Rugs are one of the easiest ways to add color, texture, and warmth to a space. It is an important choice to consider, though, because a rug has the power to change the look and feel of a room. Even the what the rug is made of will determine its functionality and longevity.
Rugs are more versatile than wall-to-wall carpet and offer a good way to soften a hardwood or tile floor, which, although practical, can sometimes be noisy and cold. Area rugs are the perfect foil to the ubiquitous wooden floor, and can be swapped out seasonally – providing warmth and color in the winter, and a lighter, cooler look in warm weather. Rugs can also be taken up and cleaned more easily than carpets, and can be used to highlight or section off a space.
A rug should be one of your first considerations when furnishing a room. Remember that it’s usually easier to match paint or wall coverings to carpets or rugs rather than vice versa. That said, before you consider colors and patterns, you’ll need to decide what material the rug should be. Some basic questions to help you choose the best kind of rug for your home include: what is the room used for? Who uses it – pets? Kids? And how often? Rooms that are formal might be well-suited for a silk or viscose rug, but in areas where children play or food is likely to be spilled, more durable fabrics like wool or cotton blends, or even synthetics, make sense. Thinking about the traffic in the space will inform the decision about which material is best suited underfoot.
For the most dramatic impact, you should always buy the largest dimension rug your space will accommodate. Try arranging your furniture around the edges of the rug, but place all your furniture on the rug – at least the front feet – to create a look that says the rug belongs in the space. And if you’re using a rug in the bedroom, use runners on both sides of the bed, or choose a large rug that will not only go under the bed, but also be visible beyond it. Meanwhile, the rule of thumb in a dining room is to make sure the rug goes beneath the table and fully under the chairs, even when they’re pulled out.
Finally, rugs have the added bonus of providing sound insulation (especially when paired with an underlayer) and protecting the finish of the floors beneath them. It’s a win-win when you add a rug to your room.