Start from the ground up when redecorating your living space.

You are ready to redecorate your living space, and you stand in your room completely overwhelmed by where to start. I suggest starting from the ground up, making your rug selection first. Unless you have an ornate patterned wallpaper, your rug will be the largest pattern or focal point in the room. The colors of the furniture, other soft goods and accessories should complement the rug’s pattern and colors.

When it comes to quickly updating the look of your room, you can’t beat the power of an area rug. A rug is the visual anchor to a room, it adds warmth and defines the space. An area rug connects everything and makes it feel cohesive. When working in a space that has primarily hard floors and surfaces, rugs can help to eliminate echoes and soften loud noises. These essential and multifunctional pieces provide the perfect foundation for your room’s design as well as add the finishing touch that pulls the whole room together. Making an area rug selection that complements your style is simple but choosing the rug to set the tone for your space depends on a variety of factors, including the room itself. Evaluating your space, colors, textures and patterns are a good starting point, but it’s helpful to think beyond that and consider size, shape and layout.

Here are a few tips for making your rug selection:

Open Concept Rooms

With an open concept space, you can use more than one rug to define individual spaces such as a conversation area, dining area, etc. The key to working with more than rug is to make sure the rugs complement each other in style, creating harmony with pattern in the space. Without the rug, especially in an open concept, it can feel as though the furniture is “floating” in the room.

Balancing Patterns

If your upholstery or wallpaper has a strong or ornate pattern, you will want to choose a rug that is more subtle to balance the room and not compete with the upholstery or walls. In turn, if your walls or upholstery are more subtle you can add a busier pattern or bolder colored rug to create interest. Don’t be afraid to add pattern in your accent pillows to coordinate with your rug. Just consider varying the scale of your patterns for a designer look.

Selecting Color

To coordinate your rug color with your existing color palette, follow the 60-30-10 rule: About 60% of the room is your dominant color; your walls or the largest piece of furniture. 30% is a secondary color; this is where your rug color choice comes in. 10% is an accent color, your accessories, like vases, lamps and pillows.

Dress up a Wall

Rugs don’t have to stay on the floor! Consider using a rug as a focal point on a wall. It’s an amazing way to add an intense pop of color and pattern by creating a conversation piece as a wall hanging.

Consider a New Shape

Don’t assume that your rug must be a rectangle. If you have a room full of angular pieces, a round rug might be just the right shape to soften the hard lines. Round rugs are great for seating areas and entryways and typically make a small space feel larger and add a cozy feeling to the room. Also consider square rugs, runners, oblong or animal hide rugs.

Evaluate the Traffic

When buying an area rug, consider the amount of foot traffic the rug will take. A Low pile rug works best in high-traffic areas, as it’s easier to hide tracks. A detailed pattern is also helpful in high-traffic areas, as it helps hide stains. High-pile rugs are soft, making them great for bedrooms and sitting areas where you want some extra softness.

Natural VS. Synthetic Rugs                                                                                                                                       The material of your area rug impacts everything from how it feels underfoot to how well it can hold up to heavy foot traffic.

Natural fibers, such as wool or cotton, look beautiful and feel great, but some are more susceptible to staining and fading.      More affordable synthetic rugs resist staining and fading better. Wool is soft long lasting and resilient and it’s a premium choice to repel stains and can be cleaned easily. Viscose is a rayon like fiber made from wood pulp, it mimics silk and is often blended with wool to add luster and shine. The downside of Viscose, it is impressionable. Furniture impressions can be hard to remove if you want to turn or move the rug to a different location. Nylon is durable affordable and shed resistant. It’s great for hard wearing areas like hallways, kitchens and playrooms. Jute and Sisal add beautiful texture to a room. These natural plant fibers are sturdy and great for high traffic areas, but it can be harder to remove stains. They can also be a favorite surface for a scratching cat. Silk is a great option when you want luxury. It adds incomparable softness and subtle shimmer that’s ideal in low-traffic areas such as the bedroom. It does require professional cleaning, so it’s not ideal for anywhere prone to spills or dirt, such as a dining room or entryway.

Tips for selecting the size of an area rug:
• In a sitting area, the front legs of each piece should sit on the rug.
    Measure your seating area and select a rug the closest size up.
• In a dining area, the rug should extend at least 25 inches because you don’t want the back end of the chairs hanging
    off the edge of the rug. A flatweave or low tufted rug works best so you can pull the chairs in and out easily.
In a bedroom, an area rug underneath the bed should extend at least 18 inches for a king or queen bed and 12 inches for a         full or twin bed. A thick shag rug will feel great under foot in a bedroom.
• Runners should be 4 inches narrower than your hallway and 18-24 inches shorter.
• Always use a rug pad or liner to keep your rug in place. Be sure to select one that is appropriate for your floor type.
• If you are using an area rug or runner in your kitchen, place it 6 inches away from the cabinets.
There are so many options to make your selection – from size and shape to pattern and color. Take your time making your rug selection and most importantly, HAVE FUN!

Anna Sample | Owner, Interior Designer | Evolve Staging & Design

Staging and Design Professional ASP, CCE, EE

I’m Anna and I am a wife, mom of 2 teenagers, home stager, online designer, and artist living in Scottsdale, AZ. Life is busy, but I love everything that is involved in interior design, color and space planning! For the last 20 years, I have worked extensively in the Interior Design industry and as a professional artist. I am passionate about creating beautiful homes that reflect the personality and lifestyle of my clients, stay within budget, and are functional for the needs of a busy family including pets.  

Learn more about working with Anna Sample of Evolve Staging & Design through her eDesign Tribe member profile!

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