Everything You Want To Know About Area Rugs 

 April 18, 2022


Tired Of Your Boring Decor? Spice Things Up With Area Rugs!

Area rugs – some people love them, some people hate them. How many times have you stumbled around a room at night, maybe in your grandmother’s home, and trip over the corner of an area rug in the dark?

It’s completely understandable why some people would steer clear of an area rug just for that reason. However as much of a nuisance as you may have thought them to be as a child, area rugs can be the very accessory in your living space that ties everything together!

Today, we want to shed some light on area rugs so that maybe you’ll have a better understanding what these rugs are for, other than a death trap for sleepy house guests.

What Are Area Rugs?

Simply put, an area rug is an alternative to wall to wall carpeting. These rugs are more than just a bit of carpeting, but they can change the look of your room and tie everything together. Area rugs are often used in homes with hardwood flooring to protect the wood from scratches and damage.


Other reasons why someone would want to incorporate an area rug or two into their home include:

Accents Color Scheme 

An area rug is going to accent your room’s color scheme without the need to incorporate countless throw pillows and blankets or little nick-knacks that collect dust. A bold colored area rug is the perfect solution if you have a neutral color scheme and you want to inject a bit of color into the space – making it a great option if you rent and cannot paint.

Anchors Your Furniture 

An area rug is capable of making the furniture in your space be grounded to the room, instead of just “floating.” You can use area rugs to designate certain areas of the room, such conversation seating arrangements, or a reading nook. We’ll talk more about how to “use” the area rugs throughout your home.

Add Visual Interest

Area rugs bring color to your living space, but they can also be a wonderful design element to create a stunning space. What’s more, you can even hang some rugs, like handwoven rugs, on the wall – making them a less-expensive piece of art that still packs quite the punch.

Reduces Sounds And Echoes

If you live in an apartment, or even if you have a living space downstairs, an area rug can minimize the sounds from the room above.

Not only that, but if you’ve ever walked into a large room that has hard flooring, then you understand that the echoing can be a little unnerving. An area rug can dampen that echoing and make a difference in how welcoming and inviting the home can be.

Reduces Strain While Standing 

For those who stand all day, you already know how much strain standing on a hard surface can be. Homeowners who stand for long periods of time doing housework may experience aches and pains in their back, knees, and feet.

An area rug can greatly reduce that strain, thus making chores a little more tolerable. While an area rug won’t make you loathe doing the dishes or folding laundry, but at least you won’t ache afterward.

Help Choose Furniture 

When you have an area rug that you absolutely love and it’s in good shape, you’re going to want to hang on to it – even when it’s time to purchase new furniture. By having an area rug, it’ll probably have some colors in it that you may want to take into consideration so that the new furniture doesn’t clash.


You don’t want to get an orange chair if you’ve got a rug with purple accents. The same is said for patterns in the rug. If you have traditional rug with flowers, you may not want to get a floral patterned sofa or a sofa that is too modern.

Hardwood Flooring’s Savior 

Many homeowners will rip up their dingy carpets and replace them with hardwood or laminate flooring. If you’ve done this in your own home, you’re probably well aware of how expensive this home improvement can be, and you probably get nervous when it comes to getting scratches on the floor. Area rugs can take a lot of that stress away because they protect the floors!

Where Can You Put An Area Rug?

The simple answer to this question is anywhere you want! The key to making sure the area rug you choose looks good in your space is by understanding how to choose the right area rug for the space you want to put it. The most important thing about choosing the rug is making sure it is the appropriate size for the room and the furniture groupings.

To get a good idea of the size you need, you will want to:

  • Go Big or Go Home. Larger rugs tend to be the better option, if your space is in between sizes. The larger rug will help pull the room together, whereas a smaller rug may break the room up and leave the room looking off
  • Listen to the Room. Look at your room and take note of the size of the room itself, but also how it is oriented. If you have a large room, you will need a large rug. If your room is long, you will want a rectangular rug
  • “See” the Final Product. Before you actually go out and buy your rug, take some painters tape and map out where your rug will be. This will help you see how the furniture will look on the rug, but also that the rug truly fits the space

Note: if you are looking for a rug to put in front of the sink, in the laundry room, or down the hallway, you just have to be concerned about the size of the rug.

Another thing you will want to consider when choosing where to put your rug is the particular layout you want for your space.

The Living Room

If you want every piece of living room furniture on the rug (sofa, side tables, chairs, and coffee table), then you will want the largest rug that will fit in the space. This is the way to go if you have an open concept floor plan and want to define your living area and anchors the furniture.

Maybe you have a smaller space and you don’t necessarily want all of the furniture on the rug. You can then put the front legs of the furniture around the perimeter of the rug, with the coffee table in the center. To pull this layout off, you want to make sure the area rug is large enough for each piece of furniture (sofa, side tables, and couches) can have its front legs on the rug.


Then there is a third option where you just have an area rug under the coffee table and the rest of the furniture is situated around the rug. This is good for small spaces and to make sure you choose the right rug, you will want to measure the interior dimensions of your seating area. This will ensure that the rug fills the empty space between the furniture and rug.

The Dining Room

When you’re looking for a rug for your dining room, you will want to take into consideration the size of the room, but also the shape of your dining room table – round table should have a wide enough circular rug where you can comfortably slide the chairs in and out without getting caught on the rug. Likewise with a rectangular table.

Note: If your table has leaves that enable you to expand the size of the table, you will want to take that into consideration, too!

The Bedroom

In the bedroom, your bed is going to be the star of the show, so this is where your rug will go. The area rug will provide you with something warm to step onto when waking up – you’ll especially appreciate this during the winter and your hard flooring is cold!

The placement of your rug can done a few ways. With the entire bed and the accompanying nightstands and/or bench on the rug, you should leave anywhere between 18 to 24 inches of space around the perimeter of the rug to allow for dressers and walk spaces.

Another layout that is popular is by having 2/3 of the bed on the rug, making the top 1/3 of the bed and your nightstands sit on the floor. Typically, you will want a symmetrical look when all is said and done, and you can achieve this by using an 8’ x 10’ rug if you have a queen bed, or a 9’ x 12’ rug if you have a king sized bed.

Then of course, you have the option to simply use matching runners on either side of the bed (make sure the runner doesn’t extend past the bed itself, but it also isn’t underneath the nightstands). You will want your runners to be wider than the width of your nightstand so that it looks like a proper runner and not an afterthought.

The Kitchen

For most instances, you aren’t going to need a large area rug for the kitchen. In fact, you can get away with a simple runner if you have a galley style kitchen, or a circular rug if you have a U-shaped kitchen. However, if you are fortunate to have a large, open kitchen, you can use a simple rug in front of the sink.

The Hallway

For a hallway, a nice runner will be your best option. If you have a large hallway with space for console tables or other bits of furniture, choose a rug that isn’t so wide that the legs of said furniture are on the rug.

The Entry

The rug you choose for your entry way should depend on the shape of the space. You can use the width of your front door to determine the baseline and you will want to make sure the pile of the rug is low enough for the door to clear the rug without getting caught.

The Different Shapes of Area Rugs

We mentioned rectangular rugs, circular rugs and runners, but what other kinds of area rugs? There are also oval rugs, which can be used in a dining room if you have an oblong table, or they can be used in a galley kitchen.


If you don’t want a circle rug, you can be a fun and have an octagon shaped rug – this is especially nice if you have a large table with eight chairs. But you can also use them in the living room or sitting room to group together chairs and a table.

Then if you really want to switch things up, you can get irregular shaped rugs like a faux animal skin rug or even have a custom rug made if you find a company that specializes in custom orders.

What Kind Of Material Is Best?

When it comes to choosing which rug you should choose for your home, you will want to take into consideration the material that the rug is made from. Your rug will either be a natural material or a synthetic.

Natural Fiber Rugs

Handmade rugs are usually made from natural materials because they are more durable than synthetic. These fibers are going to last longer, but they are an eco-friendly option. These rugs can be knotted, tufted, or flat woven. The most common natural fibers are:

  • Wool: Wool rugs are great for high traffic areas because they are one of the most durable options currently on the market. The wool can be dyed any color imaginable, and because the fibers are tightly woven, they can repel liquid, making it a great option for those who are accident prone.
  • Cotton: Cotton rugs are another great option if you want colorful rugs. Rugs made from cotton are going to be softer than a jute or a sisal rug, and they are going to be less expensive than wool. Unlike wool rugs that need to be professionally cleaned from time to time, you can throw a cotton rug right into the washer.
  • Sisal/Jute: These rugs are going to be very tough and durable. They are great options for someone who is allergic to wool. It is worth noting that these rugs are going to be quite rough and you will want to wear something on your feet if you don’t want scratchy feet. Also, these materials will soak up liquid, which can make stain removal difficult
  • Silk/Viscose: These rugs are capable of absorbing dye and they are quite versatile. Unfortunately, these materials aren’t very durable, which is why the materials are often combined with wool. These fibers can give a rug a lovely sheen that cannot be achieved with other natural materials alone.

Synthetic Materials

Area rugs made from a synthetic material is going to be made by a machine on a power-loom. These rugs will give you the ability to customize the rug to your specific needs, allowing you to choose the size, colors, pattern, and even shape. There are three types of synthetic materials used to create area rugs:

  • Nylon: Nylon is a man-made material that can be used in countless ways and can be dyed to a kaleidoscope of colors. These rugs are going to be incredibly easy to clean because dirt, dust, and debris doesn’t become imbedded in the fibers. Nylon is also very durable, making these rugs a great option for high traffic area
  • Olefin: (also known as polypropylene) is among the top choice of materials used for an area rug made from synthetic materials. This material is going to be as soft as wool, but it is going to be stain-resistant, it’ll retain its color for the life of the rug, and it is an affordable option. Because of the durability of these rugs, they are often used in an outdoor space
  • Polyester: Polyester is a durable material and it is resistant against color fading, sun bleaching, and other signs of wear and tear. These rugs tend to be relatively inexpensive and it is a popular material among manufacturers

How To Clean Area Rugs

Cleaning area rugs ensures that they continue to look as good as new for the life of the rug. Here are simple tips on how to clean your area rug so they stay looking beautiful.


Basic Care

To care for your rug, you will want to vacuum it regularly to remove dirt, pet hair, and other materials. If you have a rug that can be reversed, you will want to make a point to vacuum both sides of the rug. Just be sure not to vacuum the fringe of the rug if it has it. If your rug is small enough, sometimes you can just take it outside and beat it to get the dirt out.

  • If you’ve got pets, your vacuum may sometimes leave pet hair behind. To remove the pet hair, take a stiff brush and brush in the direction of the rug’s nap
  • After six months, you will want to rotate the rug so that foot traffic and sun light doesn’t damage the rug

Stain Removal

It can be stressful if you spill something on a new rug. You can remove the stain by spot cleaning it with a homemade cleaning solution. This solution can be made one of three ways:

  • Detergent: Pour 1 teaspoon of clear dish detergent into a bottle and then add 1 cup of water
  • Vinegar: Pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar into a spray bottle with 1/2 cup of water
  • Ammonia: Pout 1 tablespoon of ammonia into a glass bottle with a lid and add 1/2 cup of water

These solutions should be clearly labeled and put in a safe place. It is important that you read the manufacturer’s care instructions so that you don’t accidentally damage the rug further in your attempts to clean the stain.

What About The Rug Pad?

A rug pad is going to give your rug a proper foundation to sit on. This pad will prevent unnecessary wear and tear because it isn’t sitting on an even surface, like if your floor is made of tile and there are wide grout lines. The pad is also going to help prevent the rug from moving around on the floor, but it is also going to protect the floor under the rug if the back of the rug is rough.

To clean the rug pad after a spill, you will want to lift the rug and blot the spot with a clean rag. You can then use your desired cleaning solution, be it a carpet cleaner or one of the homemade cleaning solutions mentioned above. Then blot the area again with a clean rag and then let the rug pad air dry before replacing the area rug.


Area rugs  are a fantastic way to add some color to your living space, while still appreciating the hardwood you’ve paid a lot of money for. There are many different types of area rugs available and you could overwhelm yourself with trying to find the right one for your home. Or, you could head over to our buying guide and compare five of the top rated area rugs currently available!


Leave us a comment below and tell us what room in your home could benefit the most from a new area rug!


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