Area rugs have been around for thousands of years. Maybe not in exactly the same form and function as today, but we know rugs date back to thousands of years BC! It’s not hard to imagine when we think about the simple materials used by indigenous people around the globe to create an area rug of sorts. Items like animal skins, woven reeds and animal hair and wool were used throughout history to create a warm barrier to cold earthen floors. It seems the function of area rugs today is not all that far from its meager beginnings. Our area rugs still provide a spot that’s soft and warm underfoot, but today’s rugs offer many additional benefits.
With the increased popularity of hard surface flooring in homes today, area rugs have become a staple in home furnishing. Area rugs help to muffle sound and provide cushioning to tired feet or a soft landing if a toddler should fall. Area rugs aren’t just relevant in rooms with hard wood floors. They can easily be layered over wall-to-wall carpet as well, defining a sitting area or conversation space.
Area rugs are a popular flooring choice because they come in a large variety of sizes, shapes, colors and designs. With so many choices and a variety of materials, they really are the perfect accent item to assist in creating a space that’s uniquely yours.
Area rugs are affordable and can be replaced easily when needed. So many of us have loved ones that suffer from asthma and allergies. Area rugs are an excellent choice for families like these as the rugs can easily be changed over time.
Things to consider when choosing an area rug:
How big? Where should it go?
Large area rugs are best in bigger rooms like living rooms, dining rooms, and large bedrooms. Choose a smaller area rug for your foyer, hallway, or den. Rugs placed under tables should be larger than the table itself, and would ideally have an equal amount of border on all sides. Create defined space by positioning an area rug under a grouping of furniture. Don’t be afraid to move sofas, loveseats and chairs away from the walls. Use the rug to anchor the space. Remember, more than one area rug can be placed in the same room, as long as the colors coordinate, but be careful with same-sized rugs as they tend to divide a room in halves.
Will your rug be a focal point or an accent?
If you have found an area rug that you absolutely love, you can make it the foundation of your room’s design. Choose furniture, décor, and paint to coordinate with and compliment the rug. A bold, eye-catching rug easily becomes the focal point of any room. A large pictorial, geometric, or brightly colored rug, for example, looks best when the rest of the room’s décor is relatively neutral, drawing the eye to the rug. Bold styles are ideally placed in spaces where they do not compete for attention with other large and showy works of art and décor.
If you prefer, your area rug can be a little more understated. Select a rug that quietly compliments the room’s design. If your room is busy or already has a bold focal point or architectural element, designers recommend delicately pattered or symmetrically designed area rugs, in a subdued color. Look for a rug with colors that blend well with the existing paint colors, furniture, and other design elements.
Area Rug Tips:
*Select an area rug that best suits your practical needs. In high-traffic areas, consider darker colors, patterns, and sturdier fabrics. Remember that light colored area rugs help keep a room open and airy, while deeper colors make rooms seem cozier.
*Vacuum your area rugs regularly. It’s important to remove dirt and grime often as that will wear out your rug. Take care not to vacuum delicate accents like fringe. Small area rugs can be shaken or beaten to help remove dirt and grit that settle low into the rug.
*Turn your rugs once or twice a year. Foot traffic and sunlight put added stress on your rugs so turn them often to be sure they wear evenly.
With such a vast selection of styles, sizes, colors, designs and prices, it’s easy to select an area rug that is beautiful, practical, affordable and perfect for you.