Category Archives: Rugs

Rug Selection #4: Fine Tune Your Selection

While the style of a rug can determine

the style of a room,

make sure you’ve thought through the big picture.

Add charm and another layer of interest with an area rug
Add charm and another layer of interest with an area rug

You want the rug to support your design vision for the room,

not be at cross-purposes with it.

If you are planning a formal living room, then a fabulous Aubusson, antique or otherwise, will dovetail with your concept.  Another option is to look for textured rugs in a neutral color. The elegant simplicity of these would support most themes.  If you want a more casual effect, go for a simple cotton dhurrie.  A sea grass or sisal rug, bound with cotton canvas in a color that coordinates with the rest of the furnishings is another casual classic.  A Navaho rug will, of course, support a Southwest theme.

There are a few other ways  you can knock the sophistication level up several notches. Consider this:

It’s less about color choices and more about achieving a good mix of light, medium and dark shades of colors and neutrals, to create greater interest and move the eye around the room.

Another detail to notice is the textures you are working with. Mix them for a more compellingly attractive result. In other words, if  the furniture is upholstered for the most part in smooth tightly woven fabrics, how about a rug with a thick nap to offset the sameness?

Final Check

You’ve done your homework and have the perfect rug.  Now, fine-tune your selection.

  • It’s a question of balance. A strong color on the floor will need the other trappings in the room to have commensurately strong colors as well.  Otherwise, all you will see is this domineering rug.
  • The scale and intricacy of any rug pattern needs balanced consideration too.  An intricate pattern dictates that the rest of the room design be pared down and soft-spoken to avoid that headache inducing “too busy” effect.
  • Wide borders on a rug should bear some relationship to the size and shape of the room or else the room will just look “off”.  Also, borders and center medallions have to be considered when arranging the furniture.  There is no point to obscuring this classic design combination by a poorly placed armchair.
  • It’s best to place furniture within the rug borders.

Don’t suffer if the best furniture arrangement means a few legs go off the rug.

Your room will still be beautiful.

Good To Know

There are basics to good rug maintenance such as:

  • Dirt breaks down fibers. Vacuum regularly using the floor setting and have your rug cleaned professionally as need.
  • Stain guard treatments are a nice idea,  but don’t think of them as an insurance policy against disaster. Attend to spills immediately. Blot up with either a clean sponge or a cloth with a mild detergent.
  • Avoid wearing a path into your rug by rotating it every six months. This helps with fading too.
  • You must have a rug pad. Not only will you prevent slips, but a rug pad will provide cushioning and extend the life of your rug.

By the way, a good quality rug will probably shed. Don’t worry. It’s normal.

Related Posts

Rug Selection #1: Make A Plan

Rug Selections #2: Valuable Old Knots

Rug Selection #3: Antique Rugs: A Variety of Knots and Weaves

Small Space Solutions #1: Fooling The Eye

Small Space Solutions #2: Multi-Task Mantra

Photo –

This article is a “How Does This Work?” Classic from the Decoding Decor Library. It’s represented here from an earlier archived article. It has been reviewed, rewritten and updated as needed for your continuing home design education and convenience…because you never know when you’ll need the last word on how to select a rug.

Questions? Write to: