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Area Rugs That Wow

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

How to Incorporate Area Rugs into Your Design

Too often, when people consider décor for their space, area rugs are the last on the list. But, aside from the functional service they provide in protecting your floors, when done right, they can instantly pull a room together and give your design an all-around cohesive look.

There’s a trick to choosing the right rug, though, and a too-tiny or too-bold piece can be a deal breaker in your space. To help your design come to life and make your room feel fresh, we’ve created a 4-step style guide for incorporating these gorgeous numbers into your home. Follow these, and we guarantee your rug selection process will be seamless.


Step 1: Size/Proportions

Before you fall in love with that vintage Turkish runner and coordinate all of your belongings to its style, make sure you know what size your rug should be. It can be tempting when shopping online to click the “buy” button on a 2x3 rug that seems like a steal at $40. But trust us when we say that once that baby arrives at your house and you plop it in the center of your living room, it’s going to look completely out of place. Your rug’s size should be proportional to the space it’ll be in, otherwise things will look odd, to say the least.

Generally, keep smaller rugs (runners, 2x3 sizes, etc.) to hallways, bathrooms, and in front of kitchen counters, and save the medium-to-large rug sizes (5x7, 8x10, and up) for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining spaces. The bottom line is that you want your rug to be large enough for furniture to rest on it either fully or at least partially, and your rug should help to define your space by providing a visual anchor (versus being just a casual addition that feels cluttered or mismatched).

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Step 2: Thickness/Pile

The next thing to consider is your rug’s thickness and pile. Think about where the rug will be and if there are any functional needs within the space that call for a certain type of rug. For instance, if you’re putting an area rug in an office and you have a rolling office chair, you’ll want to stick to low pile rug types that allow you to easily roll across the top. If you choose a thick shag rug instead, you’re going to have a ton of headaches trying to unravel the rug threads from the wheels every time you go to move.

Similarly, if you’re putting a rug in a kid-friendly space, you may want to sway towards thicker piles and softer materials – after all, kids love to play on the floor, and you definitely want them to be comfortable doing so. When in doubt about what to choose for each space, keep in mind that you can always opt for a simple low pile rug that’s made of a softer material – it’ll do the job of pulling together your space, but will still feel comfortable and inviting.

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Step 3: Color Scheme

Choosing your color scheme is a must have because it’s what is going to visually bring your room together. Whether you love a bold print or prefer a more unobtrusive neutral texture, be sure to choose a rug that complements your space. You don’t want a bright red number that screams “party” in an otherwise calmer, softer palette-filled space. Instead, opt for patterns and colors that draw attention to what already exists – your rug should provide a pop of excitement, but still feel like part of a larger whole.

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Step 4: Arrangement

Once you’ve got an area rug with the right size proportions, thickness, and color scheme, it’s time to arrange it within the room. While you can always opt for a classic arrangement (e.g. in the center of your dining table and chairs), in some rooms it’s totally okay to play around with unique setups. Try putting your rug at an angle to give your room a touch of unexpected geometric flair. Or, why not layer a couple of rugs together for an eclectic and curated aesthetic? The result just might surprise you and make you fall in love

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There are no limits to how creative you can be with area rugs, and as long as you’re following the basic principles of size, function, and color, the final product is totally and completely up to you. Cheers!

By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Designs by D

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