An area rug’s purpose in life is two-fold: (A) to define a space, and (B) to enhance your decor. Before we get into our list of Area Rug DOs and DON’Ts, let’s break down these two roles.
How does an area rug define a space? An area rug says, “This group of furniture belongs together.” It unifies whatever furnishings are placed upon it. If you have a multipurpose room, an area rug can help you designate between functional zones, as in, “this rug defines the living room and this rug defines the dining room.” The size of an area rug also helps to define a space–the larger your area rug, the larger your room feels (and vice versa).
How can an area rug enhance your decor? It’s an opportunity to bring in colors or patterns that coordinate with the rest of your furnishings. An area rug is one of those details that makes your room’s decor feel “finished.” It can also help warm up or soften hard surfaces like wood and tile flooring, which can come off looking and feeling cold underfoot.
So now that we know why you should incorporate an area rug into a room’s decor, let’s talk DOs and DON’Ts!
Area Rug DOs and DON’Ts
DO use appropriately-sized area rugs. As noted above, the size of your rug is immensely important, because it conveys the approximate size of the room. How do you know what size to get? Let’s use a living room as an example. Some designers advocate having all of your furniture sitting within the outer perimeter of a rug, but my preference is to have just the front legs of your seating pieces on top of the rug. By letting the rug run beneath the furniture, the implication in your mind’s eye is that the rug continues indefinitely, and therefore, your space feels larger.