How to Choose A Rug

A well chosen rug serves a variety of purposes. It offers immediate comfort by providing soft, cozy surface for bare feet. A plush rug can help absorb sound, making for quieter, more intimate spaces when the occasion arises. And according to the Carpet and Rug Institute, a rug can even lower allergies, making it a great option for anyone with a sensitive nose or pets.

Image credit: Houzz

Just as exciting as a rug's practical considerations are its aesthetic ones. From a design perspective, a rug functions by pulling together other visual elements in order to create cohesion and a sense of flow. Spatially, a well-played rug brings a sense of symmetry by bringing balance between it and other pieces of furniture. Perhaps most importantly, a well-chosen rug can act as a signature, allowing you to imprint your unique style on a space while offering delight and pleasure every time you encounter it.

Well Woven believes that creativity is its own reward, so there's almost no wrong way to choose a rug, as long as you enjoy the process and the outcome. That being said, we offer the following guidelines, so that your next rug can inspire and delight.

Think About Who Will Use the Room

The first step in choosing a rug is taking into consideration the people that will use it. A child's bedroom like the one below, where little ones and caretakers sit on the ground, may benefit from a nice, plush rug that is gentle on the hands, knees, and bare feet. But a high-pile rug may not work as well in a formal dining room, for instance, when it allows food morsels and stilettos to sink into its plush threads.

Image credit: Houzz

The same thread of logic applies when considering colors. An eye-catching white rug may seem like the perfect option for your little girl's princess fairy tale room. But will you feel the same way when an overturned juice box makes its way into your decorating scheme? A good rule of thumb is to choose multi-color patterns, or darker colors for high traffic areas where spills and dirt are likely to occur. Stain-resistant rugs are also a good option for these areas of the home as well. Lighter rugs, with more delicate hues or patterns, are great options for shoes-off areas that are less likely to encounter food and drink spills or other types of wear and tear.

Think About the Room's Natural Lighting

The type of natural light that a room receives can affect how you choose to decorate. Taking into consideration not only how much natural light a room receives, but when you occupy it, can help you choose a rug that works for you. Say, for instance, that your living room receives plenty of sunlight. Darker colors and bolder patterns are great options in this scenario. But how about your West-facing bedroom, which is flooded with sunlight when it's close to bedtime? In that case, you'll have to consider whether you want to complement the natural light with light colors, or install some shades and choose cool, darker colors to encourage sleepytime.


Image credit: Houzz

 A good way to approach the issue of natural lighting and color choice is by thinking of the balance between warmth and coolness. Do you want to increase the room's warmth, maintain it, or make it cooler? A very cool room with little natural light can benefit from a very bold rug with lots of warm color tones: reds, browns, and yellows.

Know that size matters too: rooms with smaller spaces as well as less light should try to stay away from heavy, bold patterns with darker colors, since these will have the visual effect of shrinking the room and creating a more heavy, brooding atmosphere. (Unless, of course, dark and brooding is what you're going for.) 

Have a Look at the Color Wheel

Did you know that certain colors can invoke certain moods or feelings? Reds can incite feelings of passion, excitement, and even hunger. Lavender is well-renowned for its soothing, calming effect, and green is associated with youth, vitality, and freshness. Having an elementary understanding of how colors can affect our moods can factor into rug-buying decisions. A striking, passionate red that excels in the dining room may be too much for a space aimed at relaxation. And a well-chosen rug can have an unexpected effect: maybe instead of matching the dark brown furniture in a room, you choose a light white rug to offset the heaviness and create balance.

Image credit: Houzz

If you don't want your rug to be a statement piece, choosing a multicolor pattern that contains colors of a room's pre-existing elements--an orange lamp, a purple vase--can marry a room's color pattern and bring harmony. Vintage, floral, and more traditional rugs are always a good option for this purpose.

Image credit: Houzz

Whatever your choice, have fun! Stick within these guidelines, and you'll find that there's no wrong option--rather, decorating choices become a reflection of your unique style and creative spirit.




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