How to Select the Right Area Rug Every Time
Buying an area rug can be a little bit like buying a car. It can be a daunting task, there is so much to consider and research that should be done prior to investing in an area rug. I know many of you are saying “but it’s just a rug” but is it really? Here are things that you need to consider: pile, durability, size, shape, patterns, textures, weight, cost, dye, practicality, manufacturing processes and, last but not least, beauty.
Start With A Floor Plan
What’s your arrangement? Choose a layout and measure for your rug based on the space you’d like to fill.
Here are some popular layouts that work for most spaces.
Legs on or off? That is probably the number one question we are asked when it comes to area rugs and furniture layouts. Whatever you choose be CONSISTENT!
If your sofa and chairs float in the middle of the room, your rug should be large enough to fit under all four legs of each piece of furniture.
If your sofa and chairs are up against the wall, your rug should be large enough to fit under the front legs of all pieces.
Dining Room Layout
For dining rooms, measure the length and width of your dining table and add 2 feet on each side. Most dining room tables require a rug that’s at least 8 feet wide.
In bedrooms, we like to extend a rug from the bottom 2/3 of the bed. Alternatively, you could also place two runners on each side or a single runner at the foot of the bed.
Color is the obvious next step here. If you already have a lot of color and pattern going on in your space, you might want to stick with a single-color rug, either a neutral or a shade which complements your existing furnishings. If you want a patterned rug with many shades, it’s generally easier to choose it first, and add in furniture and accessories that coordinate afterwards.
A rug will read as one of the largest pieces of “furniture” in the space, so be sure to take into account the tones in your flooring, walls and other fixed finishes when selecting. But don’t play it too safe: a boldly patterned or brightly colored rug can be just the ticket to lift a room to the next level.
Choose A Material That Works For You
How much traffic and use does the room get?
Hallways with high foot traffic need durable flooring, while bedrooms and dining room rugs are less susceptible to heavy wear.
Natural rugs are woven from fibers extracted from plants, including sisal, jute, seagrass and hemp. Because of their durability, affordable price and neutral color palette, natural rugs are especially good for high-traffic areas.
Dhurries + Kilims
Dhurries and kilims are flat-woven wool and cotton rugs that are usually reversible. Known for their bright colors and graphic patterns, they tend to be durable, easy to clean and work just about anywhere.
Overdyed + Distressed
Overdyed and distressed rugs use a cycle of dyeing, washing or distressing to achieve a one-of-a-kind finish. During this artisanal process, colors blend and textures soften for a vintage feel that’s good for moderate foot traffic.
Tufting, a technique that involves inserting yarn through a woven base to create a pile, is a common way to achieve precise patterns. The pile can be looped or cut, creating subtle texture in different combinations. Tufted rugs last longer in lower-traffic areas.
…yea and if you haven’t noticed we have a MAJOR thing for West Elm rugs!!!
How To Care For Your Rugs
As a general rule of thumb, medium- to high-pile carpets should be cleaned once a year to remove dust, allergens and accumulated dirt that isn’t easily removed with a vacuum. Some area rugs should not be vacuumed with the beater brush (carpet setting) on your vacuum and the floor setting should be used instead. Also, another thing to note is that high-powered vacuums like Dyson’s or Oreck’s can many times do more harm than good to your area rugs. That’s not saying that we have ANYTHING against these heavyweight champions! Play it safe and always refer to the manufacturers care instructions.
Low-pile and flat-weave rug are more easily spot cleaned, but they require a twice-yearly good old-fashioned rug beating to remove accumulated dust. Some of these rugs may need to be cleaned by a professional.
We highly recommend using a rug pad. Along with preventing your rug from slipping all over the place, a pad will add another layer of comfort and help protect it for years. They can also help trap dirt particles that can become embedded in your rug and allows air-flow which will help greatly when vacuuming.
The most important consideration in buying a rug is finding something that is going to please you every time you look at it.
Alright, happy shopping!
For more inspiration follow our Rug Worthy Pinterest board.