Rug Rules OR, Rugs Rule!

Rugs are like art. They are personal, unique, and their patterns can have fascinating history. I have a brother-in-law from Egypt, and each time he and my sister visit his family there, they bring me back a small rug. Each one is different from the other, and I treasure them as I do my other art pieces. No matter the color or pattern, they seem to work beautifully anywhere they’re laid down.

When it comes to choosing a rug, I really only have one rule which you’ll read in item number seven. The rest are guidelines on color, pattern, size, and placement when choosing an area rug.

1. When possible, begin the scheme of the room with a rug. It’s usually the largest focus of a room and you can use it to set the tone for the rest of your selections.

2. Do not be afraid of mixing patterns in your room. Patterns that are too similar will usually compete for your attention. A geometric pattern could be great with a delicate floral print upholstered chair.

3. Choose the material wisely based on the purpose of the room. A silk carpet will not be the best choice for your family room, but wool wears well over time.

4. Be aware of the size and scale of the room. A large space can swallow up a rug making it lose its impact. On the other hand, a rug that’s too vibrant might overpower a small space.

5. One rug does not have to fill the entire space. My favorite: use multiple rugs to delineate seating groupings in a big room, or layer rugs for interest.

6. Leave a border of floor exposed around a rug to make the room feel more spacious. Six to twelve inches will do the trick.

7. Here’s my one rule: the dining room table AND chairs need to all be on the rug! Sofas and chairs can have their back legs off the rug, and case pieces should be entirely on or entirely off.


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