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*Disclaimer: These decor tips and ideas for choosing and using an area rug are inspired by House of Chais, SK Design RU, Studio McGee, Space Joy App, Furniture Row, and Crofts Home Reno. Follow them on Instagram.
A great area rug can transform any space, pulling together any room while covering the floor in order to make a big statement.
Arranging furniture within a room is one of the most important elements in decorating. However, this wouldn’t be complete without anchoring the space with an area rug, whether it is in the living room, dining room, bedroom, hallway, or entryway.
The goal is to tie all the different pieces around the room together in order to visually it up so it works well for everything you want to be in the room.
Finding an area rug that is both practical and stylish for every room in your house is no easy feat.
But a good rug can bring color, texture, warmth and style to the dining room—making the hunt well worth the effort.
Read on for 10 tips for choosing the just-right rug for this hardworking room.
How to Choose A Good Area Rug
It’s the perfect time to invest in a fantastic new rug, but where do you start? Knowing how to choose and use rugs around your home will ensure you pick the right one:
1. What’s Your Budget?
It’s no secret that rugs are expensive. Rugs are investment pieces that will last a lifetime so it is wise to choose a good area rug made with high-quality materials.
High-quality rugs have a rich color and a plush feel, and if properly cared for, they will last a decade or more. Low-cost rugs, on the other hand, will fade and pill quickly, necessitating more frequent replacement.
Try a flat-woven rug rather than a tufted rug if you’re on a tight budget but don’t want to compromise on quality.
Flat-woven rugs are more affordable and come in larger sizes, and their close weave makes them more sturdy.
2. In Which Room will the Rug be Placed?
When deciding whether to invest in an area rug or going for a cheaper option, consider where you plan to put the rug.
Ideally, if the room receives a lot of foot traffic like the entryway or kitchen, then an investment rug might not be the best choice because it is more likely to be stomped on and worn down.
Your living room or bedroom, on the other hand, may be a better spot for an investment rug.
However, if you have shoes on within your household, your area rug’s lifespan might be shorten. Thus, your lifestyle choices should dictate whether you skimp or splurge on an area rug.
High-pile rugs are great for low-traffic areas like your bedroom or living room, and lower pile rugs are better for high-traffic areas like the entryway, dining room or kitchen.
If an area rug is high pile, the fibers are taller and looser, giving off a arm, cozy and comfortable underfoot feel.
They offer a full, luxurious look.and are also less likely to flatten than low pile options which are also easy to clean, and flatter.
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3. Consider Rug Sizes
Different spaces in your home require different rug sizes, so think about what size you’ll need before making a purchase.
Because an area rug will give you some basic structure around where to place your furniture, you want to consider the shape and size of your room, as well as the furniture in the space and the overall layout.
For living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms, do this easily by choosing a rug big enough to define your space and fit all of your furniture, at least partially on the rug, to ensure your layout feels more intentional.
4. And Rug Materials
Different rug materials will impact the overall cost of a rug. This should be strictly based on your budget and lifestyle factors as well.
While natural fibers like jute, wool or cotton that tend to be easier to clean, making them great for high-traffic areas cost more; synthetic fibers cost less, and hold onto dirt making cleaning a challenge.
5. Do You Have Kids or Pets?
Kids and pets are prone to messes so a lower cost rug would be a better option if it gets destroyed. However, they tend to fall apart faster, so they can end up costing you more in the long run.
Instead of replacing a rug every few months, consider investing in a high-quality rug that can withstand spills and won’t be destroyed right away.
Natural fibers are a good choice because they are durable and easy to clean.
Also, avoid synthetic fibers which might be toxic to pets and kids.
6. Your Rug Style
Area rugs are must-haves. While you should consider the above factors before buying an area rug, also consider the rug style you want to ensure your decor is cohesive; whether brightly-colored, solid, or patterned.
What you choose is up to you and your personal preference!
Consider getting a rug pad under your area rug on the floor to ensure your rug lasts longer and reduce slippage.
You can use a rubberized non-slip rug pad although one made of recycled materials is a better option.
How To Use & Place A Rug Around Your Home
1. Elevate Your Living Room
A functional living room is incomplete without an area rug. Use your preferred rug as the basis of the color scheme in the living room or to accent or tie in your existing colors.
With so many layout options, here are a few you can try:
Rug Layout #1: All Furniture On Top
In this layout, use a very large area rug that covers the entire floor area of your living room then arrange all your furniture on top.
This layout is great for large living rooms and anchors the space vividly; just be sure to leave enough room on all sides so they don’t feel crammed onto the rug.
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Rug Layout #2: Furniture Partially On Top
Use your area rug to center your living room and arrange your furniture with only their front legs on the rug.
Rug Layout #3: No Furniture On Top
In this rug layout, accent your living room by simply placing a rug on the floor, with no furniture (the sofas and chairs especially) on the rug.
However, the coffee table can find a sweet spot on the rug.
Use a rug size that ends a few inches from the front leg of your sofas and not one too small to ensure the room doesn’t end up feeling bare and empty.
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Rug Layout #4: Layer Up Rugs
For a cozy option, layer up to 2 rugs. Start with a large area rug and set all your furniture on top of this rug then arrange only the front legs of your furniture on the smaller top rug.
You can also throw a fluffy rug with a stand-out color, material and shape to break up the linear look of your space after arranging furniture on a larger rug.
2. Update Your Bedroom
Place a wide area rug on the floor to provide a warm, soft and cozy landing for your feet.
Even if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, you can add color, texture, and pattern to your room by layering a cozy area rug under your bed. Here are several layouts you can try:
Rug Layout #1: At the Foot of the Bed
Feature an area rug in your bedroom by placing it at the foot of your bed, ideally under the foot board of the bed.
Rug Layout #2: Partially Underneath the Bed
You can also place only the top few inches of the rug under the bed or draw it further to cover three-quarters of the rug underneath the bed.
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Rug Layout #3: Fully Underneath the Bed
If the size of your rug is larger, you can slide it completely under the nightstands, or start the rug an inch before the nightstands. This technique works well in spacious bedrooms.
Rug Layout #4: At the Side of the Bed
In your space is smaller and the bed has been pushed against the wall to free up space, placing an area rug at the side of the bed to take up all the central space and become the focal point of the room.
Rug Layout #5: Layering Under the Bed
Slide a larger rug completely or partially underneath your bed and consider layering with a rug of a natural, fluffy material just at the foot or side of the bed for a soft landing spot.
Rug Layout #6: Accentuating Furniture Around the Bed
For a multi-use bedroom, use a rug to define and separate spaces. For instance, your seating area or dresser.
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3. Define Your Dining Room
A dining room rug protects the floor, and enhances the visual appeal of the area.
A dining room rug should be big enough for your dining table and chairs to be placed on it.
There should be enough room for chairs to have their back legs on it when pulled away from the table.
4. Highlight Your Entry or Hallway
Anchor your entryway/foyer and hallway by placing a rug that is in proportion to the size of the entryway (not too big, not too small).
Remember to leave a sufficient vertical air gap between your rug and the door to ensure it does not wear out easily.
It should also be easy to clean and sturdy because of high traffic. Use these tips when picking an entryway rug.
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5. Use It In The Kitchen
Having an area rug in the kitchen is just as practical. It can help with noise control, soften the look and create warmth in your kitchen so pick washable fabrics so you won’t fear any (inevitable) kitchen spills.
Use a kitchen mat or a long, narrow runner rug in the kitchen area, or simply place it in the open space of the kitchen to soften up the room and fill the empty space.
6. And Bathroom
If you’re lucky enough to have a tub, especially a stand alone tub, a rug can definitely be an ideal addition for your space. It can also be suitable for the area by your bathroom vanity.
Swap out your basic bath mat for something with a bit more decorative punch.
Natural-fiber rugs like sisal and bamboo add warm, organic texture that offsets all those glossy bath surfaces; they also hold up well to damp, humid conditions.
A bathroom rug should also be made of smooth, quick-drying material that is easy to clean with a vacuum cleaner to remove hair, dust, and dirt.
Cotton and Egyptian cotton make excellent bathroom rugs because they are long-lasting and easy to clean, feel soft underfoot, and dry quickly to prevent mildew.
Chenille also has a luxurious feel to them, dry quickly and are simple to clean.
7. Cozy up your Study Area
Whether it is a home office or a cozy study area by the window, you can use an area rug to add more comfort to your underfoot.
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8. Define A Play Area
Looking to update your child’s play area or define a play area within your child’s bedroom?
A cozy area rug can come in handy; just be sure to pick an easy-to-clean material.
9. Outdoor Living Area Rugs
Start with the rug and decorate around it so it highlights your space and create a focal point of your outdoor arrangement.
Consider arranging your patio furniture fully or partially on your outdoor area rug, remembering to coordinate the materials, texture, and color of your outdoor rug with your patio furniture.
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Create a cohesive color scheme by matching one of your rug’s colors with your furniture or walls.
Remember to change out rugs and other textures like pillows to update a room for changing seasons, or as a way to introduce new color trends.
Spruce up your home with a good area rug!