I am seriously thinking of redecorating my living room next year, so being the planner I am, I’m already looking at furniture as well as area rugs. In fact, my mind has been on area rugs a lot lately, so I thought I’d write about them for my own use but also because I know some people have difficulty choosing the right one for their space.
I’ve been told to think of the area rug as artwork for the floor. I’ve never thought of it that way, but it makes sense…area rugs ground the space and if they are not the right size, style or pattern for the room they’re in, everything else looks ‘off’. If at all possible, the area rug should be the first item you choose when decorating your space, especially the living room. This is a great concept if you have a blank slate, but if you already have decent furniture and you want to add or update a rug, then you need to make sure the rug complements the furniture. For example, if you have a patterned sofa or chairs, a neutral rug would work best so that there’s no ‘clashing’ of patterns. If you have a neutral seating area and you buy a neutral rug in the same colour family, the whole space becomes boring, so a patterned rug works best in this case, and it becomes a showstopper in the room…this is my personal favourite. If patterned rugs aren’t your thing, you can bring interest into a neutral palette with a coloured or textured rug. Choose the best rug you can afford…wool and silk are the top choices since they both wear well, and unlike us, look better with age!
Getting the right size of rug is just as important as the colour or pattern. If you have a nice large room to work with, a big rug is nice. The rug should be at least 8 inches up to 2 feet away from the wall, and the furniture should be pulled away from the wall and either placed all on the rug or just the front legs on the rug, so that it looks like it is ‘floating’ on top of the rug. Depending on the size of the room, an 8ft x 10ft or 9ft x 12ft size rug would work best, anything smaller would disconnect the furniture from the rug and wouldn’t make sense. If you’re dealing with a smaller room, a 5ft x 8ft rug works well, and the furniture can be placed with either the front legs on the rug, or all the legs off the rug, with about 6 inches between the rug and the furniture.
There are other rooms besides the living room that can benefit from area rugs as well…
A lot of people like to place a rug in the dining room. If you’re one of those people please make sure the rug runs about 24 inches past the edge of the table to allow for chairs to be pulled out and not be half on half off the rug…this could be dangerous as well as frustrating for the person trying to get out of the chair!
If you want to have a cozy landing spot for your feet when you get out of bed, an area rug in the bedroom is a must. There are a couple of options here - place the rug horizontally 2/3 of the way under the bed so that the top 1/3 where the night stands are don’t have any rug, and the sides and end of the bed have a fair amount of rug…it’s ideal if you can have 2 ft of rug beside the bed where you get out. The other option would be to buy two runners to put on either side of the bed and nothing at the end, this would work well for a smaller room.
The entryway should always have a rug, especially in our Canadian climate, where people are coming in with wet shoes and boots half the year. And besides, entry rugs just say welcome! Make sure you purchase a durable rug for this area, in fact an outdoor rug works really well in an entryway. These rugs should be at least the width of your door and you should have a minimum space of 6 inches around the rug so that the entryway floor can be seen as well.
No matter where or what kind of rug you have, remember that regular vacuuming or shaking is necessary to keep it in tip top shape. As well, it’s a good idea to rotate your rug every six months or so to protect it against uneven wear…this is especially important for high investment pieces! Also underpads prevent rugs from slipping as well as protect your floors, and they add an extra cushiony layer under your feet!
So, if you’re in the market for a new area rug for any room in your house, I hope these tips help.