Rugs 101- Everything you need to know when shopping for an area rug.By
Shag, Tufted, Woven, Spun, Flat Weave, Felted, Indoor/Outdoor, Round or Rectangle, and Runners! There are so many options. Where does one begin when searching for the perfect area rug? It seems a bit overwhelming but following these guidelines you will be placing the perfect rug in your home in no time!
What are you using the rug for?
This will help determine the kind of rug that will best suit your needs. Will the rug be used to protect your beautiful hardwood floors or simply to add color and style to the space? Rugs can create a great pop of color or help ground or tie a room together. Area rugs often provide sound proofing qualities when used on hard surfaces. Rugs also add softness to a room. The additional cushion of a rug is great for anyone with children. Often overlooked, one benefit of area rugs is insulation from cold surfaces. Rugs with dense fibers can trap heat on cool winter nights keeping your area warm and cozy.
What size is best?
There are several standard sizes for area rugs. However, the size of the rug always seems to be the trickiest to determine. The rules vary depending on the room. So let’s take a look at how you would place a rug by the type of room.
Dining Room- The main rule to remember here is: The rug should be large enough that all the legs of the dining chairs sit on the rug while the chairs are pulled out or when someone is seated. You wouldn’t want your guest chairs to be half on and half off creating a wobbly chair while dining. Typically the rug should extend at least 30″ beyond the edge of the table on all sides. A common dining room rug size is 8′ x 10′. However, it still depends on the size of your dining room table. Synthetic fibers or polypropylene rugs work well in this area because of their stain resistant qualities.
Bedroom- Think about the key pieces of furniture in the space. The bed will most likely be the prominent piece. The rug size should reflect its size and its placement. Ideally, you would want a rug that extends about 18″ to 24″ on all three sides of the bed (assuming your headboard is against the wall). Also, you would want the rug to be wide enough to accommodate your nightstand beside the bed. Common sizes used in bedrooms are an 8’ x 10’ under a Queen sized bed, and an 9’ x 12’ under a King sized bed.
There are a few options for rug placement in the bedroom. The most popular would be to have the rug start just in front of the nightstands and extend past the foot of the bed . Tucking the rug slightly under the nightstands to ground them with the bed is even better. If you have a large bedroom that can accommodate a larger rug, GO FOR IT! Get an area rug large enough that both nightstands can be placed on it and still extends beyond the foot of the bed a couple feet. This will keep your room feeling and looking proportional.
Family Room/Living Room- Typically, the furniture in a living room or family room is arranged to form a conversation area or seating around a focal point. The key here is the area rug must encompass all pieces of furniture within this seating area. For example, a living room arrangement may consist of a sofa, a loveseat, several chairs, a coffee table and end tables. All of these items should be on the rug – at least partially – in order to provide an ideal balance. A room generally looks more pulled together if all the furniture legs are planted firmly on the rug.
Hallway/Foyer– Here the rug size is determined by the amount of floor space available. For larger open areas try leaving a perimeter between 12″-24″ space around the rug. For smaller areas leave 6″-8″ between the rug and the wall.
STILL NOT SURE ON THE RIGHT SIZE? – Try the Tape Trick.
If you are stilling having trouble visualizing the proper rug size try the trick of painters tape before you go shopping. Tape out the size of the area rug you are considering placing in the space on the floor. This should help you clearly see if the rug is big enough to accommodate your pieces. If not tape out the next size up until you are satisfied with your decision. Keep in mind rug sizes vary from different manufacturers. You can probably fudge a few inches up or down on size for your space but try to stick to the most common sizes for best selection and price. Then you will be ready to go rug shopping! If you do not have a room configuration that fits with the standard sizes there are always custom rug options available.
Just one last thing to consider…before heading off to the magical land of rugs and buying the absolute best rug on earth just remember the above rules are mostly guidelines. You are the one that has to live with the rug you choose so by all means if you feel the need to break any rules or guidelines, PLEASE DO! With that said, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite design quotes.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes,
Design is knowing which ones to keep.”-Scott Adams
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