The Do’s and Don’ts of Area Rugs

Let’s start with the Don’ts.  If any of the pitfalls below were part of your plans for buying or using an area rug this year, don’t despair!  The Do’s that follow will set you right and help you smarten up your floors in no time.

Don’t…

  • …get too matchy-matchy.  This is especially important if you have light coloured upholstery or paint colours in the room.  A beige rug with a beige sofa and beige love seat will all get lost in one another. A rug should tie the room together without blurring the lines between what’s what.
  • …try to make a small rug into a big rug.  Your room will look and feel awkward if you try to cram your sofa, love seat, and chairs–or worse, your entire dining room set–all onto a 5×7 rug.  A small rug has its place and can really make your room look sharp, but not if you try to make it the centre piece of a large space.
  • …let your rug be a safety hazard.  That beautiful runner you’ve been eyeing for your entryway is not worth it if it acts like a banana peel!  If you add a runner or floor mat to the room, consider it your moral obligation to invest in a pad or adhesive rug tape to give it some grip, especially before elderly relatives come to visit.  

Do…

  • …go big.  As a general rule, invest in the largest rug you can afford and fit if you are using the rug under furniture.  An 8-10” space between the rug and the wall is plenty to add nice dimension to the room. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get in and out of dining chairs that keep getting caught on the edge of a rug, so you’re better off going with a bare floor until you can bring in a larger one.  
  • …go bold.  Any colour scheme needs some contrast to make it visually appealing, so choose a rug that makes your furniture stand out.  (Remember–no beige with beige, or grey on grey, etc.) A rug is the perfect way to show some personality! You may be surprised how your rug can set the tone for the whole space, yet people won’t even notice that it’s lying there.
  • …protect your investment.  There can be an element of sticker shock associated with rug buying, especially if you’re a first timer, so go in with the understanding that this is a major investment in your home.  Even if you don’t get a high-end rug, plan to keep it looking and feeling great under your feet with regular vacuuming and professional cleaning, if possible. Remove the furniture at least once a year to have your rug rotated for even wear.