Decorating with Rugs: Softness & Style Underfoot

What if you could hit “refresh” and instantly update any room? It’s not such a lofty idea. Indoor Area Rugs are the grounding element for any style or space. Simply rethink this essential layer, and you can refocus the look and feel of a room.

A New Neutral

Seeking a neutral base for an open living space? Light-toned area rugs elicit a sense of style much more than traditional beige carpeting. Rugs finished with a vintage wash go a step above ordinary, adding a touch of luster with timeless grace. And thanks to rugs crafted with stain- and soil-resistant fibers, high-traffic zones are no longer off-limits for neutral colors

A Fresh Focus

Today’s rugs also pull from the ages-old motifs to deliver bold designs for spaces with solid upholstery and monochromatic finishes. Traditional Ikat, kilim and geometric designs, along with Persian- or chinoiserie-inspired motifs, are being tweaked to show plenty of solid background, often in a subtly contrasting texture. They also have been updated with contemporary color palettes for today’s transitional interior design schemes.

Vintage inspiration meets modern performance. Crafted with artful motifs and a silky hand.

Heighten your decor with of-the-moment patterns in a carved dimensional pile.

A Textured Accent

Rooms with patterned upholstery, striking artwork or sleek urban styling call for richly textured rugs that complement without competing. Solid-colored sculpted rugs, for example, incorporate high- and low-pile, allowing for crisp and intricate designs that introduce visual dimension but don’t overpower the room. For cottage and country decor styles, the thick knots and aged finish of loosely woven nomadic weaves add a new layer to the artisanal warmth.

Lasting Elegance

As one of the most stain-resistant fibers, polyester is a common choice for high-traffic areas. But hand-knotted rugs made with high-quality wool provide unmatched durability and a luxurious look. Distinguished by hand-tied individual knots visible on the underside, hand-knotted rugs shed less than hand-tufted styles and can last more than 20 years. Wool is likewise easier to maintain than cotton. When combined with silky-yet-delicate viscose, it also can add a beautiful element to low-traffic spaces such as the bedroom.

Litchfield Easy Care Rug

Gaia Easy Care Rug


In terms of how a rug feels within a room, size and placement often are more important than the style or construction. Start by measuring the room’s dimensions. As a general rule, at least 18 inches of floor should be left exposed on all sides of the rug to create visual cohesion while making the space feel larger. But in smaller living rooms, it may be preferable to cover just the center of the room – anchoring it with a coffee table and positioning seating on the perimeter of the rug. For function and aesthetics in the dining room, a rug should allow at least 24 inches of clearance around the table, so that all four chair legs are securely on the rug, even when the chair is pulled out. But the shape does not need to match the table. For a square four-top table, a round rug could provide ample space behind each chair.

In bedrooms, it’s often ideal to position a rug so that the longest side is perpendicular to the bed and does not quite reach the nightstand. While it may seem counterintuitive, this placement creates a cohesive look that extends slightly beyond the bed, rather than simply outlining it. For a queen bed, use an 8′ x 10′ rug, or a 9′ x 12′ rug to make the space feel larger. For proper proportions, a king-size bed typically requires a 9′ x 12′ rug. Whatever rug you choose, you’ll want to use a rug pad. Rug pads not only help hold the rug in place, they also help reduce wear over time.

Sophia Shag
December 11, 2014