Warm up your interiors with a new rug

One may think buying an area rug is an effortless purchase, but there are actually a lot of variables that come into choosing the perfect one. First and foremost is choosing the desired space that the area rug of choice will enhance. Whether for design purposes, a punch of colour, warmth and comfort, traffic flow or to create a furniture grouping, the myriad of choices in fabric, style, pattern, colour and size is overwhelming. Prices are as variable as personal preference.

Handmade or hand-knotted area rugs are in a league of their own. These types of rugs are manufactured from natural fibers, such as wool, silk and cotton and can be antique or brand new. Research your retailer before considering such an investment.

Should you want the ‘look’ but not the price, wool/polyester blends over silk or even wool will enhance any decor.

Machine made rugs can be manufactured to replicate some of the ancient patterns as well as today’s most exciting contemporary designs. Made from natural fibers, they also come in synthetics, such as nylon and olefin.

Area rugs are personal. They are bought for various reasons by people with different lifestyles and taste. But there are many rules to consider that are universal. The number one being size.

Here are other considerations when choosing a rug:

DO make sure that area rugs are not too small and extend under all the key pieces of furniture.

DO leave the same amount of floor space on all sides of your rug.

DO fully cover heavily trafficked areas.

DO check the cleaning instructions before you buy. Sisal, jute and other natural fiber rugs are inexpensive but they can’t be cleaned and they wear quickly.

DO use a quality under pad! Not only does it add to the longevity of the rug, it cushions your steps; helps insulate the room and aids in noise reduction. Rug pads help extend the life of your rug by keeping it in place while providing extra cushioning and insulation. They also prevent moisture and spills from seeping through the carpet and staining the floor.

DON’T go too small in the bedroom. The rug should be large enough to extend beyond the sides of the bed.

DON’T be afraid of colour and pattern. There are many inexpensive options available so if you decide you don’t like it after a couple of years it’s easy to change. With that in mind, don’t put an expensive area rug in an area where there are likely to be spills and accidents.

Jennifer Birch

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