How to Pick the Perfect Area Rug

When designing a space in or outside of your home, there are few items as quintessential as an area rug.  Aside from the utility of adding cushion and warmth to the floor of the living space, a well-chosen area rug brings texture and a sense of definition all on its own. Whether you’re starting fresh with an empty room, or you’re playing with preexisting décor, we’ll help you pick the perfect area rug with these helpful tips.

1) Measure, Measure, Measure!

The first step in finding the right area rug is having a solid understanding of the space it’s going in. Grab that handy measuring tape of yours and measure the space. Next, you’ll want to choose the best sized area rug given the parameters of the room. If it’s a living room, a good rule of thumb is to make sure that at minimum, the front legs of all of the furniture pieces in the room sit on the rug. If you’re on the hunt for an area rug for the dining room, make sure the entire dining room table will fit on it, and that there’s enough room for chairs to be pulled away and still be on the rug. You can choose a round rug to match a round dining table, or contrast against it with a rectangular rug. The sky’s the limit here, and the ultimate choice is one based in your own imagination and taste.

Still not sure what size you need? Try using blue painter’s tape to outline where the rug will go on the floor. That will help you visualize how big your rug needs to be, as well as the best possible placement for it.

2) Which Style is MY Style?

This is where a lot of area rug shoppers begin to get skittish, but you really don’t need to worry. Following a handful of basic design guidelines makes this part of the process far easier than you’d think. For example, if most of your furniture is patterned, choose a solid colored area rug. Conversely, if most of your seating is of a solid color, you might want to go with a patterned rug. Is your room dark? Maybe go with a lighter area rug. Is the room saturated with daylight? You’re probably safe to choose a darker color.

If you’re going with a patterned rug, try to make the secondary color match your solid colored seating, and the tertiary color to match vases, curtains, throw pillows, or other areas of interest in that room. For solid color area rugs, make sure it compliments your seating color, and matches other décor, such as end tables, lampshades, or hanging artwork.

3) Runners, Just for Funners.

If you’re working with a narrow space like a hallway, or a heavily trafficked space like an entryway or in front of the kitchen sink, a runner is perfect in these spaces. They protect your flooring, help to guide the eye and bring color and warmth to an otherwise empty space, and in the case of kitchen and bathroom applications, can add traction to a frequently slippery area. When choosing a runner, it is important to make sure it’s durable, as well as easily laundered. Both synthetic blends and wool are great choices here.

4) Rules are Meant to be Broken!

As with any style guidelines, they are just that – guidelines; a practical, arbitrary, universal set of rules to aid you on your way. Ultimately, the choices you make for your area rugs can hinge on an infinite number of variables, tastes, applications, constrictions, locations, and availabilities. The most important thing to remember is to have fun with the area rug selection process. Feel free to be playful with your rug choices, and to experiment in ways that might seem to go against the laws of design as outlined here. Enjoy what you’re doing, and you’re sure to pick out the perfect area rugs for your special spaces at home.

For more area rug inspiration, visit us over at our website and browse some of our completed interior design projects. For more information about how EH Design can help transform your home, feel free to contact us here. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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