One of the amazing and sometimes overwhelming things about 21st century life is the number of choices we have in just about every aspect. This is certainly the case when it comes to choosing an area rug. A great rug can change the flavor of a room and bring the warmth and style you’re craving. There are so many options, and it helps to have some guidance in making the right pick. Here are some of the most important things to think about when choosing a rug. 

Choosing the Right Rug: Size

Finding the right size for your space is so important, but sometimes we don’t know where to start. One of the most common mistakes we see is folks choosing a rug that’s too small. Experts usually recommend 12 to 18 inches of bare floor between the edges of the rug and the walls in most settings. Of course, this rule of thumb is flexible, but we often find that a bigger rug can give the room a bigger feel. Your size choice will also depend on where you’ll be putting the rug. For example, in the dining room, you’ll want your table and all chairs, even when scooted back,  to fit on the rug. In the living room, we can choose a smaller 5x8 rug with just a coffee table on the rug and the other furniture on the floor-- or choose a larger rug, like 9x12, to accommodate all of your furniture.

Choosing the Right Rug: Location

Where and how you’ll be using your rug it is one of the top considerations when thinking about material, color and beyond. For example, a low pile (fiber height) works best for high traffic areas, while a more luxurious high pile is a great choice in a bedroom. In a dining room or playroom, you’ll want something stain-resistant and durable. There are also fabulous choices for durable outdoor rugs. Your choice of material goes hand in hand with location.

Choosing the Right Rug: Material

We may be tempted to choose a rug based on looks alone, but experience tells us that feel, texture and durability are important too. There are tons of terrific materials available for every location and lifestyle. Here are some of the main categories:

  • Plant-based natural fibers including cotton, sisal (a natural fiber made from the agave plant), jute (another attractive and durable natural fiber) and seagrass.

  • Wool and silk: these classic natural fiber favorites are long-lasting, great looking and high-quality but are usually more expensive. 

  • Synthetics like nylon, acrylic and new materials like Triexta are soft, stain-resistant, durable and ideal for homes with kids and pets. 

Choosing the Right Rug: Color

When choosing your rug color, the first thing to think about is your furniture. Your rug doesn’t need to match your furniture but instead should complement it. For example, if you have furniture in bright colors, a rug in a more muted shade may be just the thing--or vice versa. You’ll also want to consider the colors of your flooring ( we love bright colors on today’s hot gray and neutral flooring shades) walls and ceilings. Think about the ambiance you’re trying to create (cozy, airy, etc.). Finally, if your rug is in a higher traffic area, a darker color is usually a good choice while lighter colors work well in private spaces like bedrooms. 

Choosing the Right Rug: Patterned or Solid

This is where personal style really comes into play, and it’s also where getting professional guidance can be a big help. A fabulous pattern can make a room, but a solid can be a safer, more conservative choice and still look stylish. Think about the vibe you’re going for with the room and take your furniture and other design elements into consideration. If you choose to go with a patterned rug, decide whether you want a traditional or more contemporary look. If you don’t have a designer, your flooring professional can help you make the best choice for your space.

Choosing the Right Rug: Don’t Forget the Pad

Under any great rug, there’s a high-quality non-slip pad. Padding not only provides extra cushioning for a soft feel, it also keeps the rug in place to prevent slipping and sliding. A good pad also reduces wear and tear and extends the life of your rug.

Choosing the Right Rug: Custom Rugs and Runners

Loudoun’s unique historic homes and larger new homes often need customized rugs to achieve the perfect look and feel. That’s why we offer a large selection of carpet choices in a range of materials and patterns, cut and bound to a perfectly sized rug. It’s an excellent option for your large or small room. We also offer durable, gorgeous custom runners for stairs and hallways of all shapes and sizes.

Choosing the Right Rug with Loudoun Valley Floors

Hardwood floors are hot again, and there are so many gorgeous new options in vinyl and laminate flooring. This means you’ll need terrific rugs to make the room pop and add warmth and softness. But choosing the right rug takes research and guidance. It’s often hard to find a ready made rug so suit your space or stylle. The professionals at Loudoun Valley Floors have the experience and design-savvy to custom create the right rug for look, feel and durability.