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How to Choose the Perfect Rug For Your Home

Ever wonder why we use rugs? We find that most of our clients fall into 2 camps– those who love rugs and those who hate them. There are lots of reasons why you should use rugs in your home. 

Rugs really help define each space in your home. With open floor plans being the norm these days, a rug is almost always an essential part of the design. When the room seems a bit empty or when you have that “something’s missing” feeling, more often than not, a rug can easily solve your problems. 

But shopping for them can get pretty overwhelming; there are tons of different fabrics, shapes and designs to choose from, how do you know where to start? Here’s how to figure out what rug will work best for your room!

Size

When it comes to size, the shape of the room and the way the furniture is set up will affect what rug size looks the best in your space.

In most rooms, your best bet is to go with the largest rug size that will at minimum get all the front legs of your furniture on it. If you go bigger to get all of the legs of your furniture on the rug, that is ideal. Not only will this help ground the furniture, but it will help define the space in an open concept home. 

If you choose to go with a smaller option, then make sure that either you place your furniture in a way that all of the front legs of the items near the rug are placed on the rug. Alternatively, you can make sure none of the legs of any of the nearby furniture are placed on the rug. 

Yes, that sounds confusing, right? Just remember it’s an either/or situation. The trick to getting this right is consistency in how the furniture is placed on or around the rug. This helps establish a clean, unified look that’s cohesive all throughout. 

Try to coordinate the rug size with the dimensions of your furniture as best as you can. This will fill in the negative space in your room and make the room feel larger!

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Shape

Just as the size, the shape of your rug has a huge effect on your decor. Pay attention to how practical the shape of the rug is as well as how well the shape of the rug complements or enhances the shape of the room. 

A square rug in a rectangular room would feel empty because it cannot fill the whole space, just as a circular rug in a narrow space would feel incohesive. Here’s a rundown of the most common rug shapes and how to plan your room around them!

The most common shape is the rectangular rug. The variety is endless with pretty much every pattern, colour and size you can think of. And for a good reason too, this shape is super versatile. 

Smaller 2 by 3 feet rectangular rugs are often used in kitchens, bathrooms and entryways where there isn’t a lot of space to work with or ground to cover. 

Medium-sized rectangular rugs like 5 by 8 feet fit well in home offices, eat-in kitchens and even a walk-in closet, but keep in mind it’s better to leave about a 20-inch space between the rug and the walls. 

Large rectangular rugs, about 9 by 12 feet, are ideal in large living rooms, in a master bedroom underneath a king or queen-sized bed or in a formal dining room setting. 

Square rugs can range from as small as 3 by 3 styles to as big as 12 by 12, with lots of options for colours and patterns. For a unified look, it’s better to use a square rug for a square room. 

If it fills up the entire space it can create an illusion of luxury, or if you want to accentuate a round dining table or an entryway, it can easily ground the space and any furniture on top of it. You can also use square rugs as an alternative to a circular rug depending on your style preferences!

Round rugs are perfect for complementing open concept spaces like entryways, and naturally, curved spaces! Whether you want to section off an area in a larger room, like under a set of dining furniture that may be square or round or add a fun accent piece in a children’s playroom, there are so many possibilities with this shape. It breaks up the usual sharp corners and straight lines you always see in modern decor and softens the design of a room.

Next we have oval rugs–these versatile pieces can be used very similarly to rectangular and round rugs. The smaller ones look great in entryways and kitchens. Rules for using small oval rugs are very similar to that of small rectangular rugs. On the other hand, when using large oval rugs, follow the rules of larger round rugs. They are great for sectioning off an area in a large open space. 

Moving on to the more uncommon shapes, octagons are a traditional rug style but aren’t as popular these days. These are a great option for round or open spaces like large living rooms and entryways–there’s a lot of variety with size and they’re interchangeable with round rugs since the same rules apply.

Known for their long and thin shape, runners are designed to highlight narrow spaces and hallways–they make a fun and decorative pathway from one space to another. Varying in size anywhere from four to 10 feet, you should definitely consider adding one to a skinny space like laundry rooms, small galley kitchens, or even at the foot of your bed for a grand detail.

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Material

Last but not least, the make of your rug is also a very important aspect to consider when choosing one for your home. You should keep in mind how the space will be used, how much traffic the room is going to get, and whether you just want it for decoration or as a functional piece. 

Depending on the material, some rugs will serve a different purpose than others and will last longer in certain environments. 

Here’s how you can figure out which material works best in your home!

Natural fibers are usually used in handmade rugs because of their durability, as opposed to synthetic fibers. They last a lot longer and can be hand knotted, woven or tufted. Here are a few examples of natural fiber rugs:

Wool rugs are the most popular choice among homeowners; they’re versatile, dye easily and have a ton of colour options available. They’re comfortable, handle traffic well and naturally repel liquids so you can avoid those pesky stains!

Cotton rugs give a comfy, casual look, also dye easily with a bunch of colour options. They’re pretty durable, most are machine-washable and they’re a softer alternative to jute or sisal rugs, not to mention a lot more affordable than wool rugs.

Jute and sisal materials make tough, durable rugs and are the perfect alternative for people with wool allergies! They’re super versatile with the different weave types that other fibers are unable to achieve, but they are a lot more rough on your feet compared to cotton, and absorb moisture so it’s harder to remove stains.

Silk and viscose are both soft, absorbent materials that can easily be dyed and give rugs a nice sheen, creating some depth in the design. They’re versatile for decorating but not the most durable material, except when they’re combined with wool!

As for synthetic fibers, these rugs are usually machine-made and woven, giving you the freedom to customize the size, colour, pattern and shape to your liking. Here are some popular synthetic rug materials:

Nylon is a manufactured fiber that has endless colour options; it’s strong, resists those annoying crumbs and dirt, and can withstand heavy traffic which makes the maintenance part easy! It also has a nice sheen, but these rugs are usually acid dyed so they may fade over time.

Olefin, also known as polypropylene is the most popular manufactured rug fiber. It resists stains and moisture and holds its colour well, making it the perfect material for outdoor settings. Despite its durability, high traffic and furniture marks can wear it down and become quite obvious on this rug over time.

Polyester is solution dyed so it’s extremely resistant to bleaching, fading and other common wear and tear. It’s a popular material and quite affordable, but difficult to dye so colours and patterns aren’t as abundant. It’s also not oil-resistant, so it’s likely to leave permanent stains!

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Whether it’s for comfort, style or functionality, a rug is a great addition to any room. Although options are endless based on size, shape, material and patterns, choosing the right rug can really help elevate the look of your space. 

Written by Nabeeha Baig.

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