How to Pick the Ideal Rug

Without a rug, your living space is incomplete. But choosing the best choice might often feel like attempting to solve a puzzle since there are so many available.

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Most designers will tell you that a living space requires a rug to feel cohesive.

Rugs, however, may get pricey. It might be frightening to choose a large-scale object like that because it will have a significant impact on the appearance and feel of the space. A well-chosen rug may last for many years in your house. The incorrect carpeting will act as a constant reminder of the money you squandered and the cost of replacing it.

And with the variety of fabrics, colors, designs, and sizes available, making a mistake is all too simple. Celerie Kemble, an interior designer based in New York, said that choosing the right rug is a “complicated puzzle.”

We sought the opinion of Ms. Kemble, as well as other designers and rug producers, to assist you in solving that challenge.

Use One or a Few

There is no requirement that you stick to just one rug in the living room. In bigger spaces, numerous carpets are frequently used by designers to designate distinct sections. How therefore can you determine which one or which few is best?

Large rugs work well in smaller areas, such as living rooms with walls and entrances separating them.

“I work with apartments frequently where the objective is to increase the amount of space that can be used as a living room,” Ms. Kemble stated. “I usually want to use one rug, and make it as big as I possibly can” applies in certain situations.

Multiple rugs may help ground diverse furniture groupings and, in the absence of walls, can be utilized to separate a living room from a dining or media area in sprawling, open-concept spaces like lofts.

Unable to Choose? Next, Layer Them

An other choice would be to place rugs on top of one another, with smaller ornamental rugs positioned on top to serve as anchors for various sitting sections and a single, huge, plain rug covering the majority of the floor at the bottom.

One of Ms. Kemble’s favorite methods is to use a large sisal rug—which is reasonably priced—and then cover the seating sections with softer, plusher kilims or dhurries. “The size of the sisal conveys to everyone that you’re all at the same party.”

Ascertain the Dimensions

When arranging the purchase of a rug, it is crucial to take into account any obstacles in the space.

Recalling the architecture and mechanics of a house, “we always start with the practical and then get to the decorative,” stated Jesse Carrier, a principal of the New York interior design firm Carrier & Company. Do door swings and doorways need to be taken into account? Are there any HVAC floor grilles that you would prefer not to cover? Is there a fireplace where a hearth is required?

After accounting for these specifics, think about how people will move throughout the seating sections.

Ms. Kemble declared, “There’s nothing worse than having to walk with one foot on and one foot off on the perimeter of a rug.”

Select a size that either fully encloses the pathway or exposes the floor where people must pass. Next, determine the length of the rug that should stretch past the furniture. Making ensuring a rug extends beneath each piece of furniture’s four feet is a popular method of determining its size.

Alternatively, you may choose a smaller rug that ends beneath the feet of the chairs and sofas. Mr. Carrier advised making sure that floor lamps and end tables, which are smaller items along the rug’s edges, are entirely on or off the rug. “You don’t want unbalanced, rocking end tables every time you put something down,” he stated.

What about little carpets that are suspended in the middle of a space and not attached to the legs of chairs or sofas? Numerous professionals warn against using them.

The marketing director of the Rug Company in London, Susanna Joicey-Cecil, stated that little carpets “look a little bit lost and unfinished.” “It can have an unappealing feel, akin to a postage stamp.”

Select between plain and patterned

A living area’s distinguishing element can be a vividly patterned rug, but choosing one needs guts because of its significant impact. Depending on your taste, your overall design concept, the location of your home, and other factors, you can choose between a bold statement rug and something more subtle.

According to Mr. Carrier, “clients in the city frequently want to invest in an antique carpet from an auction or one of the great rug vendors as a showpiece.” However, “we’ll often do some sort of sisal, sea-grass, or coir carpet, because it’s a little more informal and rustic,” in homes near the shore and in rural areas.

There are several options available if you choose to go for a patterned rug, ranging from more conventional to free-form modern patterns. However, if you’d want to keep things straightforward, there are many of chances to include pattern on a lesser scale.

Select a Material

Plant-based fibers like cotton, linen, sisal, jute, and allo; downy, natural fibers like wool, silk, and mohair; and synthetic materials like nylon and solution-dyed acrylic are just a few of the materials used to make rugs. Nonwoven carpets can also be manufactured using materials like cowhide that are sewn together.

Each has a unique feel and appearance, as well as differing qualities in terms of how easily they clean and how well the materials hold up over time. The prices of these likewise vary greatly.

Plant-based rugs have a simple, informal style and are frequently among the most reasonably priced options. However, the endurance of various fibers varies: For example, sisal and allo may withstand greater wear and tear than cotton and linen, which age rather rapidly.