Rugs provide a wonderful way to instantly transform any room of your home or office into just about any style of decor that you might want.  Whether you are seeking the affordability of a single-ply polypropylene synthetic or the uniqueness of a hand-made needlepoint rug, area rugs provide a time-honoured method to decorate your floors.  The degree of an individual’s involvement in the decorating process with area rugs is really as varied as the person’s own personality and purpose in doing so.

One can quickly and affordably decorate an entire room into a particular theme with a few well placed synthetic area rugs or go so far as to buy a new handmade Aubusson weave as a collectable investment.  It is really up to the individual and their purpose in having the rug.  And here is where the adventure begins.

Guide to Select rugs

Most people have little difficulty determining their purpose for wanting an area rug, but it is nevertheless an important step to consider.  In many cases, the purpose of owning a new area rug will determine the price range one is willing to pay or the type of construction or material that one wants that area rug to be composed of.  Once that has been resolved, now comes the task of determining what is the appropriate style, size, shape and colour that best suits your individual decorating needs.

Selecting the “Style” of Rug

The “style” of the area rug you choose is either determined by a decorating theme that already exists in the room or a new style direction that you are planning to decorate that room in.  If you have no intention of changing the basic decorating theme of the room, but simply wish to accent or highlight an existing theme, then selecting a rug that fits well with the existing furniture, window treatments and wall colours is all that most people will be concerned with.  In this case, a beautiful bedroom that is already decorated with “traditional” style furniture will usually only require a “traditional” style rug, to look good.  Of course, in this case, one can also add to existing style elements in the room to further accent that theme.

One’s other option is to decorate a room in a completely new style direction, to a greater or lesser degree.  In this case, it can range from slight changes with different furniture or wall colour to an entirely new look.  Although changing to an entirely new style theme for a room, may require new furniture and/or more work, the entire experience can be quite liberating because one is not having to be concerned about existing colours and decorative elements anymore.  As a matter of fact, in this case, you can just as easily start with the new area rug and then add new decorative items (i.e.- new furniture or wall colour) that build upon the existing beauty of the area rug that you have selected.

Selecting Rug “Size”

The “size” of the area rug which you choose is simply decided by the measurements of the open area of floor you wish to cover.  This sounds simple enough, however, there are some things that should be considered.  For example, in a bedroom, where one wishes to place rugs over the hardwood floor around a bed, one must decide if one wants to place the bed over a large area rug or simply place a number of smaller rugs around the bed, without going under it.

In a dining room, where one wants to place a beautiful dining room table in the centre of an area rug, is the area rug larger enough to allow dinner guests to pull out their chairs, to be seated, without the chair’s rear legs going over the edge of the area rug?  These are just two examples of where a rug’s size should be carefully considered.  Certainly, in decorating any room with an area rug, it helps to remember that one doing a bit of a “creative composition” with all the decorative elements, (i.e.- furniture, lighting, wall colours, etc.), and the area rug’s size is part of that composition.

The “Shape” of a Rug

While it is true that most area rugs do come in a shape of a rectangle, it is also true that there are a variety of other shapes available, including “round”, “oval” and “octagon” shapes.  The long, narrow “runner” shape for hallways and staircases is a commonly used, specialized shaped rug.  One of the most unusual shapes is called a “hearth” shape, which is best described as a rectangle with two corners along one long edge cut off at a 45-degree angle or with a rounded curvature.  By using different rug shapes, one can create uniquely different decorating effects in a room and add the new decorative element of curves and “other angles” to the creative composition of your floor.

Selecting Rug “Colours”

Select rugs

In selecting the proper “colours” for your area rug, it may seem that this is the most difficult part of the entire task, however, this does not necessarily need to be the case.  Of course, the colours that are being showcased on your floor should work well with the other colours in the room, but this does not mean that the “dark blue” in your rug must exactly match the dark blue on your couch.

As a matter of fact, obtaining exact colour matches between area rugs and other decorative elements in the room, (such as furniture, wall colour and accessories) may be nearly impossible unless one is paying to have custom-made items manufactured to specific tastes to go in the room.  When one is obtaining “in stock” items of furniture, accessories and lighting from stores, it is unlikely one will obtain “exact colour matches” between the “gold clock” and the “gold pillow” simply because the clock manufacturer’s concept of “gold” is most likely different than the pillow manufacturer’s concept of “gold”.  And with area rugs, the problem of exact colour matches becomes even more interesting when one considers that, in many cases, area and handmade rugs can contain as many as 12 or 15 different colours.  Now, this is in no way intended to discourage anyone from liking the colour they like or even liking the “exact colour they like”.  After all, one can sometimes get lucky in one’s decorating adventure.

However, perhaps a more workable path to follow would be to “avoid exact colour matches” altogether and work toward an “overall theme of coordinated colours”.  In this case, the overall colour theme of a room can be primarily a range of “blues” that work well with one another and the other colours that highlight and accent the room.  One might have found “the perfect” couch with the exact right shade of “red” and then find an exquisite area rug that does not match exactly, but “looks charming with my new couch.  In this case, one could find that the new area rug does not distract from the beauty of the couch but “simply adds to it.”   So one may want to look at the “overall colour theme of the room” and how well the various colours fit together toward creating the desired effect