Sunday, January 16, 2011

How to choose the right area rug

People have been using rugs since the earliest days of history. Initially they were made of animal skins and served very functional purposes. Today this functional role has been replaced  by a purely aesthetic one.  Rugs  have several purposes in home decor:  they add texture and colour to a room;  they establish zones in large rooms;  they anchor furniture and complement a colour scheme or other elements.    

The size of an area rug dictates how you will use it in your home. Smaller to mid size rugs ( 2’X3’, 3’X5’ and 4’X6’) are used to highlight or accent other features in a room.  They are used effectively in a bathroom, kitchen, entrance or hallway or

living room contemporary living room

....... in a living room it seems. 

Modern Classic contemporary entry
Jona Collins

There's no doubt that this small but dramatic area rug completes this space.  

Stair  staircase
Brian Watford ID

This is another example of a well placed small rug that enhances the other items in the space.

Larger size rugs (6’X9’, 8’X10’, 9’X12’ and 12’X15’)  are used in living rooms and dining rooms. It is also possible to order irregular shaped rugs or have carpet bound to fit any size you request.

Full coverage 

If you are dealing with flooring that is not up to scratch or you dislike the tone of your flooring you can opt to cover  the problem with an area rug. In that situation you should aim to have your rug anywhere from 1 to 3 feet  from the walls to allow you to see the flooring underneath.  If you have a fireplace or closet protruding into the  room you should use this as your "wall" and measure from it.

Dining Room Rugs

The most important aspect to consider when you are buying a dining room area rug is the size of your table and how far a chair extends when you pull it out.  There's nothing more annoying than always catching the leg of a chair on the edge of a rug or having an uneven seat because two legs are on the rug and two are off.  A general rule of thumb for determining a minimum rug  size for your dining room is to extend your rug at least two feet beyond the edges of your table.If your table is three feet wide the width of your rug would be need to be at least 7  feet wide.  The next standard size would be 8 x 10'.


This is obviously a custom rug because it fits the dimensions of the table perfectly.   

Debra Campbell Design traditional dining room
Debra Campbell Design

The shape of your rug should also mimic your table shape- round with round, oval with oval etc.

Living Room Rugs

In living rooms rugs usually establish conversation areas.  Depending on the size of your space you may have one or more areas to define.   If you have an open concept home,  rugs can  break up the larger space into both a living and a dining area.

Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. traditional living room

Forest Manor Model Home modern living room
I'm imagining that this is one end of a larger space. I love the repetition of circular shapes and the black and white scheme.  The circular shape  of the rug mimics the chair layout and the ottoman. Who wouldn't want to have a glass of wine here?

Let's look at some of the size and placement guidelines in living rooms.

If you want your sofa and chairs to rest on the rug it should extend at least a foot beyond the back of the sofa. 

Austin Patterson Disston Architects traditional living room

 You can also purchase a smaller rug that allows just  front legs of the sofa to rest on it.  This is one of the options for a 6 x 9 rug.

Smaller rugs like 4 x 6' work well under a coffee table. These would float under the table and function as a separator between the table and the floor.  If your table and flooring are close in value (both are dark or light) an area rug is highly desirable to show your table to best advantage.


This is such a happy room!  Only the tables are dark,  the area rug follows this trend and adds only design and texture.


This small area rug provides an additional  way to add an accent colour in the room.

Bedroom Rugs

 If you are using a large rug in a bedroom it does not need to be centered. Consider having the same amount of floor space on two or three sides of the rug. Often rugs are used to highlight the placement of the bed. In this application a highly patterned rug would be  wasted because much of it would be under the bed.

Traditional furnishings translated to a transitional look eclectic bedroom
While there is a pattern on this rug the scale is large and it shows well.

A totally monochromatic room depends on texture to be successful. The area rug just had to be shag.

Did you notice another trend running through most of these photos?

1 comment:

  1. Nice decor. I love to decor living rooms and dining rooms, love to work with browns and blacks and red Modern Area Rugs . if anyone needs advice or any ideas let me know?, would love to help, love decor designs.thanks.


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