Although we might not pay them much heed as we trample them day after day, the area rugs in our rooms help set the tone and style of a room, add years to the flooring underneath and help home decorators bring together disparate elements to make one unified whole.
Purchasing an area rug shouldn’t be forgotten until a room is essentially complete. Waiting until paint and/or wallpaper is chosen, furniture is ordered and pictures are hung might be a big mistake.
There are generally far fewer choices in area rug designs than there are paint colors, wallpaper patterns and upholstery choices. Therefore, many rug experts suggest choosing an area rug first or early on in the decorating process so that its design is built into the overall decor of the room.
When choosing an area rug size, it’s important to know the size of your room. Don’t get a rug that’s too small or large (experts suggest leaving a border of 18-36 inches around the edge of the rug), but be flexible. Furniture doesn’t have to be completely on or off the rug, but too much furniture grouped on a rug might make the area rug look strangely small.
Since area rugs come in stock sizes like 5′ x 7′ and 8′ x 10′, it’s important to consider that when choosing an area rug. Some larger rooms might benefit from two smaller area rugs rather than one rug that is just too small for the larger proportions of the room.
If you want a small room to look larger, choose a light-colored area rug. If your large room needs some cozying, choose a warm, dark color to add warmth and drama to the room.
Prices for area rugs vary greatly, and prices go up or down depending on the quality of the fabric you choose. Synthetic area rugs are inexpensive, but won’t provide the kind of wear that can withstand the abuse that pets, children, time and traffic can provide. Better choices are wool, cotton, silk and other natural materials.
Experts suggest always using a rug pad under your area rugs. The pad will help protect the flooring underneath, and can add years to the life of your area rug. Use a rug specifically designed for area rugs and not wall-to-wall carpeting, which has a slick side.
Types of Area Rugs
When it comes to versatility, decorative area rugs have the market covered so to speak. There are so many possibilities for different styles, sizes and even shapes of area rugs that you are bound to find one that fits any unique situation you may have. Here are some basic classifications of the many types of area rugs available to help organize the many rugs available today:
Modern area rugs – Modern rugs are machine made rugs that come in a very wide variety of colors and designs. There are rugs that will match any room. They have sturdy backings and are well made. Some are even machine washable. These modern marvels are available in many more colors than their traditional counter parts because they are machine made, it is possible to make many more colors and designs then the handmade rugs of the past. Also the quantity of the rugs made is much greater due mostly to the manufacturing time being so much less for machine made rugs.
Cotton print decorative area rugs – These are light weight, cotton rugs that are great for furniture throws, tapestries as well as being used on the floor. They are often made of bright colors that real light up a room. These are the least inexpensive of the rug options available.
Traditional rugs – Traditional decorative area rugs are ones that are handmade. Rugs have been made by people for hundreds of years. Many traditional rugs are made of wool and include carpets and tapestries. They can be great for giving an original look to your home as many of them are one of a kind artifacts. These types of rugs are about the most expensive category of decorative area rugs.
Tribal Rugs – These are made from a variety of natural fibers and are generally very sturdy handmade rugs that can be very expensive but have a wide price range from inexpensive to expensive. Tribal rugs refer to any rugs made locally in any area from the local materials of that area.
Cotton Printed Rugs – As the name implies, these are made of cotton and come in a variety of colors and designs. These are also commonly used as area rugs, tapestries and furniture throws. They are usually not real expensive and have no real non-slip backing making them slippery on a polished floor.
Decorative area rugs can be purchased in a variety of places. One place you can usually count on finding a decent variety of decorative rugs is your common, every day carpet floor.
Most big carpeting suppliers that sell commercial carpet will also have an area set aside in their store or where house for hanging area rugs. They will often have huge hanging assemblies that will allow you to sort through a variety of different rugs very easily. Often you will have to ask the carpet salesmen specifically to show you their selection of area rugs because many times they are stored in a back room out of view.
Photo by juggernautco, Creative Commons Attribution License