Area Rug Tips from Interior Designers

designer looking at area rugs

Area rugs are a fantastic choice for adding spatial definition and on-trend style to a room. But many people struggle with how to choose the right rug size. Rug sizes range from small area rugs for a bathroom or corner to larger rugs of 5×7, 8×10 and 9×12. Our interior designers put together a few tips for you, plus, we’d be happy to help you choose a rug from our showroom, where you can choose from stylish area rugs in person.

Bigger is Better

Let’s start with the basic facts straight from our design team: Most rooms in modern homes require an 8×10 or 9×12 area rug. The reason is that you don’t want the rug to float like an island in the middle of the room. The idea when choosing a rug size is to anchor the area rug to the furnishings. The rug will direct the eye to the seating area, where the pieces will all fit together visually and spatially. Measure your room and each piece of furniture to help you determine the right size of rug.

Furniture Placement on the Rug

With area rugs, another question related to size is the placement of the furniture on the rug. The area rug groups couches, chairs, side tables and coffee tables into a cohesive set. With that in mind, the rule of thumb is to place the front legs of the sofa and chairs on the rug. Another vignette option is to place the furniture all fully on the area rug. Either way, you create a cohesive, well-defined area in your home.

In large rooms with a lot of vertical volume and oversized furniture, a large rug enables you to physically define a group seating area. The same principle can be applied to a small room, where the size of the rug—say, in a reading nook—should allow for the chair, table, and lamp to all be on the rug. This creates a feeling of coziness and helps anchor the space. This is just one example of using a smaller area rug to create and define a specific purpose for part of a space.

Rugs Update a Room Instantly!

A carefully selected area rug will freshen up a room instantly! Color, texture, and size all come into play to pull all elements together. Get inspired to shop for area rugs by reading up on design styles and pattern mixing! When you want to transition to a new style that fits with the latest trends, few design elements are more suited to making a change than a rug. You can even layer a textured rug on top of carpet for a completely new look with no remodeling required. There are so many fun choices, from geometric designs to soft, shaggy options.

Enhance Safety, Durability with Rug Pads

Every area rug should have a quality rug pad underneath to protect your floor, enhance safety, and increase the life of your rug. Felt and rubber-backed rug pads provide a great foundation for rugs. A good rug pad prevents slipping when you step on it and keeps the rug in place while also adding cushion. One of the felt rug pads also adds protection against liquids and dirt from damaging the floor below the rug. Avoid the mesh versions commonly found in stores, as they don’t protect as well and are more likely to trap dirt on your flooring. With a quality, felt rug pad, you can protect your floor, keep the rug in position, and enjoy your rug longer.

Shop for an Area Rug in Person

If you’ve ever tried to purchase an area rug online, you may have been very disappointed to find a huge difference in the color or texture you expected from the rug you ordered. We think you should always shop for rugs in person, so you can see how they look and feel. You will always find a range of beautiful, one-of-a-kind area rugs in our showroom.

So remember, go big with rug size, and be sure to measure furnishings and the space. Then, come visit us to see our designer-curated rug selection, and take one home with you today!


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✨Meet the Dwell Team✨

Meet Abby - One of our amazing interior designers!

Abby has been with Dwell for 5+ years, and has spent the last decade working in residential design, after graduating from university of northern Iowa with her interior design degree. Her favorite aspect of design is seeing a space transform, and what a difference it can make to a person’s lifestyle and sense of home. It doesn’t hurt getting to spend her days around so many beautiful textiles, and furniture pieces to fuel creativity. She and design partner @evesloan_interiordesign love the experience of listening to a clients wants and needs and translating that into a design perfectly suited for them.

When not designing clients homes, there is always a creative project waiting for her at her own home! Outside of that, Abby loves spending time with her two little girls, Bria & Coyla and Husband Derrick, as a new family of four 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧❤️

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