I love area rugs. I learned to love rugs several years ago when I started my decorating career at an amazing store in Charleston, SC called GDC Home. The owners of the company regularly travel abroad to shop for wool and silk rugs of all shapes, styles, and sizes. They really know rugs, and they do a great job of sharing their knowledge (and their passion) with their staff of designers. Because of what I learned in my earlier years of decorating, I believe that a room is not complete without a great rug. I love my rugs. If only I had more rooms, I would purchase more rugs!
When choosing a rug, there is so much to consider. It’s important to choose the right size for your space, the right color, and the right material and method of construction. Many people give little thought to the way the rug was put together, but the material and construction method can make a BIG difference in the lifespan of a rug and in your enjoyment of it as well. Most people just look at the color and the price, but once you know a bit more about rugs, you can understand that it’s often worth it to pay a little bit more for a LOT more quality.
Important Considerations when Choosing a Rug:
Composition – Rugs can be made of a variety of different fibers.
- Natural Grasses
The fiber used to create the rug will determine the lifespan of the rug, and oftentimes, the cost of the rug. There are so many considerations regarding the composition of the rug. I personally prefer wool rugs for their beauty and durability. There is a wealth of information out there regarding the fibers that can be used to make a rug. Visit this site for a good starting point.
Method of Construction – Rugs are made in a variety of different ways.
- Hand or Machine Tufted
- Machine Made
- Flat Woven
Just like the composition of the rug, the method of construction can help determine the lifespan AND cost of a rug. As you can imagine, a hand-knotted rug that takes several years to produce will cost more than a machine made rug. You can learn more about construction methods here.
Color and Style – There are so many beautiful rugs available in a rainbow of colors and patterns. If at all possible, it’s best to begin decorating a room with the rug. The rug is a great anchor upon which to base all other color decisions. If you can start with the rug, your possibilities are endless! If you must choose a rug based on other items in the room, be sure to bring fabric and paint samples with you when you shop for a rug. It’s best to stick with a style of rug that complements your decorating style. If you decorate with contemporary furnishings, you will most likely want a more abstract or contemporary rug. If you fancy more traditional décor, there are a plethora of traditional styles to choose from. Many people (including myself) feel comfortable mixing in a more traditional imported rug with more transitional and contemporary furnishings. Traditional imported rugs include beautiful styles from many Middle-Eastern countries, where the art of making rugs is a tradition and an important part of their heritage.
Size – Nothing looks worse than a rug that is too small for the area! Important considerations:
- Dining Rooms – make sure your rug extends at LEAST 24 inches on each side of the table. You want your guests to be able to pull out their dining chairs without it falling off the rug. You can save them the embarrassment of tipping over their chair by simply choosing the right rug!
- Living Areas – If you are using a coffee table, don’t buy a rug that is mostly covered by the coffee table. If you have a sofa in your furniture grouping, even a small sofa, you must choose a rug that is at least 5×7. A 4×6 rug will be swallowed up by your furniture. You don’t necessarily need all of the legs of your furniture to sit ON the rug, but at least the front legs should sit comfortably on the edge of the rug.
- Large Living Areas – Rugs that fill a space should allow at least 8 inches of exposed wood flooring on all sides. Two rugs can be used to divide a large space as well.
- Bedrooms – It is difficult to choose a rug that will fit comfortably under a bed and still serve a purpose. Oftentimes, even a room-sized rug is nearly covered by the bed. Why waste all that beauty where no one will see it??! Instead, choose multiple smaller rugs. Just remember that they should have something in common. When using multiple rugs in one area, they should have the same pattern or the same color in order to complement one another. It isn’t necessary that they be the EXACT same, but something must unify them.
There are so many other considerations when choosing the size of a rug! You can find great advice here.
A rug should be treated as a main component of your room, not an afterthought. If chosen properly, it will enhance the beauty and comfort of your home. If you are looking for a great new space to put your beautiful rugs, check out www.eastwoodhomes.com! We can help you choose the right plan to fit your new rugs!
By Lisa Lenhart, Charlotte Division Design Center Manager for Eastwood Homes