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Area Rugs

A well-placed area rug may be exactly what your room is missing. A rug softens wood or stone floors and it balances color and pattern. Large area rugs map out a good-sized space for entertaining or relaxing. Their size allows them to tuck neatly under furniture feet in order to protect hardwood floors and partition space in open floor plans. They also add a sense of warmth to a room, which is especially important during the winter. Area rugs come in a huge assortment of styles, colors and sizes, so if you’re looking to place some cozy fibers underneath your feet, here are a few tips to help you narrow your search:

What materials are best for area rugs?


It’s recommended that you don’t skimp when it comes to purchasing a new area rug, as high quality natural fibers, like wool area rugs, are best for high-traffic areas but tend to be more expensive. Other plant-fiber rugs, such as jute and sisal, may cost less but they won’t wear as well. Super soft materials, like silk and cotton, are optimal for low-traffic areas like bedrooms and nurseries. Another quality to look for is how easy it is to clean each material, especially if you have children or pets.

What size area rug should I purchase?


As a general rule, it’s recommended you choose area rugs that are two feet shorter than the shortest wall in the room where they’ll be placed. For example, if your bedroom is 11-by-13 feet, limit your search to bedroom rugs that are no more than 9 feet long.

Of course, this rule may not work in certain circumstances, like dining room rugs or living room rugs. For a dining room, look for an area rug that extends at least 18 inches past the edge of your dining table so that your dining chairs will fit on top. A living room rug should help designate conversation areas and should be big enough so that the front third of each piece of furniture sits on top of the rug. If your living room or den is large enough to hold more than one conversation area, you might consider buying two or more living room area rugs.

You’ll find that 8x10 area rugs are popular in many situations, but refer to our Rug Size Guide to find the right rug size for your room.

What color area rug would look best in my space?


Consider your existing color scheme, decor and flooring before you buy. Here are a few color guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Dark colors enhance intimate settings and disguise stains.

  • Light colors enlarge small spaces and achieve that airy look we all love.

  • As always with cool colors, teal and blue area rugs have a calming effect on spaces.

  • For warm walls, try a rug in a subdued hue. A gray area rug never fails in a happy yellow or neutral beige room.

  • If the room is lacking a focal point, go for a brighter option, like red area rugs.
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