Choosing a Rug

14 Oct 2015
How do you choose a rug? What style, pattern, colour, or size is right for a room? Here are some design tips that will help you select that piece that will have your friends talking!
fens living room sofa rug.jpg

A rug can set the tone, color scheme and comfort factor of your living space. Should you choose a modern manufactured design? Hand woven? Original Persian? One of the key elements of beautiful décor is a complementary area rug. How do you choose a rug? What style, pattern, colour, or size is right for a room? Here are some design tips that will help you select that piece that will have your friends talking!

The Fit

A rug needs to be scaled to fit in with the rest of your decor. A small rug in front of a large sofa will seem odd. If you have the space, place all your furniture on a rug as a large rug is said to ground a furniture collection.
Rugs can also be used to define zones of a room. Therefore, in a large open-plan living space, you could use a rug to differentiate the living from dining areas. The furniture in each space could be placed on its own large rug. Both Antique and reproduction area rugs are available in various sizes but the variety of sizes tends to be quite extensive for modern reproductions. Modern rugs can be custom made in almost any size. Ideally, the largest rug that will fit in a room should be 3 feet less than the width and length of the room. This will create a border around the rug. For dining rooms, you should choose a rug that is about 4 feet larger than the table so that chairs remain on the carpet when pulled out.

Now, as we said above, you can use more than one area rug in a large room or open plan design. These rugs can be smaller and help to direct flow, define areas and create intimate areas for reading or socializing in smaller groups.

Tips: Rugs can be used to hide unsightly flooring and can dampen noise! 

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blue carpet strands rugs

Before putting a rug under furniture, consider whether or not it’s suitable. A more delicate rug like needlepoint should not be placed under a dining table. If there are young kids in the home also ask for a more durable design.

rugs patterns

Where a rug is placed will influence your choice of material and pattern. Under the dining table, choose a pattern that will best camouflage stains. In all instances, choose a pattern that works best with your décor.

For example, choose a rug with a central design in an open-seating arrangement or centred under furniture, such as a glass table, where the design will still be visible. In rooms with odd proportions, choose a rug with an overall, repetitive pattern as it distracts attention from difficult areas.

Some Rug Mistakes to Avoid
  • Don’t choose a rug that is too small!
  • Don’t be afraid to layer your rugs and to use rugs on carpet!
  • Don’t choose your rug last!
  • Don’t be afraid of patterns!
General Rug Terms

Antique-- a rug more than 100 years old.

Antique Wash-- The application of a chemical wash to soften the colors of a rug to make it appear older.

Beating up, down, or in-- The process by which a weft or wefts are pushed down tightly against a preceding row of knots, using a large wood or metal tool that looks like multi-tined fork known as a "beater".

Binding-- An edge or selvage treatment in which the edge warps are wrapped with yarn or other materials to strengthen the rug.

Bottom-- The end of the rug toward which the knot ends are tied, as well as the portion of the rug where the weaving begins.

Border-- A design around the perimeter of the rug enclosing the field.

Cartouche-- An enclosed area in the field or border of a rug containing an inscription of other design elements.

Carding-- The process of brushing out, cleaning, and intermixing fibers with a pair of "cards", which are paddle-like brushes set with angled, bent wire.

Carpet-- Any fabric floor covering. Some people make a distinction between rugs and carpets, which (according to the distinction) are larger than 6' by 9' or sometimes 8' by 10'.

Field-- A portion of the rug enclosed by a border or the major portion of a rug without borders.

Flat Weave-- A fabric created by the interweaving of horizontal threads (weft) with vertical (warp) threads in any one of a variety of interlocking techniques.

Knots-- The knots most commonly used to loop pile yarns around the warps are the symmetrical Turkish knot, also known as Ghiordes, and the asymmetrical Persian, or Senneh, knot.

Kurt-- The finest grade of wool.

Old-- Refers to a rug that is between 50-99 years old; sometimes referred to as "semi-antique".

Overcasting-- A treatment of rug selvages, consisting of a yarn that wraps or interweaved with edge warps in order to reinforce them.

Pile-- The cut that ends of supplementary yarns anchored in fabric, usually by knots.

Ply,Plied-- Two or more single yarns spun or twisted together to make a ply or plied yarn.

Skirt-- Band of plain weave, exceeding approximately 3 inches, on the ends of some types of rugs (they may be of single color, striped, or otherwise decorated with either pile or flat-woven motifs).


Great!! So now you know how to select your rug lets talk about how we are going to Free Up Your Living Space!

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