High use, a low door, kids and pets running amok — whatever your area endures, this insight will help you find the right rug for it.
Finding the right area rug may not be as simple as you think. There is so much to consider: pile, durability, size, shape, patterns, textures, weight, cost, dye, practicality, manufacturing processes and, last but not least, beauty.
Consider three things when choosing an area rug:
- What you love
- Where it will be
- How to take care of it
High-pile or shag carpeting works perfectly in a living room or bedroom in smaller doses. The high-pile carpet tiles shown above were put together to create an unexpected mix of pretty patterns. Enough floor surrounds the carpet that it doesn’t overpower the space but still provides comfort and coziness.
Many people like the luxury of a high-pile carpet underfoot. In those cases we recommend placing large, dense area rugs in the space, and only in the areas in which they’ll be walking on it.
Frequently used spaces require rugs that can withstand a multitude of sins — from spilled drinks to muddy shoes — and a shag rug is very difficult to keep clean in those situations. Switching to a flat-weave or extremely low-pile rug reduces the look of wear and is more practical when it comes to vacuuming or spot cleaning. In the room above, the area rug that provides warmth underfoot but is minimalist and elegant.
Flat-weave area rugs are perfect for high-use rooms. If young children regularly spend time on the floor, a low-pile carpet with a premium rug pad creates a soft, cushy place to play. The rug shown above has a very low pile. But if kids want to sit on the floor, they’d be very comfortable.
There are countless “rules” on how large rugs should be or how they should be laid out in a space. Sometimes it helps simply to ask yourself: “What feels right?”
Placing all furniture on the area rug can, however, create the feeling of being on an island. Using area rugs to denote a specific space within a larger room, such as under a dining table and chairs, is different. The rug shown above is larger than the dining set and thus defines the dining area without confining it.
Sisal and other natural-fiber area rugs, such as jute and hemp, give rooms a more relaxed, organic feel — think beach cottage, French country farmhouse or wine country getaway. The rug shown above provides a great counterpoint to the more traditional furnishings and instantly makes the space more approachable.
Sisal and jute work well with both casual and modern furnishings, and are surprisingly soft and textural underfoot. They can be taken outdoors and beaten, but deep cleaning is a bit trickier. They aren’t the best rugs for high-traffic areas such as the entry, as the sisal can splinter over time and become “pokey.” The flatter the weave, the less likely this is to happen.
As a practical way to add a nonslip surface to an entry, a small flat-weave area rug serves as both a place to take off your shoes and a visual break from a bare floor.
The type of pile you choose should be based on how large your entry is and how far from the door you can place your rug. Many a person has gotten the front door stuck on the entry rug! Entry rugs work best if they are flat weave or have a very low pile for this reason.
Because the entry is adjacent to the outdoors, rugs there usually need frequent cleaning. They can also be dangerous if not properly secured to the floor with either a nonslip rug pad or rug tape. The rug shown above adds visual interest to the eclectic space, creates a more welcoming entry and allows for easy front-door clearance.
Area rugs can be an investment both visually and financially. They can make or break a room and instantly change the way a space feels. The rug shown above ties together the eclectic room with its neutral color and widely spaced pattern. It is also a flatter weave, which flows seamlessly into the surrounding floor space.Choosing the right type of rug is as much about the way it looks as the way it feels underfoot. It’s also important to address its practicality in your home.
- What type of lifestyle do you lead? Are you chasing muddy children through the house? Do you have pets? A white shag carpet is probably a bad idea in those instances.
- Where will the rug be located, and what purpose will it serve in that room? Is it a focal point in a formal living room or a place people can sit on while playing board games in the family room?
- What is your overall style? Look to complement the style of the space. An area rug doesn’t need to match everything in the room, but it should work with the tones and textures of the existing furnishings.
- How easily is it cleaned? An expensive antique carpet is going to have to go to a professional at least once a year if placed in high-use rooms, and is usually too cumbersome to stick in the trunk of your car. Does it need to be picked up, or can you drive it to the dry cleaner?
- What feels best underfoot? If you prefer a softer feel, then natural fibers such as wool and cotton are for you. If you want a lush, deep, pile, synthetic fibers can give you a similar feel. Organic fibers such as jute and sisal can be surprisingly soft underfoot but don’t give the same physical warmth as a woven rug. It truly is a taste preference when it comes to feel.
- Timelessness. Does your style change with the seasons? Will that rug work with next year’s decor?
- Are you planning to move? Going larger or smaller means the rug might not work in a new space. Folding a rug under isn’t really a great style choice.
- Cost. Spending a bit more on a high-quality area rug may be more worth it to you in the long run than buying mediocre-quality carpets at a bargain store. However, if you like to change things up a lot, less-expensive area rugs are probably a better bet. You can score amazing area rugs at unbelievable prices online.
So there you have it! Please stop by any of our locations for an in-person consultation with our professional staff. We know we can find just the right area rug for your home.