The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.

Melisa Rana
Melisa Rana


Selecting the Right Area Rug for Your Home

 January 8, 2024 |  Home Decor |  living room, bedroom, floors

When it comes to planning the design of your new home, there are a number of factors that have a mighty impact on the look and feel of each room. We’ve already touched on incorporating indoor plants into your home’s decor, the importance of even slightly different shades of paint, and how a room's layout impacts our psyches. However, there’s one more interior design feature that packs a major punch when it comes to setting the tone of a home, one that deserves its own due attention.

Floor rugs come in many shapes, sizes, and styles, and the way that they’re incorporated into a room’s design can be the final touch that ties everything together. Considering how much of a struggle it can be to select the perfect rug (for the right price), let’s discuss how to get things right the first time.

Factors to Consider when Picking an Area Rug
An alternative to wall-to-wall carpeting, area rugs can be incorporated into nearly every room in the house, and they come in many different styles, though the top concern for most people will be cost. Depending on material and size, area rugs can be a hefty investment, and although homeowners might prefer a larger rug to cover their living room or dining room, smaller options can still leave a powerful statement without breaking the bank.

Outside of cost, the best size for an area rug is usually dictated by the furniture in the room and the room’s dimensions. In an open floor plan, rugs can be used to create a sense of separation, creating a clear space for watching TV on one side and defining a dining room on another. Often, homeowners should try to find a rug that encompasses all of the furniture within each defined space. But when costs are a limiting factor, there are some ways to get creative with rug stacking and placement that can help you achieve that cohesive look.

Pick the Material with Location and Lifestyle in Mind
Outside of pattern and style (which mostly comes down to taste), an area rug’s material should be selected based on how the space is used. In rooms that face a ton of foot traffic or the wear and tear of pets and children, experienced interior designers know it’s best to opt for durable and stain-resistant synthetic materials. For spaces where eventual damage is expected, carpet squares might be the best choice. Carpet squares can be easily swapped out when a pesky stain won’t come out or wear and tear leaves the space looking a bit too shabby.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are many plant-based options that vary greatly in look and comfort. Sisal, sea-grass, and jute rugs are all great choices. While they are usually less durable than synthetic material rugs, they tend to be a more cost-effective option. When picking a rug for spaces that don’t have to hold up to much strain, like the master bedroom, it’s okay to prioritize comfort over some of these other aspects with cotton, silk, or wool. Wool is one of the most popular rug materials due to its comfort, impressive durability and stain resistance. It should be noted that wool’s high price reflects these premier traits.

Recognize Different Placement Options
Homeowners can get creative with rug placement to achieve their desired look and feel while working with their available resources. When possible, rugs should be large enough to hold all furniture legs in an area and then leave 12-18 inches of space away from the wall for the best feel, but when this isn’t possible, placing only the front legs of the couch and chairs on the rug can work just as well. In situations where homeowners are trying to be as conservative as possible with their spending, choosing a rug that encompasses only a central coffee table is also a fine option (assuming your standard living room layout).

In the bedroom, interior designers follow a similar philosophy of trying to cover all furniture when possible, and tapering forward when space is limited. The main thing that homeowners should remember in this space is to prioritize the sides of the bed when placing the rug, rather than the foot of the bed. The master bed is the focal point of the room, and the area rug placement should ensure that your feet land on something soft when waking up in the morning. Another option in this area that some might overlook is to go for two longer rugs on the left and right side of the bed, rather than one large rug.

Area rugs can be that final piece that ties a home’s interior design concepts together. For some extra inspiration, take a look at some trends for 2024 by designers over at the Spruce, and let your imagination go wild!

Did you forget to schedule your buyer's inspection before closing on your home? Don’t worry - you can still get the benefit of a home inspection this year! Contact your local NPI home inspector to learn more.

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