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Reclaim Your Home: Area Rugs


Area rugs are such a fun way to add a little pizazz to any space. With so many great options in the market today, choosing the right one can be daunting. Here are some things to consider before you start shopping.

What kind of space do you want to create?

Area rugs are a great way to connect different pieces of furniture, anchor a seating area, or define a smaller area within a large room. For example, an area rug can help create an intimate conversation zone within a large living room.

Before you trek to the store or dive into the black hole of online shopping, consider your own floor plan and space. Could a certain kind of rug help you use the space more efficiently? Or create a totally new look and feel? Maybe now is the time to get creative and break up a large or awkward room into more intimate, social, or family-friendly spaces.



Photo: The Interiors Addict



Photo: Pinterest



Photo: Houzz/Sara Eizen

Furniture on or off the rug?

There are no hard and fast rules for the placement of furniture in relation to rugs, but naturally I do have my opinions! I tend to favor front-legs-on placement, meaning only put the front legs of the sofa and chairs on the rug.



Photo: Houzz/Sara Eizen

Some people prefer to have all the furniture on the rug. In the right space, it can work quite nicely.



Photo: Homebunch

I am definitely not a fan of placing all furniture off the rug as it tends to make it look like you mismeasured and the rug is too small for the space. It's also not as cozy and cohesive of a look.



Photo: Houzz



Photo: Burlap & Lace

Size up the situation.

Now that you've answered some general layout questions, it's time to really size up the situation. Take traffic patterns into consideration when determining the size of the rug; you don't want any one area of the rug to take a beating from heavy foot traffic. While I prefer that the long side of the rug run parallel with the sofa, there are times when it works best due to high traffic zones to run it the other way.



Photo: Apartment Therapy

Typical sizes for living room rugs are 5x8, 8x10, and 9x12 (6x9 is not as common but it does exist). What if you want or need an 8x8 rug? FLOR carpet tiles to the rescue! FLOR carpet tiles come in a wide variety of sizes and great styles so you can essentially create just about any kind of rug you might want.


Mind your materials.

When it comes rug material, I prefer natural fibers, especially wool. Even though it has the potential to shed, wool really has the best durability.



Photo: My Shop

When you are shopping online, beware of low-priced rugs that look too good to be true. There's a good chance it's either an indoor/outdoor rug, which you really don't want in your living room, or it's made out of polypropylene or nylon which can look cheap.



Photo: Ballard Designs



Photo: Overstock

While they can work well as an accent in low-traffic zones, flat woven rugs, or dhurries, are not typically great for active spaces because they move around a lot, even with a pad. When the kids come skidding into the living room, the rug will go right along with them!


Photo: West Elm

The timeless look of sisal rug is classic, however it's not the most cozy under bare feet or little hands and knees. With its neutrality and durability, sisal is ideal for entry ways and or under dining tables.



Photo: Bubblesoda

Rugs are fun. I love rugs! I hope these tips make it easier for you to find the right rugs to love, too.


Sara Eizen is a Seattle-based interior designer and home organizer with a passion for helping busy families reclaim style and space in their homes on any budget. In a bi-weekly column for Seattle's Child, Sara shares creative, fun, affordable tips and tricks for clearing clutter, sprucing up rooms with minimal effort, creating systems that simplify family life, and much more.

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