I love natural wood floors, natural stone, and tile too. But like most things, beautiful floors (and their rooms), often benefit from a little accent – in particular area rugs.
People often ask me about rules for area rugs – size, layout, patterns. There are a number of guidelines that exist. However, each space, each home owner, each project is different and these rules don’t always apply. When working with clients I DO consider general guidelines. But I also like to create unique spaces, personalized for a place and person, and sometimes this means ignoring the rules and allowing for inspiration.
A Few Basic Guidelines to Consider
Front Legs on the Rug
“Hook” living room furniture arrangements on the rug by placing the front legs of most seating pieces on the rug. This pulls together the furniture elements while leaving some lightness of the exposed floor outside of the furniture arrangement.
All Furniture on the Rug
Have the entirety of the furniture pieces on the rug. This is especially useful in open plan areas where the rug helps to define a distinct space.
In a dining area, have the rug extend 18-30 inches beyond the dining table. Don’t forget to consider the full size for frequently extended tables.
(Almost) Fill the Room
For a cozy approach, especially in bedrooms, offices and dressing rooms, a rug that fills the space and sits off of the wall – 8 to 18 inches is typical – does the trick.
Design for Your Pathway
Another approach in the bedroom is to leave a generous overlap on three sides of the bed so there is rug coverage when getting in or out of bed, as well as walking along the end of the bed.
I like to create a “T” with the bed and rug which also allows any nightstands to sit securely on the hard surface of the finished floor.
For hallway runners, try to fully fill the space where people will walk, without crowding the hall.
Coordinate Multiple Rugs
When there is more than one rug in a single or adjoining space, use matching rugs, or complimentary patterns or colors.
A Few Ideas to Inspire and Sometimes Break the Rules
With the exception of underlying a circular dining table, it’s difficult to force a round rug to follow some of the basic rules, but they sure add to a space, often as adding a unique circular element in an otherwise rectangular environment.
Hide rugs and other irregular shaped rugs add a sculptural element to your floor. Sometimes they fit under one of the above rules, but more often they add a new shape and accent a space that needs – “just a little something more”.
Loose and Colorful
I’ve become a big fan of colorful rag rugs, boucherouites, and quilted pieces – especially in small quantities – to pop a space, but not overwhelm it.
Contrast Multiple Rugs
This one can be tricky but worthwhile. Instead of matching two rugs in a large space, consciously pick two very different colors, patterns or textures to establish two distinct spaces. The best examples will still “connect” the two rugs in a less obvious way. An ultra-plush alpaca rug and a woven sisal – booth “soothing.” A traditional woven rug and a modern rug with a traditional medallion.
Sometimes it’s All about Pattern
Always fun to add a simple and bold pattern to very utilitarian spaces such as a kitchen, entryway, or hallway.
To see more information on Area Rug Tips to Guide and Ideas to Inspire, scroll through or visit my Houzz Ideabook.