Area Rug Buying Guide: What To Consider


If you've ever binge-watched home improvement shows on HGTV, oogled at beautifully decorated rooms in magazines, or spent a few hours on Pintrest, you probably already know how much area rugs can do to spice up a room. They are great for breaking up the aesthetic of a room, making it more interesting and comfortable. They also work wonders for protecting your floors from scratching and wear. Shoes, toys, and furniture legs do a number on hardwood floors especially, but a good rug is able to defend against damage in the most fashionable way possible.

The real question here isn't whether or not an area rug would be a good addition to your home. The answer to that will almost always be a resounding, "yes". What really needs to be asked is what should be considered when choosing a rug because, believe it or not, there are a lot of things to take into account. Here are a few things you'll need to work into your decision:

1) The Price

This one is a given, but we want to address it because so often people make the mistake of just buying the first area rug they see at an inexpensive price. We have certainly been guilty of this in the past. The problem with buying a cheap rug, no matter how cute it is, is that the quality will not stand up to the amount of use it will get.

There is an understandable trend in the purchase of polyester rugs right now. Why? Because they are inexpensive and hold vibrant colors really well. They look nice at a great price. However, they won't last long, as polyester fibers wear down quickly and get irreversibly matted in a short amount of time when used in high-traffic areas. Still, stores continue to stock these in-demand rugs, and customers keep on snatching them up. It's sad to watch this and know how fast the investment will expire.

We know it's more expensive, but look for rugs made of wool, silk or nylon. They are far more resilient and will hold their beauty longer than polyester. A little extra cash out of your pocket now will end up saving you time and money in the long run.

2) The Purpose

Do you know exactly why you want an area rug? Is it to protect your floor from furniture (obviously one of our favorite reasons), provide a focal point in the room, or give cushion your steps? Will it be used in a low-traffic area for decoration alone, or will friends and family be walking on it and using it as an extra sitting space?

Knowing why you need a rug will help you determine what kind to get and what size to get it in.

3) The Space

It is very important to pick a rug that will compliment the size of your space and do its job of protecting your floors. It's so easy to fall in love with a rug that you think will fit the color scheme of your room without considering the size in depth. You could wind up walking out of the store with a rug that is too small or too large. Imagine how frustrating it would be to get home, move all of your furniture and install it, only to find out that it doesn't work. Yuck!

So here's our suggestion: measure the area of your seating area, then get a rug that is one size up from that measurement. This will ensure that all of your furniture will fit on the rug and still look great. Just make sure to set everything up so that the rug is at least half a foot away from the wall. Anything closer will make the placement of your decor look unintentional and tacky.

If you aren't worried about using the rug as a buffer between furniture legs and your floor, the task becomes a little more simple. Just be sure to measure the space and pick a rug accordingly so that it is not dwarfed by the rest of the room or taking too much of it up.

4) The Future

Take a trip into your future with us for a moment. Imagine you are six months into having your new rug. Do you think you'll want to change it soon? Will you be moving? Has your style shifted with the new season?

If you think you're going to be itching for a change you have a little more flexibility in the type of rug you're able to get. You can opt for a cheaper rug or one of lower-quality because it won't need to last as long. You can also worry less about how to clean your rug since keeping it fresh for as many years as possible isn't important. It's pretty freeing, to be honest.

One thing to be careful of, however, is the size. If you are going to be moving or trying to change things up on your own, you may want to avoid big, bulky rugs.

5) The Style

Obviously this should be your #1 priority when buying a rug. There's no use in spending money on something that doesn't fit the style of your room, or on something you don't absolutely love in the first place. Nail down your style and what will make you happy before every pulling out your wallet.

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