic area, opt for a flatweave rug with a pattern that can mask stains. If you value comfort and coziness over anything else, then get a rug with a soft and higher pile. More than conforming to the interior design rules, your lifestyle should come to mind first.