Looking to buy a new area rug for your home? Is the area rug for your bedroom, hallway, entryway, dining room or living room?
Whichever room you want an area rug for, you should follow these simple steps in order to buy an area rug – the right way!
Determine Size and Shape
For the size and shape of your area rug, you will need to know the size and shape of your room or area.
Once you determine the shape of your room, you may want to follow the shape of your room. For example, if your living room is a rectangle, you may opt for a rectangular area rug. Also, for a square room, you can choose a square area rug. Choosing an area rug which mimics the room’s shape is an easy choice. Simply consider the shape and buy an area rug which is the same shape but of a smaller size.
While this is the easiest way to determine the shape and size of an area rug, you do not need to follow this rule. The layout of your furniture and accent pieces in the room can play a major role in the choice of the size and shape of your area rug.
You can see how the same area rug design in different shapes and sizes – rectangular and round – fits equally well into this small sitting room with patio doors.
Area Rugs for Dining Rooms
As a perfect example, considering an area rug for your dining room will be very dependent on your dining room table and chairs. Like choosing an area rug based on your room’s shape, you can choose an area rug which is completely based on the shape of your dining room table.
If you have a rectangular dining table, the best choice would be a rectangular area rug. If you have a round dining room table, again, a round area rug will work and look best. Just be sure the size you choose is at least 2 feet larger on all sides than the dining table itself. You need this extra size to ensure that when the chairs are pulled in and out, the chairs are not tripping – getting caught – on the edge of the rug.
As an experienced teacher once told me about teaching, don’t show people the wrong way to do things. Well, I shall now break that rule so that I can show you how not to buy the wrong sized area rug.
In this instance, the area rug under the dining table is way too small. When dinner guests try to sit down or leave the table, they may find themselves and the chair fighting with the area rug. Be sure the size of your area rug for your dining room is larger than your dining table by at least 2 feet.
Area Rugs for Living Rooms
A general rule for living rooms is to choose an area rug which fits just under your conversation area pieces. This means that your area rug should fit just under your sofa and chairs by at least a few inches. The reason for this is simple and similar to the dining room area rug considerations. You do not want your sitting guests to trip up on the area rug edge. If the area rug edge is in front of the sofa or chair, as you get up, you may find yourself tripping on the edge of the rug.
Be careful of choosing an area rug for your living room which is too small. In this example below, the area rug is too small for my liking. It acts more of an accent piece which highlights the coffee table, and does not frame and consolidate the seating area.
I will also point out that this example – even though the area rug is smaller than I would like – is actually placed in a better position than if it had been placed just inches from the furniture. With at least a foot of room in between the sofa and the area rug, there is walking room for guests – without a real tripping hazard.
In this example, the area rug is a nice size and is placed just on the border of what I would consider acceptable. The area rug could have been placed a few more inches under the sectional to be considered a completely trip-free zone.
Choose your Area Rug Style
Now that you have determined the correct sized area rug for your room, you can now get to some of the more fun stuff. You can now decide on the style of area rug you want – whether that be traditional, modern, custom-made, or transitional.
With all of the styles of area rugs available today, you will be able to find the exact style you love and want. Here are some examples of the various styles of area rugs.
Traditional Area Rugs
The history of area rugs really begins in the Middle-East with traditional styles coming from Persia, the Orient and Turkey. These Persian, Oriental and Turkish area rugs are some of the traditionally styled area rugs. There are also newer area rug version designs coming from Victorian and other royal eras.
Whichever traditional area rug you choose, you will be sure to be able to use this area rug in just about any decor style and for a very long time. Also, with the durable and high quality construction of these rugs – most hand made and many one of a kind – these area rugs will most certainly last a lifetime, or longer.
Antique Persian, Turkish and Oriental Area Rugs
Perfect for traditional or classic home designs, these high quality classically designed area rugs will work well with similarly styled furniture and accessories. They are also sure to last a lifetime.
Modern Area Rugs
You will find many geometric designs used in modern area rugs. Simple in design, a modern area rug will work with many decor styles but fits best with a minimalist or modern themed room.
Transitional Area Rugs
A transitional area rug is much like the title suggests. It consists of multiple themes or styles. As you can see, the transitional area rugs shown here are done in modern colors but with a more traditional pattern. This mixture of styles makes them ideal for those who are not fully committed to one style or another.
So you now have your area rug size identified, as well as the style you prefer. What is left to do is choose the color and/or colors of your area rug.
This decision may come down to what colors you prefer or what colors are currently in your home decor. You may opt for a singular colored area rug. But as you can see, area rugs come in various colors as well as unlimited patterns. Buying a multi-colored area rug is actually more common than an area rug with a single color.
Area Rug Purpose
There are numerous considerations to ask yourself as to what is the purpose of buying an area rug and adding it to your home decor. A few of these include: Is this area rug for a new home decorating project, is it for a pre-existing decor, is it to add warmth to the floor, will the area rug be the focal point of the room and more.
Are you redecorating an existing room or are you moving to a new home where you will have to restart with all new furniture (lucky you), you may want to start your decor choices with the area rug. An area rug, due to its size and coverage, can be the starting point of any room decor.
Being one of the easiest ways to start your room’s decor, once an area rug is chosen, the rest of the room can grow from and be based on the colors and patterns found in the area rug.
In this situation, your choice of area rug can be as bold or as calm as you like. There is no need at that point to consider what furniture or accessories the rug must match with.
Pair this one of a kind hunters on horses themed Persian area rug with a classic chesterfield in antique brown for a wonderfully masculine den or library. Make this area rug work for a more feminine look by adding a cream colored linen sofa or sectional. You can see how starting your room decor with an area rug can take you in various directions – it is up to the rug – and most importantly, you.
Adding to Existing Decor
If you are adding an area rug to an existing room and its decor, you will have less flexibility in the choice of the area rug color and style. Consider the colors and styles of the other elements in the room. Choose and area rug with similar color tones and style. In this case, the choice should be fairly easy. Or, for a big impact, go bold and opt for a contrasting colored area rug.
Focal Point or Accent Rug
Another element in the decision making of choosing and buying an area rug is whether you want the area rug to be the focal point of the room or if you want the rug to simply complement the rooms furnishings.
Due to its size and the visual space it takes up, an area rug can be the obvious focal point of any room. If you want the rug to be the focal point, it should be colorful and have a bolder pattern.
By contrast, if you want only an accent piece area rug, you should opt for a less colorful or single toned color rug. Be careful, in this case, not to choose one with too many colors and patterns as it may – unintentionally – become the focal point of your room.
Either of these colorful and highly patterned area rugs will most likely and easily become the focal point of any room. Just keep the rest of your furnishings and accents pieces in solid colors and avoid adding more prints to the room.
Would you like to add an area rug to add warmth to your cold wood, ceramic, tiled or cement floors? Not only are area rugs decorative, regardless of style, color and pattern, they provide an added warmth to any floor.
To achieve the best warming effect, choose a thicker area rug. Check the pile specifications of the area rug you buy – the thicker the better. As well, any area rug made of natural materials – such as cotton or wool – will provide better insulation against the cold versus a non-natural man made rug.
If a high pile shag area rug is of interest to you, just be sure it is the right choice. While you may love the look and feel, if it is in a high traffic area – especially where there is food – the difficulty of cleaning may be an issue.
Area Rug Budget
While most often the most boring of elements in home decor, it is a necessary evil – except of course, if you have an unlimited budget. For most, we have a budget which we must stick to.
If you have a flexible budget, you are more likely to get the exact rug of your choice. If your budget is not sufficient to buy the area rug you really, really want, my advice is to hold off on the purchase until you have enough money in your budget to get the perfect rug.