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10 Tips for Styling Rugs

With hardwood floors replacing carpeting in homes everywhere, rugs are booming in popularity. This is a welcome turn of events for designers—and homeowners—because it means we have more options to choose from than ever before.

If you’re not a professional designer, rugs can be challenging. The right rug pulls everything together, while the wrong rug creates its own special brand of disharmony.

Here are some suggestions for using rugs. If you’re still unsure, our designers can help evaluate your space and situation.

1. EMBRACE THE SPACE

In this windowed foyer, a taupe and cream rug creates warmth, picks up the colors in the walls and molding, and truly anchors the room. A solid rug would have had a deadening effect on this space. But this elegant, clean-edged option echoes the shape of the room and brings it to life.

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2. DEFINE THE SPACE

In open concept spaces, great rooms and loft-type dwellings, creating specific areas is essential. We often use a rug in a dining area to define the space, create a more intimate feeling and unite the table, chairs and other furniture.

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3. PUT THE FUN IN FUNCTION

In this small dining area, the black-and-white checkerboard rug is actually a vinyl mat. These fashionable, durable and practical mats are perfect for families with young children or anyone who wants an easily washable rug. They’re available in a wide variety of patterns, colors and sizes. And they stay put, allowing people to slide their chairs into the table or away from the table with ease.

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4. TRY BIG AND BOLD

Another reason we love this incredible checkerboard mat is that it’s bold. It draws attention to the corner.
And it complements the large overhead light fixture, the oversized urn on the table and the big cabinet against the wall—in both color and size.

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5. SIZE MATTERS

What size rug should you get? One rule of thumb is to make sure the rug doesn’t become a nuisance. In a dining room, for instance, allow the rug to surround the chairs with enough leeway for people to get in and out without bunching up the rug.

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6. SOFTEN UP

While people love hardwood doors, they also love soft- textured rugs that seem to invite our touch. Whether it’s in the dining room, living room or any other location, a soft rug cradles our feet, creates visual softness and helps soften sound.

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7. THE RIGHT ANGLES

Traditionally, rugs are lined up nicely with the straight edges of walls and furniture. But sometimes we need to break tradition. In an angular living room with lots of straight edges, we placed the rug diagonally. This helps to soften up the look and create a more casual and friendly feeling.

5U9A06038. PILE ON

We adore shag rugs, but not when they create a tripping hazard. Put high-pile pieces underneath furniture where they can show off their texture without getting in the way—under a coffee table or sofa, for example. Place low- pile rugs in areas with more foot traffic.

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9. OUTDOOR LIFE

More and more, people are using outdoor furniture to enhance their decks, patios and porches. Outdoor rugs are a key aspect of these spaces, instantly creating a finished look. They’re available in many styles, colors, textures and sizes—and they’re resistant to water, sun and wind damage.

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10. LAYER UP

On this porch, we layered a textured, plain sisal rug over a smooth, blue-grey and stone patterned rug. It works because of the contrast between the two. The primary consideration when layering rugs on rugs—or rugs on carpeting—is to make sure they’re not bunching up, getting sloppy or creating a tripping hazard.

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