Picking an area rug for a room is no small decision–it’s one of the first things anyone will notice upon walking in! Your primary consideration should be the purpose of the rug. If you want it to unify the room and bring together multiple pieces of furniture, a large area rug that fits entirely under all of the furniture in the room would be best. If you are using it to define independent spaces, several small area rugs will help you achieve distinct sections within large rooms. Also, think about the shape of your space. Round tables look best over round rugs. Likewise, most living room groupings feel most natural when defined by a square or rectangular rug.
What room are you accessorizing? Area rugs are great in the living room because they add warmth, delineate the space, and encourage socialization in a comfortable space. The main concern in this room is how much, if any, of the furniture will be resting on the rug. Classically, all legs of the furniture in your room should be entirely on the area rug. Most of the time, you will need a larger sized area rug to achieve this look, but the size of your rug should be determined by the scale of your furniture and the room.
Some prefer that only the front legs of the furniture sit on the rug, and still others think that couches should be on the rug but chairs should reside completely apart from it. A less common approach is to use a small area rug and keep all peripheral furniture off the rug. Your coffee table would sit on the rug, but the rest of the furniture would sit around the outside edges. This arrangement is ideal for small spaces and apartments.
In the dining room, area rugs can add a great deal of personality to the space. The rule here is clear–your table and chairs should be completely on the rug which should be a minimum of two feet wider than the table on all sides. Guests should be able to slide their chairs all the way out without catching the edge of the rug–that’s an accident waiting to happen! Since your area rug should be proportional to your table, the size and shape of that table will determine the size of the right rug.
Since your area rug should be proportional to your table, the size and shape of that table will determine the size of the right rug.
Area rugs in entrances and hallways are a great option. They help welcome your guests with an obvious place to greet you and put down their things. They also offer a clear path into the next room. Entrances are an excellent place to try round or oval area rugs, and hallways do best with runners. The rug size you need will vary based on the width and length of your hallway, but make sure your area rug fills the space appropriately.
In a hallway, your runner should be a few inches less than the width of the space. Use the longest length rug you can to fill the area—this will make the area appear longer. Be sure to leave even amounts of space at both ends of the runner. If you have furniture on both sides of an entrance or hall, find an area rug that fits right down the middle. If you only have furniture on one side of the space, consider an area rug size that best fills the negative space. Either way, furniture should traditionally stay off the rug.
Area rugs are a great way to personalize your home and add color to any room. Many shapes, sizes, and patterns are available, and it’s easy to have fun picking them out!
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