No matter your feelings about the cult classic film, The Big Lebowski, the Dude does share some interior design wisdom when it comes to the area rug: It can really tie a room together.
A carefully chosen area rug can add depth and interest to any room (with or without images of bowling pins). For some, it can be a statement piece, a breathtaking or intriguing artistic design choice that really showcases an aesthetic. For others, it can be a simpler, more functional option.
With so many possibilities out there to meet everyone’s needs, how do you choose the right area rug for your space?
There is a lot to know, but we’ll simplify it for you, so you can be just as happy with your choice as The Dude.
Find a rug that will fit your designated space.
When choosing a rug for your space, you need to consider, well, space. How large is your room? How large are your furniture pieces?
An easy mistake to avoid is purchasing a rug that is either too large or too small. This can manifest in obvious ways. An overly large rug will end up being too close to a swinging door or can be jammed up to a wall and cover air vents. An overly small rug can bring unwanted attention to itself and look like it was an afterthought, merely thrown down in front of a couch or beneath a table.
Rule of thumb: In most cases you want 1 to 2 feet of bare floor between the rug’s edges and the walls.
In your living room, you need a rug large enough that all of your furniture can rest on top of it or, at the very least, that the front legs sit on the rug. In the dining room, make sure the chairs can be pushed comfortably away from the table and yet still remain on the rug. In the bedroom, use one that can extend two feet on each side, excluding the wall at the head. In the kitchen, place one in front of the sink or stove for aesthetics and for better back and leg health. Depending on the size of your kitchen, a small rug or a runner can work.
Decide on a color and pattern.
When it comes to interior design and color, we are fans of the 60-30-10 rule, and we discuss that in our blog about changing colors in the living room. For area rugs, the rule is handy as well: 60% of your room is a dominant color; 30% a secondary; and the remaining 10% an accent color. So choose a rug that can work with your secondary color scheme.
If furniture and walls are solid colors, then a patterned option provides a nice complement. The opposite is also true—if your room features patterned furniture, then a solid rug will be an effective way to achieve an aesthetic balance.
Pick the material.
You will find a plethora of materials to choose from. You can choose from natural fibers like wool, cotton, silk, jute, and sissal. You can’t really go wrong with natural materials, and they are usually easier to clean than your synthetics, which include polyester, acrylic and polypropylene. Lastly, there are silk rugs such as viscose, bamboo and banana. These are higher maintenance and can show stains and spills.
We don’t have the space to discuss all materials, but if it’s in your budget, natural fibers like wool provide a wonderful feeling under foot, are very durable, and are easier to clean given the lanolin in wool. Silk or silk-wool blends can provide a lot of visual flair.
For those who are budget-conscious, synthetics offer affordable options that look great. These rugs come in a variety of design styles to be used in all rooms of the house, and below we’ll share some links where you can shop for just the right rug.
Before you go shopping.
Here are some final thoughts before you make your purchase.
- If you find a small rug you absolutely love, but you know it’s too small. Don’t worry. Layer it by placing it on a larger (perhaps less expensive) neutral one.
- If you have a high-traffic area, what to do? Find a high-knot count or tight weaved rug that will withstand the activity of busy lifestyles.
- When it comes to cleaning and maintenance in other areas of the house, remember that low-pile rugs are sturdier than their high-pile counterparts and easier to clean.
- Remember to grab a rug pad with a sturdy grip before you hit the check-out line.
Where to shop.
Just as there are many different options for rugs, there are many different places to shop for one. These are just a few we recommend. (Note: these are simply rugs we like, and we receive no kickbacks from these companies.)
- IKEA has a diverse collection at low prices.
- Wayfair and Serena and Lily offer products at mid-range price points.
- For high-end options, check out designer Ben Soleimani’s gorgeous rugs.
Good luck with your new area rug! If you have any questions about rugs or flooring, please contact us today through our website or by phone, 877.215.1831.