Decorating with Area Rugs
By Nikki Willhite
Area Rugs can be well used by the frugal
decorator. They are extremely versatile, and serve many purposes. They can start off in the living room, move to the
Family Room or Bedroom, and eventually end up in the garage or an indoor/outdoor
Unlike wall-to-wall carpet, which is best
kept in a neutral color, area rugs can bring colorful designs and patterns into
your room without overwhelming it. Also, unlike wall-to-wall carpeting, once you
buy them, they are yours to keep; as you can take them with you if you move.
You are lucky if you have wooden floors under your carpeting. It
may take some work to refinish them, but they last forever. They do not collect
pollutants, like carpeting, and are much easier on people with allergies. New
houses are so well insulated, that you need all the help you can get keeping
your home fresh.
If you do have wall-to-wall carpeting, you
can still use area rugs. You can lay them on high traffic areas to protect the
carpet, or use them to tie a seating area together. You can also just use them
for display, even on the walls.
Some people will tell you not to lay one
carpet on the other. However, from experience, I know that if I put down a
carpet runner in a high traffic area, I can fluff up and restore the carpet. If
I don't, the carpet will be ground down to a pulp and there is no fixing it.
We have runners in all our hallways. We
also have them in front of the sofas- an area which seems to take a lot of
abuse. The longer we can preserve the carpet, we save money. The only thing I am
concerned about is safety. If we are moving furniture, or carrying heavy things
around, I take them up. You also need to be sure they have a non-slip surface on
the bottom so that you are less likely to trip over them.
There is tremendous variety of types and
prices of carpets, from woven mats to oriental rugs. Stores like Costco often
get in luxurious wool rugs, as well as some of the more novelty type.
Quality rugs are easy to maintain. We
bought an off while Berber rug over 10 years ago at a discount store. We have
yet to see any dirt on it. We also have a wool one, and the same is true.
Braided rugs add wonderful country charm.
However, generally they are not of the same quality and they do become dirty and
require more care.
As far as decorating, if you need texture
in your room, think about a Berber carpet. To read more about texture, see:
Texture and Interior Design
If your room seems very square and
angular, consider an oval rug to soften it.
Add interest to your room by choosing from
the many designs and styles, such as contemporary, Oriental, Indian, Floral,
Geometric, etc. Using area rugs with color and texture lessen the need for other
accessories in a room.
Most area rugs are used to group furniture
arrangements. For instance, in a living room the area rug would most likely be
placed in front of the sofa and under the coffee table. The chairs and tables
would be grouped around it. You may be able to create an interesting effect by
placing it under your furniture at an angle.
If you can't find what you want, think
about having one made to your specifications. One very durable solution is to
find a beautiful commercial carpet that you like, and have it bound to your
dimensions. If you want to cover your whole room, leave about a foot between the
wall and carpet, and be sure and turn it once a year. It will last for years.
Take advantage of area rugs if possible. Wall-to-wall wears out, and
your house becomes patched with different carpeting as you replace worn out
carpet in different areas. Use area rugs as you can to save money and
beautify your home.