Area rug considerations

Whether traditional or contemporary, what matters most is how the pattern makes you feel. The best decorating always reflects the personality of its owner.

Patterned rugs bring an air of richness and intimacy to larger spaces. They also provide instant personality and character, allowing you to create a certain style. A traditional, floral rug may conjure up an English country garden, while a geometric rug creates a modern mood. Mixing patterns can be tricky. Remember, if the patterns are related by form, color or texture, the mix is more likely to succeed.

When used together well, complementary patterns are excellent at defining spaces. Use them to create conversation areas in large rooms or to separate a dining area. Don’t be afraid to use them under tables where spills are likely to occur. Patterned rugs are much better than solids at disguising spots and stains.

Nothing can change the look of a room more than color. From paint to floorcovering, it is what binds the room together. In fact, some consider color the pivotal element that can make or break a room’s design.

Since floorcovering accounts for almost thirty percent of a room’s color, it is important to determine the role it plays in your decorating plan. If your area rug is going to be the dominant element, choose a patterned rug with distinctive color combinations. Use shades from the rug to select paints and accessories; then carry those color themes into adjacent rooms with coordinating rugs.

If your rug is going to play a secondary role, then keep it fairly neutral. It can still be patterned, but in subtle tones that complement other furnishings and fabrics in the room. Should you decide to use your rug as a backdrop for other furnishings, selecting a textured rug—with a ground color slightly lighter or darker than your walls— helps it quietly blend into the décor.

Color can be used to achieve drama and impact, but there is nothing like texture to elevate a room that lacks pattern. Texture is all about how something feels when you touch it. Everything in your home makes a textural contribution—be it rough, smooth, nubby or silky. A room decorated with chrome furniture, glossy paint and slate flooring might be described as “hard-edged and cold”. Warm, cozy textures, such as wool, are linked with comfort of home.

Blending textures can help balance a room. Cool surfaces such as leather, glass, and stone can be offset with the warm textural effect of an area rug. A wool-loop can be paired with a rich wall colour to bring warmth to a room that doesn’t receive much sun.

Determining the proper size for a rug is just as important as finding the right rug. Let's take a look at this room-by-room sizing guide.