Wether you have wall to wall carpet or hardwood floors, area rugs can add style and balance to any room.

But let’s face it, choosing an area rug isn’t as easy as it looks. There are a few questions you need to ask your self before even searching for the right one. 1. What size will work best in the room? 2. What colors are you looking for? 3. What texture will look best with the style you want? You could probably ask your self a million other questions but lets start here.

pile of rugsPicking the right area rug can be the perfect finishing touch in a room but getting the wrong rug can make a room feel awkward or unfinished. Considering the price of area rugs, I want to make sure you pick the right one right off the bat!

1. What size?
First, and most importantly, you want to make sure you are looking for the right sized rug for your space. A rug should fit the size of your seating area (which is not necessarily the entire room) and be as large as possible within that area. This can mean two things depending on the space in your room. If the furniture is in the middle of the room, consider that all the furniture should be on top of the rug. If the seating area is in a corner or along side a wall you can have all the furniture on top of rug and the pieces along the wall have only the front two legs on top. The plan is to have your feet touching fabric at all times and not the floor. In a dining room, you want to be able to pull the chairs back and have them still on the rug. Trust me, this looks so much better.

Check out this before and after pic…. A friend of mine sent me a picture of her newly built deck. She asked what I thought. First thing I noticed was the small rug and said, “It looks great!! but get a bigger rug!” She did and the space looks fabulous.

table on rugNotice the Rug in this picture? The rug takes up the entire space under the table and also includes the space around the chairs. If someone where to pull a chair out, it would be on the rug. Not only does this look nice, it helps with the rug getting snagged under a chair.

What shape rug, you ask? A square room looks best with a square rug or circular rug, a rectangle rug looks best with rectangular rugs oriented in the same direction of the room.

Now that we have the size down, lets move on to something much more complex… COLOR!

2. What color?
If your room already has a lot of color or pattern on the walls or on your furniture, then you definitely want to stick with a more neutral or solid colored rug.

Neutral rugs that I love to use in a space are natural fibers like jute, sea grass or woven flat weave rugs with a solid color.

If you prefer a bit more pop to your rugs and would like more colors and patterns to your floor, you should definitely start your decorating with the rug first then choose furniture colors and accessories to match.

Often times people will try to match a rug to a wall color or couch color. It is so much easier to pick the rug pattern you absolutely love for your home and then decorate around that.

Your rug will being the biggest piece of decoration in your room so choose wisely and make sure to keep in mind the floor color and fixed finishes.

3. Texture?
I think the texture of a rug can go hand in hand with the color and design of your room.  In a pst blog post I mentioned layering texture in your home.  Mixing metals, fabrics, & ceramics all feel good in a room and gives it depth and design. Use your rug as a piece of this rule.  There are so many styles to choose from and so much more than just cut and looped wool!

When deciding on a texture I often look to those closest thing to the rug, the furniture! If you have a soft velvet couch, consider a rug with a sleek, low profile  like a flat weave rug. But if you have a smooth leather couch a fluffy shag would look great! I always contrast the textures of my rugs with the furniture that sits on it.

Last and most importantly pick a rug that is most practical to your needs. Do you have kids, dogs, high traffic area? You want your rug to last and keep looking great for a long time. Most rugs come with care instructions and almost all rugs can be professionally cleaned.