10 Tips for Using Rugs to Decorate a Space

Beautiful living room in new luxury home with L shaped sectional sofa, area rug, and elegant decor

Written by My Home Handyman

June 6, 2022

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Rugs have the potential to make or break your space. Adding a rug can create a cohesive and cozy appeal while binding the area together into a single panorama. Apart from the visual aesthetics, this rug is also responsible for anchoring your room, adding layers and warmth to the space at a given time. It defines your space’s colour palette and makes the room feel united and connected.

There are a few tips and tricks to involve when decorating or styling with area rugs. However, styling rugs may not be as easy as you may perceive. Whether it’s the kitchen or the living room, rules for styling an area rug may not be similar. So, here is a guideline on the top 10 tips for using rugs to decorate a space!

1. Don’t Go Too Small

When decorating a space with area rugs, don’t compromise on size and scale. A too-small rug will make your room feel smaller and confined while at the same time being disproportionate and imbalanced. That’s not what you would want in your space.

So, it’s time that you carefully measure the size of your room and analyze the appropriate size of the rug required. Ensure that it accurately covers underneath furniture, and there’s also ample space to walk around in the room.

2. Extend Rugs Under Furniture

It’s time that you ensure to extend the rugs under the furniture up to a certain distance and perimeter. For instance, ensure that the carpet covers all of your fundamental and focal furniture pieces in the living room. If not completely, then at least the front legs of the furniture must sit on the area rug.

On the other hand, in the dining room, ensure that the area rug is large enough to accommodate the dining table and the chairs.

An outdoor rug defines a space for for dinning

3. Let Rugs Define the Function

Especially for studio apartments and open concept plans, it’s ideal to choose area rugs that can cohesively segregate the spaces and define their functions. This will make it easier to understand the circulation and floor plan layout. For instance, choosing a rug to represent the living and dining space in an open concept plan can easily create designated zones.

Note that this idea is ideal for larger spaces that crave a sense of cohesiveness, coziness, and direction.

4. Play with Colour and Pattern

Area rugs are one of the best ways to create a sense of playfulness and eccentricity in a space. Don’t feel shy about throwing a majestic colour or pattern into the room. Believe it or not, there are many rug styles, colours, textures, materials, and designs that you can play with.

You can also let this area rug play a dominant role in defining your room’s colour palette.

5. Embrace Balance in Room

Ideally, you want to leave equal distances from all the rug’s edges on the floor plan. Leave about 24 inches to 36 inches along the perimeter of the area rug to the edge of the wall. This will create ample space for movement and circulation around the room while ensuring that your rug is centered and fosters balance.

This is a pro tip in making your room appear more cohesive, hierarchical, and symmetrical – which, can leave a positive impact on the perceiver.

6. Don’t Experiment with High-Pile Rugs

Generally, high-pile rugs can collect dirt and dust very quickly while making them harder to maintain and clean. It’s time that you avoid using high-pile rugs in the high-traffic areas of your home. This also includes spaces prone to moisture and the growth of moulds, such as the kitchen and bathrooms.

It would help if you only used them in private rooms or spaces with lesser traffic, such as bedrooms or walk-in closets.

7. Think “Big Picture”

When decorating with rugs, you must consider the other decorative accents as well. For instance, if you choose a subtle pattern and colour for the rug, you can choose a louder pattern for the artwork, wallpaper, or other decorative accents. And vice versa!

Try avoiding all the accents being loud as that may create a sense of confusion and disbalance in the room. Generally, don’t go beyond two patterns!

Living Room traditional interior design style

8. Play with Shapes

It’s time to think outside the box! Apart from rectangular, you can choose a rug that could either be square, oval, circular, or irregular. So, define a sense of visual interest and depth to your space with the help of unique shapes and let these rugs play a focal point.

This factor also depends upon how your furniture is truly planned out – rectangular, ovular, circular, or square. Choose a likewise pattern and create a seamless experience!

9. Layer with Rugs

If you’re decorating on a budget, purchasing a larger-sized area rug isn’t feasible. So, it’s time to think outside the box and be as creative as possible! Try layering a couple of smaller rugs (inexpensive option) over each other to create a unified and creative backdrop.

You can also lay a more extensive area rug and further add a cowhide rug on top to create a striking effect in the room. This is one of the unique ways to add character and identity to a space.

10. Know How to Maintain

Styling with area rugs seems to be quite dreamy and creative – until you have to start cleaning or maintaining it. Some rugs are pretty easy to maintain (like the jute and sisal rugs), whereas some require you to vacuum and clean regularly. It’s vital that you weigh your priorities and carefully choose a material that suits your needs and requirements well.

You must also consider if you have kids or pets at home. That’s going to largely affect the material you plan to choose!

Summing It Up

Styling and decorating with rugs will become much easier once you have these tips in mind! All you have to do is think smart, be creative, and let these area rugs play a snug and cozy factor in your space.

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