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Design Trends: Tips for choosing a rug

When choosing the decor for your spaces, don’t forget the floors! Rugs - whether an oversized 9x12 or a small area rug - are a great investment and a crucial part of your rooms’ look and feel.  

An area rug can be an assertive design element, whether it’s a work of art or a background for the rest of the room. Different rugs create different feelings, from traditional Persians to contemporary sisals to bold geometrics. Deciding which area rug is right for you involves some thought and an idea of what kind of vibe you’re going for.

When sourcing a rug, concentrate on these three things: 

Size & shape: Rugs help define spaces and create focal points. So make sure the rug you choose isn’t too small for your space. Too small rugs can make a room feel awkward and unfinished. ​​For an average-sized room, there should be about 10 to 20 inches of bare floor between the edges of the rug and the walls of the room. For a dining area, choose a rug that's at least 2 feet longer than each side of the dining table. This allows ample room for your guests' chairs to sit comfortably on the rug.

Color & pattern: There is an endless variety of colors, styles and patterns in rugs. So where to start? Color is a natural starting point. In addition to knowing what colors you like and can live with, consider the paint colors you’re using and the furniture you have. For example, if the furniture is colorful or patterned, a neutral rug is a good choice. Also, rugs can either stand out or blend in. Which do you prefer? Whatever you choose, remember: It's all about balance.

Placement: Make sure the rug is centered in the room and the distance between the rug and the wall is the same on all four sides. In a living room, for example, center the rug and then make sure  that the main furniture is resting on top of it. At a minimum, the front legs should be on the rug. If you are using a rug to define a space, then choose the rug based on the size of that space, not the whole room. When in doubt, it's better to go too big than too small. In spaces such as kitchens, keep the rug about 6 inches away from the cabinets. If your rug doesn’t have a slip-resistant backing, add a rug pad to prevent slips and falls.

In addition to these main issues, you will also need to consider: Do you want the rug to be a pretty accent, or will it need to stand up to the rigors of daily life? How much foot traffic does the area get? Do you have kids and/or pets? Do you want a natural or synthetic material? 

And one last pro tip: No matter what rug you choose, be sure to use a rug pad that is compatible with the rug material and the flooring below.