Area Rug Shopping

Area Rugs Advice

Choosing the right color, design and texture is a personal taste. One of the best places to start is by asking yourself a few questions. Is your room formal or informal? Do you want an area rug that defines your decorating scheme or one that supports the décor? Are you looking for bright or subdued colors? What shape best fits your space?

With those thoughts in mind, let’s dig a little deeper to explore the wonderful world of color, design, and texture.

COLORS

Color is an elusive and complex medium. Nothing can change the look of a room more than color. From paint to floorcovering, it is what binds the room together. In fact, some consider color the pivotal element that can make or break a room’s design.
Since floorcovering accounts for almost thirty percent of a room’s color, it is important to determine the role it plays in your decorating plan. If your area rug is going to be the dominant element, choose a patterned rug with distinctive color combinations. Use shades from the rug to select paints and accessories; then carry those color themes into adjacent rooms with coordinating rugs.

If your rug is going to play a secondary role, then keep it fairly neutral. It can still be patterned, but in subtle tones that complement other furnishings and fabrics in the room. Should you decide to use your rug as a backdrop for other furnishings, selecting a textured rug – with a ground color slightly lighter or darker than your walls – helps it quietly blend into the décor.

DESIGN

Selecting the right rug is a very personal one when it comes to design. Whether traditional or contemporary, what matters most is how the design makes you feel. The best decorating always reflects the personality of its owner.

Patterned rugs bring an air of richness and intimacy to larger spaces. They also provide instant personality and character, allowing you to create a certain style. A traditional, floral rug may conjure up an English country garden, while a geometric rug creates a modern mood. Mixing patterns can be tricky. Remember, if the patterns are related by form, color or texture, the mix is more likely to succeed.

When used together well, complementary patterns are excellent at defining spaces. Use them to create conversation areas in large rooms or to separate a dining area. Don’t be afraid to use them under tables where spills are likely to occur. Patterned rugs are much better than solids at disguising spots and stains.

TEXTURE

Color can be used to achieve drama and impact, but there is nothing like texture to elevate a room that lacks design. Texture is all about how something feels when you touch it. Everything in your home makes a textural contribution – be it rough, smooth, nubby or silky. A room decorated with chrome furniture, glossy paint and slate flooring might be described as “hard-edged and cold”. Warm, cozy textures, such as wool, are linked with comfort of home.
Blending textures can help balance a room. Cool surfaces such as leather, glass, and stone can be offset with the warm textural effect of a rug. A wool loop pile can be paired with a rich wall color to bring warmth to a room that doesn’t receive much sun.

KIDS AND PETS

Since pets, like children, are prone to accidents, you’ll want to make sure your area rug is easy to clean. The best, most natural, choice for combating everyday mishaps is wool. Wool rugs are naturally superior because they have built-in stain resistant features. The scaly structure of the wool fibers hold dirt high on the pile, making vacuuming more efficient and effective.

In addition to fiber type, color choice can make a difference as well. Multi-colored patterns are an excellent option if you have pets or small children because they mask spills as well as everyday wear and tear. If you’re looking for solid-color carpet, remember that light colors show dirt the most, while dark shades show more lint, dust and pet hair. In fact, if you have a shedding pet, you may want to match your pet’s hair to the carpet color. Although it sounds ridiculous it can help make you home feel a little cleaner.

Noise is another factor to consider when you have kids and pets. Expanses of hard surface flooring can reverberate household noise. Using plush textiles along with fabric upholstery and window coverings, can help absorb sound waves and make your home a more peaceful and relaxing place.

RUG SIZE

Determining the proper size for a rug is just as important as finding the right color and design. To start, simply measure your room; then follow our room-by-room measuring guide to find the best fit. Keep in mind that we also offer custom-sizing for hard-to-fit areas.

Family Room: The general rule for sizing a rug is to allow 12 to 18 inches of flooring to frame the rug. For a small room, 12 inches may be more than enough space. One large rug works best in a large room because it does not visually divide the room. However, if the room has several furniture groupings, each can be organized with rugs compatible in size and color but not necessarily matching.

Dining Room: In a dining room, measure the length and width of the table. The rug needs to be large enough to allow chairs to be pushed back from the table without falling off the rug. This means that any of the chairs can be in a more conversational position before and after the meal without moving off the rug. Allow 30 inches on each side for side and armchairs.

Bedrooms: In bedrooms, one large rug is luxurious, but the bed will cover most of it. Smaller equal-sized rugs used around the bed are another option. The soft comfort of a rug is most appreciated when stepping in and out of bed.

Hallways: In hallways, the length is optional. Try to place a runner rug so it does not end in the middle of a doorway. In a very long hall, several small runners can work. They do not have to match but the colors should coordinate.

Area Rugs Living Room

MATERIAL

The type of material used in a rug plays a key role in how it feels and how well it performs. Basically, there are two fiber types: man-made and natural. Natural fibers include: wool, silk, cotton, jute, coir, and sisal. Man-made fibers include: nylon, polypropylene, acrylic and viscose.

Let’s take a closer look at each:

Wool: The most beautiful and luxurious choice of all, 100 percent wool is used in most quality rugs. Wool is a natural fiber that is highly regarded for its strength, durability, crush resistance, cleanability, comfort, and beauty. Wools is considered the superior fiber for area rugs.

Nylon: This man-made fiber provides a less expensive option than all-wool or silk versions. Look for treatments such as stain protection.

Polypropylene: Polypropylene is a thermoplastic resin made from propylene gas. Rugs made of polypropylene are often heat-set to minimize luster and improve softness.

Silk: This is the most expensive rug fiber and even the smallest addition to the content can raise the price. It is also a natural fiber and adds high luster to the end product. Visit our Persian Renaissance collection for fine examples of silk used as accents. These rugs beautifully illustrate the dramatic effect silk adds to the design.

Viscose: Viscose is a shiny, silk-like fiber made from wood pulp. On its own, Viscose is susceptible to matting, but when used as an accent or in a blend, Viscose makes a wonderful substitute for higher-priced silk.

Cotton: Cotton is a strong, supple fiber that is used in the warp and weft (rug foundation) of many rugs. On its own, cotton soils easily and can shrink in washing. However, it makes an exceptional backing material because it helps rugs keep their shape and lie flat.

Jute, Coir, and Sisal: These fibers are derived from plants. Although aesthetically appealing, they have a coarse hand and are susceptible to stains.

QUALITY

Trying to evaluate the huge amount of rug types on the market can feel overwhelming. It is easy to be misled when comparing hand-made to machine-made and woven to tufted rugs. What you need to take into account when buying a quality rug are the identifiable signs of quality:

Craftsmanship: A variety of methods are used to craft rugs, and quality varies within each category. To determine the best, consider the expertise of the weaver along with the fiber type, pile density and height, finishing treatments, and artistic quality.

Materials: For good looks that last, it is best to choose wool. This luxurious fiber is the standard by which all other fibers are measured. Although it is typically more expensive than man-made fibers, it is well worth the price. Visit Material Choices for more information on natural and man-made fibers.

Artistic Quality: The more skilled the artisan, the better the rug – regardless of the weaving method. Whether hand-knotted, flat-woven or machine-made, quality and price are directly related to the time and talent of the weaver.

Pile Density: Density refers to the amount of pile yarn used in the rug and the closeness of the weave. In general, the denser the pile, the better the performance. Take your fingers and try to wiggle them into the pile. The more difficult it is to get to the bottom, the denser the rug. Keep in mind, density alone is not a good measure of performance quality; fiber type and pile height need to be considered as well.

Finishes: External finishes are often applied to enhance a rug’s features. If you are buying a wool rug, especially one that is hand-made, you want to make sure it has been permanently mothproofed. Since wool is naturally soil resistant, it doesn’t require further treatments.

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