istock_000002388918xsmallrugOne of the biggest challenges I have as an interior designer is going into a room that already has furnishings and fabrics and trying to find a rug. Since the choices of rugs available are the most limited of all the furnishings, if you are able to, choose your rug first and design around it.  An area rug can act to “ground” your furniture so that it is not in a “sea” of hardwood as well as provide “noise insulation.” Hardwoods may be beautiful, but a room with an area rug is warmer and more inviting, and a rug defines areas of seating and activity. Beautiful hardwoods can still show in other areas. Don’t forget a good quality rug pad.  It protects your rug as well as your hardwood.  If carpeting is your primary flooring, you may use an area rug on carpet as well.  It adds color, pattern, and texture to a room to especially when you have large pieces of solid colored furniture and an expanse of the same color carpet.  It is another piece of “art” in the room.

When choosing an area rug, size is always a consideration.  In a living room or seating area, I suggest that at least the front legs of all the furniture are on the rug.  This acts to “ground” and relate the furniture pieces to each other.  There is nothing wrong with all of the furniture sitting on the rug, if the furniture is floating in the room, and the rug is big enough to accommodate it without it looking crowded.  In a dining room and eating areas, the table and all of the chairs should sit on the rug, even when the chairs are pulled out.  Ideally, you would like to maintain an equal border of hardwood or carpet around the edges of the room and this is easily done if you are having an area rug custom made, but not so easily if you are shopping, “off the rack.”  In this case, place the rug so that there is an equal border of carpet or hardwood on each side. In the bedroom, the rug should fit under the bed and be big enough that you can take one or two steps and still be on the area rug when getting out of bed.  I like to leave a border of rug at the bottom of the bed, equal to the amount on each side.  Therefore, night tables need not be on the carpet. For more questions on rugs and what might look best in your home and work within your means, give us a call and we can set up a time for a consultation.