Picking the Perfect Area Rug

Admit it: You desperately want the ideal area rug to tie your room together perfectly. This can be done! The trick lies in knowing how to choose.

You have to keep a lot of things in mind — the color, the texture and the design— and how they fit into the general decor of your room. The following tips should help you on your quest.


The first thing to consider with an area rug is its color. The color must be in tune with the color of the place you’re going to put the rug. Don’t forget that color coordination creates the bond between your room and the rug.

It is estimated that thirty percent of a room’s color is dominated by the color of the floor covering. If you want the area rug to be the center color bank for your room, choose the paint color of your room according to the colors of the rug. For instance, choose a rug that has patterns with multiple, distinct colors. Then you can plan your room’s color scenario around the colors of that rug and even extend the plan to other rooms with different rugs while keeping the rug colors complementary.

If you want a rug that conforms to your room’s general appearance, you may want to opt for low-key tones and designs that easily blend in your room’s decor. A textured rug is a really great choice when you want to provide a backdrop for your furnishings. You can use textured rugs that are slightly darker or lighter than the wall color to create a subtle color movement.


After color, consider the design of the rug. Be it contemporary or traditional, both styles account for your self-expression and taste. Geometric patterns are best suited for modern settings, while traditional floral patterns create an English garden feel.

When mixing patterns, it is important to remember that either the color or the pattern should be in sync with each other. This helps in binding the décor of your rooms. Patterned rugs also are far better at hiding stains than solid colors. You may want to place one under your dining table, where spills are likely to occur!


The texture of a rug is the key feature that adds to the room’s warmth. The way the rug feels literally adds to the feel of the room. A wool rug adds warmth and definition to a room that has shiny or smooth surfaces. Aim to get a balance of textures.


Rug material can be divided into two categories: natural and synthetic. By far, the material that dominates the world of area rugs is wool. Wool rugs are elegant in texture, highly durable, easily maintained and are crush resistant.

Other natural materials include silk, viscose, cotton and jute. Silk is expensive but is highly appreciated for its luster. Cotton is used as a foundation for many rugs, and viscose (which is derived from wood pulp) acts as a good substitute for silk when used as accents with another material. Jute, coir and sisal are also used but though they have interesting textures, they get stained pretty easily.

Synthetic fibers like nylon and polypropylene are cheap and easy to maintain, but traditionalists say that they lack the warmth of natural fibers. Environmentally-conscience consumers also may find these choices unacceptable


Various factors blend in to determine a rug’s quality. The first thing to consider is the craftsmanship of a rug. It can be hand-woven, hand tufted, machine-woven and tufted. To figure out the best option for you, consider the general make of the rug along with the fiber used and the precision in design. All of these account for a good area rug.
Among the materials used, wool tops the list for various reasons. It is the unanimous standard for comparisons with other materials.


The skill of the artisan who has made the rug (and the machines in power-loomed rugs) is another important factor. The skill of the artisan and the beauty of the rug are directly related.

Pile Density

Along with the fiber used to create the rug, pile density is arguably the most important indicator on how long your rug will go to last and keep its original look. It refers to the amount of yarn used in making of the rug and how close the knots, or weaves, are to each other. The denser the rug, the better it will stand up over time.


It is necessary that you know the size of the room where you want to place your rug. For family rooms, it is good to have one large rug, with 12 to 18 inches of floor space to frame the rug. Measure the dimensions of your dining table if you intend to place one in the dining room. The table should fit within the rug with extra space for the chairs. Long runners are good for hallways, and you can even opt to put different runner rugs one after the other, but keep the colors in mind. Bedrooms usually are best served with a large, luxurious rug that feels good on bare feet.

If you have kids or pets, it is likely that mishaps will occur. In this situation, you should always choose a rug that is easy to clean. Wool is the best choice as it is resistant to soil and stains, as well as easy to clean.

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