Skip to content

How to Pick an Awesome Area Rug No Matter What Your Space

I was raised in homes with wall-to-wall carpeting and did not understand the beauty of a hardwood floor until my late 20s. Moving to a newly constructed condo in the heart of downtown, I was confronted with what seemed like acres of gleaming hardwood floor. I loved the coolness beneath my feet and how streamlined everything looked.

It did not take long, though, before I craved a small coziness — so I bought a carpeting. Allow me to clarify, it was nowhere near that simple. For me, finding an area rug was a months-long journey that taught me everything that I might wish to know about heap, durability, size, shape, patterns, textures, weight, cost, dye, practicality, manufacturing processes and, last but not least, beauty.

In the end I discovered that I personally gravitate toward antique low-pile or flat-weave rugs with a visible patina. Where some see old and used, I visit a romantic past that may have included time spent on castle flooring.

Joel Antunes photography

Beautifully worn antique rugs take me back to living in Amsterdam, where rugs are far more about function than fashion. The Dutch are effortlessly trendy and extremely practical, and fully carpeted floors are an anomaly. Area rugs are placed just where bare feet may encounter them and they’re usually easy to clean and to hang out on a wash line.

My newest love is patchwork rugs made from antique rug fragments. They’re a modern take on quite vintage carpets and extend one-of-a-kind patterns and mixes. Like the carpet shown here, they beautifully decorate the floors of modern homes, including interest and a narrative.

I’ve since moved homes many times, along with my prized rug with its ageless pattern and vintage charm has weathered innumerable iterations of house decor and design. Additionally, it has been to the carpet cleaners far more than I want to acknowledge, and not only is that time consuming, but it’s costly too. Because my carpet is constructed from wool, it provides off faint traces of “hot goat” odor if I don’t care for it correctly. That is definitely not a good thing!

It is very important to take into account how easy it’s going to be to clean your rug and whether you can do it yourself or you are going to have to take it to a professional. In a house with pets, children or numerous activities going on, a rug is going to get dirty. Can you clean it without a lot of hassle?


Cambium Carpet Tile at Geranium – $12.99

The ideal Style for Your Disposition

The other day I went to a client’s home to check on a renovation, and she desired me to see how matters had come together in the master bedroom. When I had left it last, the area was a warm modern bedroom with beautiful hardwood flooring and a jute area rug under the mattress with a blueprint that was not really working. I suggested we locate a better satisfied rug to the space.

Walking to the doorway this time, I saw the huge shag rug that used to be in the family room taking up each square inch of this space. I’m quite bad at pretending something looks great when it doesn’t, and in my shock that came out was, “What happened in here?” My client might see that I was alarmed and said, “Oh no! You don’t like it? It took my husband and I to take the bed apart and get this in here.” She was crestfallen. They meant well in their own effort to repurpose the family room carpet at a different space, but it just didn’t work. The gold shaggy rug took the room from modern to the ’70s in an instant.

High-pile or shag carpeting works flawlessly in a living area or bedroom at smaller doses. The high-pile rug tiles shown here have been put together to make an unexpected mix of fairly patterns. Enough floor surrounds the carpeting that it doesn’t overpower the space but still provides comfort and coziness.

Many people enjoy the luxury of a high-pile carpet underfoot. In those cases I advise placing big, dense area rugs in the space, and just at the areas where they’ll be walking on it. My personal opinion is that carpet is wasted when too much of it’s hidden under furniture, in corners or under baseboards.

Apartment 46 for the House

Because my latest client’s family members love to entertain, host a lot of sleepovers and so are always on the go, high-pile or sterile rugs really don’t match their lifestyle. Often used spaces require rugs that could withstand a variety of sins — from spilled beverages to muddy shoes — and a shag rug is quite difficult to stay clean in these situations.

Changing to a flat-weave or extremely low-pile carpet lowers the expression of wear and tear is more practical when it comes to vacuuming or spot cleaning.

In the area revealed, my client needed an area rug that provided heat underfoot but was still minimalist and elegant. A top- or medium-pile rug would have altered the sleekness of this room by making an “island” with furniture in addition to it. We chose an extremely low-pile quatrefoil-patterned rug that has been cut and jumped to make a custom made area rug. Although the homeowners and their guests do not wear shoes at the home, we had the carpet protected with stain repellant to prolong its lifetime.

Consider three matters when choosing an area rug:
Everything you loveWhere it will beHow to take care of itAs a general guideline, medium- to high-pile carpets should be cleaned once a year to eliminate dust, allergens and gathered dirt that is not readily removed with a vacuum cleaner. However, most individuals don’t take their carpeting to professional cleaners for years, if ever.

Low-pile and flat-weave carpets provide fewer hiding spaces for nasties and therefore are more readily spot cleaned, however they call for a twice-yearly old-fashioned carpeting beating to remove accumulated dust. Many could be dry cleaned instead of being washed by a professional.

It is very important to schedule regular cleanings of all of your rugs and carpets to make a cleaner and healthier home environment. Rugs and wall-to-wall carpets harbor a lot of yuck if not properly washed — from carpet beetles to carpeting bugs — and it makes sitting on the floor or walking barefoot really unappetizing.

Niki Papadopoulos

I recommend people choose flat-weave area rugs for high-use rooms. If there are young children who play on the floor, a low-pile rug with a top rug pad produces a soft, cushy place to be.

The carpet shown here has an extremely low heap. But if anybody desired to sit on the floor, it’d be comfy enough for them to do so.

Bedrooms are a nice place to have a high-pile or sterile area rug, but it should surround only the bed and not reach the far expanses of this space.

Lilium Designs

There are innumerable “principles” on how big carpets must be or how they need to be laid out at an area, and that I normally stick to what I understand has worked for me : What feels right?

I tend to shy away from placing all furniture around the area rug, as I don’t really enjoy the island feeling it creates. But, using area rugs to denote a particular space within a larger area, such as beneath a table and chairs, differs.

The carpet shown here is larger than the dining set and thus defines the dining area without limiting it.


What’s the Objective?

Back to the “principles,” there are several schools of thought concerning furniture placement on rugs rugs, but I always ask my clients to tell me how they utilize the space.

The use of this space determines the purpose of the carpeting. Should they sit on the couch to watch television and nobody is ever on the floor, the area rug would serve the purpose just of warming up and defining the space. In that event a flat-weave rug works wonders.

In the area revealed here, the carpet provides a point of attention while anchoring the coffee table and sitting area within the large room. It had been used without a pad, as cushioning was not a key objective.

Liz Williams Interiors

Sisal and other natural-fiber area rugs, such as jute and hemp, provide rooms a more relaxed, natural feel — think beach cottage, French country farmhouse or wine country getaway. The carpet shown here provides a great counterpoint to the more traditional furnishings and immediately makes the space more approachable.

Sisal and jute work well with both casual and modern furnishings, and are surprisingly soft and textural underfoot. They may be taken outdoors and defeated, but heavy cleaning is somewhat trickier. They are not the best rugs for high-traffic areas such as the entrance, since the sisal can splinter over time and become “pokey.” The flatter the weave, the less likely that is to happen.

Just Home Decorating

As a practical approach to add a nonslip surface to an entrance, a tiny flat-weave area rug serves as both a place to take off your shoes along with also a visual break from your bare floor.

The type of heap you pick should be determined by how big your entrance is and how far in the door you may place your rug. Many a individual has gotten front door stuck onto the entrance carpet! Entry rugs function best if they’re flat weave or have an extremely low heap because of this.

Because the entrance is adjoining to the outdoors, rugs there generally need frequent cleaning. They may also be dangerous if not properly secured to the floor with a nonslip rug pad or carpet tape. The carpet shown here provides visual interest to the diverse space, creates a more welcoming entrance and allows for simple front-door clearance.

Rikki Snyder

How to Choose

Area rugs may be an investment both visually and financially. They could make or break a room and immediately change the way a space feels. The carpet shown here ties together the diverse area with its neutral colour and widely spaced pattern. It is also a flatter weave, which flows effortlessly into the surrounding floor space.

Selecting the most appropriate type of rug is as much about the way it looks as the way it feels underfoot. Additionally, it is important to deal with its practicality in your property.

Some things to think about when shopping for area rugs
which type of lifestyle do you lead? Are you pursuing muddy children throughout the home? Do you’ve got pets? A white shag carpet is most likely a poor idea in these instances.
Where will the carpet be found, and what purpose will it serve in that area? Can it be a focus at a formal living room or a place people can sit on while playing board games in the family room? What is your overall style? Look to complement the style of this space. An area rug doesn’t have to match every thing in the room, but it should work together with all the tones and textures of the existing furnishings. How easily can it be cleaned? An expensive antique carpet is going to have to go to a professional at least once annually if positioned in high-use rooms, and it is generally too awkward to stay in the trunk of your vehicle. Does this have to be picked up, or can you push it to the dry cleaner?
What feels best underfoot? If you prefer a softer feel, then organic fibers such as cotton and wool are for you personally. If you want a lush, deep, heap, synthetic fibers may provide you a similar feel. Organic fibers such as jute and sisal may be unbelievably soft underfoot but don’t offer the identical physical heat as a woven carpet. It really is a flavor preference when it comes to feel. Timelessness. Does your personality change with the seasons? Will that carpeting use next year’s decoration?
Are you going to be moving? Going larger or smaller means the carpet may not work at a new space. I have seen a lot of people trying to match giant rugs rugs into much smaller distances. Folding a rug beneath is not really a great style choice. Cost. Spending somewhat more on a high-quality area rug may be more worth it to you in the future than purchasing mediocre-quality carpets at a bargain store. However, if you prefer to change things up a whole lot, less-expensive area rugs are probably a better bet. You can score amazing area rugs at unbelievable rates online. More: 11 Area Rug Rules and How to Break Them

See related