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How to Pick an Area Rug

Interior Design Guide

area rug size

Although it’s one of the most important home purchases, area rugs are often overlooked in the redesign process. And with all the options out there, it can be easy to settle for second. So don’t go it alone. Our senior designers weigh in on how to pick an area rug.

Size

area rug size

One of the most important aspects of an area rug is size. Think of an area rug as the demarcator of each section of the home. Your rug should be at least a foot away from the wall, and all of your large furniture pieces should snuggly line the perimeter. Check out how we did it in this chic Upper East Side apartment.

Placement

area rug cowhide

Area rugs are a great way to demarcate different areas of the home. To section off the reading nook in this Sag Harbor loft, we sourced a grey cowhide rug from Design Within Reach, to compliment the loft’s existing refined, rustic, and masculine design scheme. 

Color and Hue

area rug color

When sourcing an area rug, color is an obvious predicament. Try to pick a rug that matches other colors and hues within the room. We love the rug in this mid-century home because it perfectly compliments the colors in the bold painting that adorns the living room.

Sheen

area rug sheen

One aspect of area rugs that often goes overlooked is the sheen of the fabric. A high sheen fabric will give you room a luxe feel, and can even help brighten the space. This Upper West Side family living room was lacking natural light, and so we sourced a high-sheen area rug from ABC Home.

Material

area rug material

An area rug is a great way to create a buffer between complimentary or disparate materials. In this Westchester family home, the client wanted to incorporate a wood dining room table, but didn’t want the table to clash with the wood floors. So we sourced a grey area rug from Restoration Hardware, to keep the different wood materials from clashing.

Pattern

area rug pattern

Geometric patterns are a great way to make a statement when selecting an area rug. We love the geometric patterned rug in this chic TriBeCa loft because it incorporates all the different colors and hues within the home, while also providing a bold, graphic statement.

Pile

area rug pile

When purchasing an area rug, consider the rug’s pile (in layman’s terms, the pile is the rug’s thickness). Low-pile rugs are best for high-traffic areas of the home, as they can put up with more wear-and-tear, and are also easier to clean. Whereas a high-pile rug is wonderful for areas without too much foot traffic. In the bedroom of this Central Park West penthouse, we sourced a white, plush, high-pile area rug.

HAVING PROBLEMS WITH YOUR DIY? Email us! Our senior designers are here to offer free advice.