Designing With Area Rugs

Designing With Area Rugs

When you’re brainstorming decor ideas for your home, it’s easy to overlook the prime decor real estate that’s just under your feet. Your floors are just as much of a canvas for your design vision as the rest of your space, and there’s no better way to decorate them than with an area rug.

Rustic living room with patterned rug

Using an area rug in a room is like adding artwork to your floor. Just like wall art, a rug introduces color, pattern, and texture that make the space more interesting while also working to make the room feel visually cohesive. It creates a focal point that anchors the space by extending the decor scheme to the floor. Rugs also visually separate different parts of a space, something that can be especially useful when creating conversation areas in large spaces. In a smaller space, a rug plus an accent chair, small table, and a floor lamp are all you need to create a cozy conversation or reading corner. Rugs don’t just have design benefits either: they add warmth and softness to hardwood or tile floors while also reducing the amount of echo in a room. Have carpeting? An area rug can still benefit you by saving wear and tear on wall-to-wall carpeting in high traffic areas.

Dining room with a patterned rug

There are plenty of size, color, and style options to choose from when you add a rug to your home. Before you start thinking about color or pattern, determine what size rug will work best in your room. If you use a rug in your living room, it should be big enough to at least touch the front of your sofa or sectional, not just fit under your cocktail table. The rug would ideally extend under at least the front legs of your furniture, if not under the whole piece. When using a rug under your dining table, choose an 8’ x 10’ rug to be sure that the rug is large enough that the table and the chairs will fit on it comfortably. In a bedroom, a rug can serve as a great accent when placed at a 45-degree angle under one side or foot of the bed.

Boho living room with rug

Once you determine what size rug you need, it’s time to choose the color of your rug. One key thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to match your rug to your upholstery—it should coordinate with the rest of the room, but it’s actually better if it isn’t an exact match because it’s more interesting. A great way to choose a rug that harmonizes with the rest of the room without matching too closely is to pick a rug that includes some of the colors used throughout the rest of the room. This idea also applies when you pair a patterned rug with upholstered items covered in patterned fabrics: the colors should coordinate, but they don’t have to match. It also helps if the pattern in the rug is a different size then the pattern in your upholstery.

After you’ve selected a rug that is the right size and color for your space, be sure to pick up a rug pad to go along with it so that it doesn’t slide around as you walk on it. It’s also important to vacuum your rug regularly to keep it clean and extend the life of your rug. Once you know how to decorate with an area rug, the only limit is your imagination.

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