HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT RUG: Guide to Size, Color, Texure
Choosing A Rug By Size, Color, Texture
Photos by Carley Page Summers
In interior design, the right area rug is a fundamental and transformative - it is an essential element of decor. But with so many variables to consider - pattern, color, texture, and size, choosing a rug can be a scary process. Will it clash with existing furniture? Here we look at each of the elements you will need to consider when you go in search of the perfect pile.
Size is crucial to design structure. A room that is successfully anchored accommodates the desired seating area, rather then the whole room. Most designers will recommend that the front legs of the sofa and side chairs be placed on the rug for a classic up against the wall arrangement. When designing a floating arrangement, where the sofa and chairs are placed in the middle of the room, the idea will be that all four legs of each piece of furniture should sit on the rug. Whether going for a classic or contemporary design situation, leave a few inches between the wall and the rug’s edge. The purpose is to really define the seating area.
In the dining room, you want a rug is large enough to fit under the legs the chairs as well as the table. Measure the width and length of the table and add two feet on each side. As a general rule, you are going to need a rug that is at least eight feet wide.
There are several ways to design a bedroom with a rug. You can either place two runners on each side of the bed, or a single runner at the foot of the bed. But there is another, perhaps more dramatic way to add the dual ideals of glamour and coziness to a bedroom. And that is by extending a larger rug from the bottom two-thirds of the bed.
Larger rooms have different needs than small ones. The size and orientation of a rug should serve the purpose of making a room feel connected. A floating arrangement is often used in larger spaces. For proper scale, it requires a rug to extend away from the furniture at least six inches on each side. A larger rug is best for larger sized living rooms. When selecting size, keep in mind an ideal space of at least eighteen inches of bare floor on all sides. While some designers recommend that all furniture sits on the rug. Others will say that all furniture except the coffee table should be entirely off the rug.
Color And Pattern
The fun begins when the time comes to choose pattern and color. Pattern helps to hide wear and tear. Subtle color can soften the tone of a space. It can lend a look of un-pretentious comfort and charm. Good design feels good. It is approachable and inviting.
This must be especially true in the bedroom. Warmth and color create a feeling of well-being, and the bedroom is where it all starts.
When considering color, it is good to keep in mind that brighter rooms look bigger and more inviting. A lighter color palette will give the illusion of a larger space. Light colored flooring will make a room appear more open. However, there is an argument for darker colored rugs adding an element of coziness to a space.
Designers will tell you that it is far easier to start with either the rug or a cherished piece of art and design the entire room around them, rather than the other way around. Once you have chosen the furniture, finding a rug that blends and elevates the design becomes much more difficult. But if you have already done it, and you are trying to work around existing furniture, you will want to add dimension and visual interest to the room by choosing similar complementary colors or by highlighting a bold color.
Choosing a solid or an arty neutral can also be a smashing alternative to color. The Moroccan Beni Ourain rug is a perfect example of how a simple neutral pattern can make stunning statement. Contrasting textures and shapes is another method for increasing the drama in a room.
The texture of a rug should ideally be determined by the amount of foot traffic a space is likely to receive. A living room is generally a good place for an all-wool hand knotted rug. Some living rooms are only there to be viewed, and are not to be used or even touched. These call for silk or antique rugs that project that look of luxury.
But in most cases, you will want a rug that can do double and even triple duty. Who doesn’t want a touch of glamour and drama to keep the energy flowing? Cozy comfort and durability are also at the top of the list of requirements for an area rug. There are two types of rugs that have the potential to serve all purposes. Those are an all-wool hand knotted rug and a woolen flatweave. While, sisal is a very good alternative for durability, it lacks in the element of cozy comfort. On the other hand, there are ways of creating an ultra-luxe interior with a jute fiber rug.
"What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity… something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.”
- Henri Matisse