Sometimes, after a long, bad day at the office, you walk into your apartment and hate everything about it. Even if you just bought a new couch or painted the living room, it seems dowdy, old, not for you — just plain wrong. You realize this negativity is borne of nothing more than general bittnerness, but you still feel like you need a change of environment. But instead of redoing the walls, hanging a bawdy chandelier in the foyer, or buying a new pet, you should consider a much simpler solution: buying a brand new rug.
Although one of the simplest decorating options, rugs aren’t usually thought of as long-term solutions. They add color to their surroundings, pull together elements in a room, and make your entire home feel cozier. You don’t need a specific purpose to add a rug to room, but you should look over these guidelines to ensure you’re making the best possible choice.
If your walls are so busy and bright that they sometimes give you a headache, you’ll find a subtly-colored rug a great way to balance them out. Conversely, if guests doze off because your room is a little too neutral in color, consider adding a wild-patterned rug, or one with loud primary colors.
Tie Things Together
Rooms can be full of wonderful furniture and accessories but still feel feel scattered and discombobulated. Coordinating your wall colors to match a shade in a room-size rug brings everything together and creates a unified ambiance.
Layering rugs or arranging them so they intersect throughout the room adds a feeling of order and peace. Choose similar shapes and patterns along with complementary colors to create a calming backdrop to the rest of the decor.
On the other hand, if everything on your walls is symmetrical and orderly and your furnishings tend to be boxy and muted, you can use rugs to add pizzazz to the environment. Mix and match fabrics, patterns, shapes, and sizes to feel your home’s energy level rise.
Up Against the Wall
Walls are perfect for showcasing magnificent rugs. Bold, modern patterns add dramatic color splashes. Better yet, try putting an Oriental wall rug up to enhance the old-world feel of the room and create a mysterious atmosphere.
If you’re redoing your place’s color scheme completely, start with a rug in your favorite shade and pattern. Then choose a sofa and chairs that bring that shade to life. Simply reverse the process if you already have furniture in place, and pick an area rug that makes their colors pop.
Themes and Things
Many people have a particular theme in mind when decorating, and rugs can play a major part in making your vision a reality. To create a beach-inspired living area in an urban apartment, pick an airy looped rug with shades of ocean blue interspersed with soft florals or stripes in hues of gray, white, or beige. If you’re more of a bohemian at heart, choose a shocking pink area rug to generate a boho vibe and add eclectic accessories to drive your point home. Yearning for a tropical environment? Start with a giant, vibrant patterned rug and use pillows and accents that bring those colors to life.
Sizing Things Up
Don’t forget to measure everything before you go rug shopping. To make a room look larger, buy a rug that’s about three feet smaller in length and width than the room itself. For instance, if the room is 9 X 12, it will look best with a 6 X 9 rug on the floor. If you’re putting a rug under a dining table, make sure the rug extends at least 24 inches from the edges of the tabletop so the dining chairs remain on the rug even when pulled out. Hallway runners should be four inches narrower than the hall itself and 18 to 24 inches shorter than the walls.
Rugs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so why would anyone only buy rectangular ones? You want the shapes to complement the forms and figures of your furniture and accessories, after all — not mimic them.
Large rooms without walls, such as studio apartments and lofts, are easy to define with rugs. Use one rug for the living area, another one with a totally different design for the dining area, and another still for the foyer or hallway.
Always Use Liners
Nothing’s more unsightly (or likely to cause a trip-and-fall) than a creeping or slippery rug. Choose a liner that’s right for your floor material and the appropriate size for the rug.
Essentials You Can’t Overlook
Don’t let the excitement of rug shopping blur your practical thinking. No matter how good a rug looks, you should always walk on it before buying it. A rug that doesn’t feel good to walk on is useless. Additionally, you’ll want to check every rug’s care and maintenance guidelines. If you can’t afford the upkeep, or just know you won’t adhere to those instructions, keep shopping.