Floor Rugs: The Ultimate Style Guide
Living room rugs have always been a popular addition to a home throughout the ages. There is something about them that just adds instant warmth and homeliness to a space without doing very much at all. Yet, these days we are absolutely spoilt for choice – from traditional to flat weave, shag and animal hide, there really is a lot to consider when purchasing a rug for your home. Never fear! Today we are going to take you through the A to Z of floor rugs to ensure you make the right investment for your home.
What is a floor rug?
So, what exactly is a floor rug? Simply put, a rug is a textile floor covering and before we embark much further it’s important to define the difference between a rug and carpet. Typically, a “rug” is around 2 x 3m or less – anything larger than this is considered a “carpet”. And just to complicate things a little further, a long narrow living room rug is considered a “runner”. Now that we have that all cleared up let’s get to the good stuff!
Why would I use a floor rug?
Now, why would one need a floor rug you might ask? Well, floor rugs provide great comfort, warmth and decorative interest. They act as artwork for the floor and provide a frame in which furniture is placed to define spaces. Like a coffee table and rug combo.
Basically, living room rugs are wonderful for pulling defined spaces together. They help to establish a relationship between the room and the furniture placed within by drawing all the pieces tightly together in a more intimate way. They also define a space by drawing a visible line around all the individual pieces – this works to both unite them and divide them from the rest of the space.
Beside these somewhat aesthetic reasons, floor rugs also aid in trapping heat and keeping spaces warm throughout the cooler months. There is also the wonderful feeling or walking on a softer, more luxurious surface when you place rugs on concrete – but that isn’t of utmost importance everyone!
Then there is also the noise factor. If you live in an apartment complex, rugs can be a great sound insulator, particularly for busy areas like a living room. A strategically placed living room rug will absorb sound to ensure your neighbours stop hearing every move you make, and it will soak up some of their noise too.
Now, down to the nitty gritty – how to choose the right floor rug for your space?
These days we are well and truly spoilt for choice. There are so many different rug providers offering different textiles sourced from around the globe and with the rise in online shopping, consumers now have access to more than ever. While this is a very exciting time to be shop, it also makes the job of finding the perfect floor rug for your home a difficult task as there are just so many aspects to consider. So, I guess the perfect place to start is at the start!
The most frequent mistake people make when purchasing a living room rug is, they buy the wrong size and purchase a small floor rug instead of a large dining table rug. A dining room rug should be the right scale for the room – this means it should fit neatly under all the key furniture pieces. If this seems like an impossible task, then just focus on ensuring at least the front legs of all major upholstered pieces are on the large dining table rug. Make the effort to access all furniture arrangements before committing to a rug. Think about size also if you are doing a coffee table and rug combination.
Colour me pretty!
As mentioned previously, dining room rugs are like individual artworks for the floor. They are a great way to inject some playfulness into a space so don’t be afraid of using colour – just be sure your new rug features at least two of your accent colours. It’s very important that your floor rug completes the space, not competes with it! Floor rugs with bold patterns can be a lot of fun and can really make a statement. Again, take furniture placement into consideration – the last thing you want to do is completely cover up the cool design.
As important as immediate aesthetics are, dining room rugs also perform a practical purpose and comfort should be front of mind. For high traffic zones such as living rooms, hallways and bedrooms it is so vital to consider how the dining room rug feels underfoot. Choose a living room rug you love, but remember to try it out first to avoid any disappointment once you get it home and in-situ.
The good news is that almost all dining room rugs have neutral elements which will help them intertwine seamlessly into your space from dining table to coffee table and rug. The only thing left to consider is style. The textile make-up will have a huge impact on not only the longevity of the living room rug, but also the lifestyle you live. For example, consider the fabric selection and how that may impact members of your household. Does anyone suffer from allergies or is your home prone to dust? Picking cotton over hemp, or natural fibre over wool might hold greater value than you think.
You have finally selected the floor rug of your dreams, now how are you going to maintain it in your home?
Whether you have kids, household pets or a messy partner, maintaining a floor rug does not come without its challenges. In fact, in reality, it might just be a fact of life – we can’t all live in a show home as much as we’d like to! Yet, we can make a conscious effort to care and maintain our dining room rug to live in its best light. To start, check the cleaning and maintenance of the floor rug with the sales person from which you are purchasing. They are professional so should know the best way to maintain the particular rug you have chosen. From there it’s probably a little bit of common sense – vacuum at least once a week and be sure to wipe up spills immediately after happening.
If you’ve purchased a traditional style dining room rug it’s important to vacuum perpendicular to the fringe to prevent any threads pulling and also consider a professional clean once a year. A soak wash will do wonders to your household living room rug, coming up almost good as new! Experts say never to use a beater brush or a cyclonic vacuum on a fine large dining table rug, instead use a vacuum with a variable speed and a tool attachment on the lowest setting. Also be sure never to leave a vacuum running in one place on a floor ug – it can cause great harm and there is no going back from there!
So, the age-old question – can you put a rug on carpet?!
There are more uses than just rugs on concrete. Now despite differing opinions on this one, we truly believe you can absolutely place a rug on top of existing carpet! Even if it is just coffee table and rug combo. Notwithstanding to many benefits of floor rugs we have listed above, using a dining room rug on top of carpet really helps to contribute a splash of colour to break up an otherwise solid plain colour. It also helps to highlight the design of the room in a favourable way. It’s totally a win-win people!
Styling with rugs by room
A living room rug has the ability to unite or divide the cohesion of a space. If positioned correctly, it will create a balance and proportional flow throughout a room, which of course, is the end goal to all good design. Exactly how to position your dining room rug is key in determining a room’s success. So, now is the time to consider the surrounding furniture placement. Do you place all the furniture on the rug or partially off? Or do you do the coffee table and rug combination? Should the rug be centred in the middle of the room or should it be centred on another focal point of the room, like a fireplace or television? And do you need a large dining table rug?
If a dining room rug is placed with some furniture on and some off the rug, then it has a tendency to look lost which is what we are trying to avoid! To dodge this, it is always best to line up the edges of a large dining table rug with some architectural element of the room like the end of a wall or the beginning of a doorway.
Picking a rug for your living room can be a very difficult decision! After all, it’s likely to be the most used space in your home. There are many boxes to tick when it comes to choosing the best rug for your living room such as size, shape, style and of course, wow factor. These days, living room rug designs are so versatile that you can easily mix one that you truly love with any interior style, as long as the colour is right. Therefore, the most important aspect to consider in our opinion is size.
When it comes to choosing a floor rug for your living room, confirm it fits your seating area by actually measuring with a measuring tape. It might seem simple, but it’s often a critical step that others overlook. Even better, consider masking the area with tape so you can really see exactly where the rug will sit in proportion to the room. This will give you the most realistic perspective before you actually purchase.
So, in terms of positioning, most interior designers will suggest that the living room rug should be large enough to cover a conversation area. This means the front legs of the sofa and leisure chairs should sit nicely on the floor rug to anchor the space and the coffee table sit centred on top. If the furniture is unable to sit comfortably in this manner on the rug, then it is not the right size.
For most average sized rooms, it is also important the large dining table rug is centred in the room so that the distance between the rug and the walls is the same on all four sides. It is also critical to make sure that in heavily trafficked areas, like your main living space, there is enough room for people to walk on the living room rug – they shouldn’t be able to have one foot on and one foot off.
Now, for another topical concept – floor rugs under dining room tables. I’m not sure why, but It’s always a topic that causes a stir with people constantly asking, “Should I put a rug under my dining table? If so, what size? And, where should it sit under the table?” To us, the answer is simple – dining room rugs are a gorgeous addition to any room and they still serve the same practical purpose no matter what room of the house. Rugs on concrete can also be a great help.
Whilst we are definitely an advocate for a rug in a dining space, picking the right rug is a little more difficult. As a high traffic zone that is also prone to a little mess, it’s important to select a durable floor rug that is easy to clean and maintain. With this in mind you probably have a few less styles of rug to choose from so we would encourage you to select the dining room rug first and then build the rest of the room concept and furniture around it.
The key to nailing a floor rug in a dining space again comes down to size. Perfecting the right ratios and dimensions are almost an exact science so here is our secret formula; A dining room will require a large, single dining room rug that goes under the table and allows about one metre all around for the chairs to be pulled out whilst remaining on the dining room rug. This is absolutely critical and should be front of mind when selecting the right rug for your home.
In our opinion, there is not a room in your home that wouldn’t benefit from an area rug, but they are especially nice in a bedroom. Whether your room has hard or carpeted flooring, a rug will help absorb sound, stabilize temperature and make it that little bit easier to get out of bed on those chilly winter mornings! For us, the best place to position a rug in a bedroom is under the bed, just be sure that the rug doesn’t interfere with the functionality of the space. For example, the rug should not touch surrounding furniture such as a dresser or obstruct from opening doors. If the bedroom or wardrobe door will swing over the rug, be sure to check that the bottom edge of the door is high enough to clear the rug without dragging.
There is no denying that the kitchen truly is the heart of any home. It is the place that brings the whole family together to talk, share and laugh. Therefore, finding the perfect rug will give your kitchen an inviting feel whilst protecting your floors from another high foot traffic area. Start by coordinating you rug with the existing kitchen décor. For example, if your kitchen cabinetry or decor includes a lot of bright colours, consider a neutral rug that won’t compete with your design. In contrast, if you’re looking to brighten up a neutral kitchen, placing a solid-colour rug beneath your kitchen table or in front of your sink is a great way to transform the look of the room without trying too hard.
Another important aspect to consider is kitchens are inevitably messy so it’s essential to choose a rug that can stand the test of time. Flatweave cotton rugs are machine washable and a smart, practical option. Rugs made with natural fibres such as jute, sisal or bamboo are simple to hand wash with soap and water and are sturdy enough to withstand heavy foot traffic. Lastly, it’s important to think about safety. Between boiling water, butcher knives and hot oven trays, a kitchen can be a dangerous place. Avoid slip and fall accidents by purchasing non-slip backing to your rugs on concrete or a rubber pad to go under the rug which will help to keep everything in place and everyone in good health.
Entryways & Hallways
After pouring endless hours into perfecting the rest of your home, don’t let your entryway and hallways look like an afterthought. As high traffic zones of your home, they’re not exactly hidden away from the world, so you still need to consider what shape, size and style will work best. And, receiving a lot of foot traffic means it needs to be a durable fabric that can clean easily, so forget that gorgeous high-pile living room rug – it is not an option!
A living room rug in your entryway should carry your style, giving your visitors a taste of your home’s personality from the minute they step through the door. Express your style and make visitors feel welcome by warming the space with a generously sized floor rug. Remember to fit the rug to the size of the doorway – the last thing you need is people tipping over the sides of a small rug as they pass through. This will also help to protect your floors from dirt and damage as its trampled through the front door.
When it comes to your hallways, remember they see about as much traffic as a freeway during peak hour. Fortunately, there are rugs that are designed specifically for this purpose and they are called runners. Hallway runners are long, rectangular rugs that are built for areas that experience high traffic. Not only do they protect your flooring from wear and tear, they can also make a huge statement in an otherwise plain, narrow space. Just be sure to match the runner to your home interior so it doesn’t appear out of place.
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