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6 Little-known Dos and Don'ts of Buying an Area Rug

Dos and Don'ts of Buying an Area Rug
An area rug is more than a décor accessory. When chosen appropriately, it can successfully define the mood of a living space. Most buyers tend to get confused when they are presented with so many options in the market. This DecorDezine post will help you make the right choice by laying down the dos and don'ts of buying an area rug.
DecorDezine Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Depending upon your individual needs, parameters such as size, fabric, design, budget, and durability, must be carefully analyzed. The furniture, décor items, and wall pattern of the room, must be taken into consideration as well.
Don'ts you think that a room appears to be somewhat 'naked' without the presence of a rug? A rug (like any other décor accessory) is an important addition in a room, where you wouldn't just pick up anything at random to fill up a bare space, right?

A rug can play many roles in a room, from being the focal point and accentuating the surrounding furniture, to significantly influencing the appearance of a room in terms of its size, theme, brightness, comfort level, and more. It can add that missing 'oomph' to your living space, transforming it from dull to energetic, boring to interesting, normal to exotic. However, all this can be done only when you know what it takes to make the right choice.

Shopping for a rug is like shopping for clothes; you subconsciously analyze the color, fabric, and design depending on how you would look and feel in it. Keep a note of the busyness or activity level in a room before picking a rug out. The following section will take you through the essential points to remember while buying the rug you need.
Tips on How to Choose the Right Area Rug
You need to think about the theme of the room. For instance, if the furniture of the room is wooden or has a vintage feel to it, then traditional rugs may be a better choice over contemporary or animal-print designs. Also, if the color of the walls are a subdued palette, then go for a rug with an interesting abstract design. Keep in mind the existing setting of the space, to make the ideal choice.
Size
For the living room
Dos
Dos For Living Room
Many people end up going for a rug that is either too small or too big, ruining the entire look of the living room. The size of the rug depends on how you want to place it. Its size can make immense alterations to how the room appears to the naked eye. If you choose a large rug, covering the entire area of the room, it will make the room look spacious. On the other hand, small-sized rugs help define a particular space, especially in a huge room, for multipurpose usage.

There are certain displays which are acceptable, as shown in the images above. You can either place the couch on it, leaving enough space on either side so that it doesn't end up looking like a woman trying to squeeze into her teenage clothes (no offense). Or, you can place the front legs of the couch on the rug and let the back remain outside its sphere. You could even leave a thin gap between the couch and where the rug begins.
Don'ts
Don'ts For Living Room
Just because a rug looks really nice, it doesn't imply that you should forget the other components of the room. If the size of the rug is too small to accommodate the prominent furniture in a living room, it may give the area a messy look, as shown in the images above. It may seem as if the placement of the furniture is not right. The bottom line is, that the size of the rug should be big enough to accommodate all, or nothing.
For the dining area
Dos
Dos For Dining Area
For the dining area, ensure that the size of the rug is large enough to include the tables and chairs, even when they are occupied. The ideal rug size will depend upon the dimensions of your dining area and table. However, the images above will give you an idea of the space that should be maintained, after the chairs are pulled away from the table before one is seated. Also, the rugs for the dining area should be flat and not have uneven edges.
Don'ts
Don'ts For Dining Area
The above images are classic examples of how we tend to compromise logic, over attractiveness. As unique and appealing as these rugs look, they are absolutely wrong for the given space. In the first image, the rug is too small for the area. When you pull a chair out before seating yourself, it moves away from the rug's circumference; it could be dangerous since the edges of the rug aren't even, making one prone to slip in the process. The same logic applies to the image thereafter. Its edges are so uneven, where the possibility of tripping over, is high.
For the bedroom
Dos
Dos For The Bedroom
For the bedroom, the ideal size of the rug should be wide enough to accommodate either both legs of the bed, the entire bottom frame, or halfway underneath it, as shown in the images above. It should also have adequate margin spacing on three of its sides. The width of the rug should be more than that of the bed, with an equal portion of the rug flanking both sides.
Don'ts
Don'ts For Bedroom
The images above show the placement of the rugs in not-so-acceptable ways. In both instances, the rug is too big, and because there is lack of space on the right-hand side, it is placed in an unpleasing manner. Although the choice is perfect in terms of design, size, in this case, matters.
Design
Dos
Dos For Design
The market will confuse you with its unlimited options, trust me, there may be designs that would hypnotize you to change the look of the rest of the room, just for them to be a part of your house―beware of such costly choices. You must make sure that the design you choose goes with the theme of a room, as shown in the images above. While you Don'ts really have to stick to the so-called-norms, ensure that your pick would not only gel well, but also enhance the area in terms of its character. Colors must be complementary and not clash with a room's overall look.
Don'ts
Don'ts For Design
The trick is to go for a design that will not subdue the look of your furniture, but to amplify its presence. For example, if the furniture, walls, or curtains are extremely artsy with colorful motifs and such, take a relatively toned-down area rug to balance the look, but not as unflattering as the second image. We can't tell if what we're looking at is a rug or a tiled floor, where the design does nothing for the lovely printed couch.
Fabric and Colors
Dos
Dos For Fabric And Color
You will find all sorts of fabrics to choose from―jute, cotton, silk, wool, synthetic, and more. You'll also come across hand-knotted, braided, hooked, or tufted varieties. Depending upon your budget and usability, you can opt for the right fabric and make. Synthetic or man-made fibers are great for areas that experience heavy foot traffic, such as the living area. Choosing dark colors will help, as these are ideal for covering up dust, spots, and other minor stains.
Don'ts
Don'ts For Fabric and Color
Contrast is the word to keep in mind, but with a balance. The images displayed above show you the two extremes of this rule. In the first image, all we could see was the bold pink rug; although it looks nice at first glance, it overwhelms a room with its coloration. On the other hand, the second image has a very light-colored area rug, that appears as a dull choice for the room. The tip is to choose colors that make you feel welcomed with its air of comfort. Light-colored rugs are an absolute no-no for areas such as the living room, since it tends to entertain the most guests, especially outsiders. So, make sure that you choose a fabric and color that copes with the demands of the area, efficiently.
Cost and Durability
Dos
The cost would depend upon the manufacturer, construction technique, fabric, and size. Buying the rug from a wholesaler can fetch you a great price. Browse through the options available, both physically and virtually (online). Make sure to check the care instructions while making the purchase. If you have to splurge, do it in terms of durability, especially when you want to place the rug in a high-foot-traffic area.

The ideal material in terms of durability and stain-resistance, is synthetic, which is also inexpensive. Even rugs made from grass fibers such as, jute, coir, and sisal are extremely strong and durable; however, these aren't as stain-resistant or soft like the others.
Don'ts
Do not ignore the properties of the fabric just because it looks good, or carries a tempting discount rate. While we all would love to flaunt our new silk rug and display it with pride in our living spaces, spending a great deal of money on it―when a liquid spill or fallen food are likely to leave stains―would be absolutely foolish. Also, do not forget to set a budget (with a 10% margin) so that you know what your options are.
Points to Keep in Mind
The following are some additional points that you must keep in mind before you hand in your credit card details.
  • Measure the space where you want to place the rug, keeping in mind the margin spacing you will require around the furniture.
  • Always get an appropriate rug pad. It not only prevents slipping, but also increases the life of the product.
  • If you are making an online purchase, make sure you read the consumer reviews thoroughly to get an idea of what you're buying.
  • You would rather feel the rug and look upon its majestic presence before taking your pick. In such a case, it is always better to ask close friends and family members about their favorite names in the market, that you can access online, or in person.
  • Always check the seller's guarantee and replacement policy.
Choosing the right piece will give your home that little bit of grandeur. A rug not only beautifies your living space, but also reins in elements of warmth, subtlety, comfort, and contentment―these being more important than the other factors discussed. So, go ahead and buy that much-coveted rug, that adds not just comfort, but a sense of belonging, to your home.