Area Rug Dos and Don’ts
If an area rug could talk, it would say, “This group of furniture belongs together.” Area rugs serve many purposes: to protect the floor underneath, define a space and enhance and update your decor. The size of an area rug also helps to define a space—the larger your area rug, the larger your room feels (and vice versa). Area rugs provide an opportunity to bring colors or patterns into the room that coordinate with the rest of your furnishings, giving the room a “finished” feeling.
• DON’T leave wood or tile flooring bare. An area rug enhances your living-room seating arrangement. It feels warmer underfoot than wood or tile and encourages you to lounge on the floor. Rugs also absorb sound and make a room quieter—an important factor for those with noisy kiddos running around.
• DO use appropriately sized area rugs. While some designers advocate placing all of your furniture within the outer perimeter of a rug, most recommend placing just the front legs of your seating on top of the rug. When the rug rests beneath furniture, your mind’s eye assumes that the rug continues indefinitely and, therefore, your space feels larger.
TIP: The vast majority of living rooms, dining rooms and master bedrooms will require an 8′ x 10′ rug.
• DO make sure the backing of the rug and/or the rug pad will not harm the floor. Some rug backings can permanently discolor a vinyl floor, and certain rug pads can cause significant damage to hardwood floors. To be safe, always buy your rug pads from your favorite flooring store and not at a discount or dollar store.
• DON’T bring home a rug that’s the wrong size. Measure your room and pick a rug size that is at least two feet shorter than the length and two feet shorter than the width of the room.
• DO mix patterns of different proportions. If your curtains or a chair in the space feature a print, you can still have a patterned rug. The trick is to pick a rug with a pattern that is quite different in scale than other textiles used on or around it.