Choosing the right sized rug may be more of a science than an art. A large rug will anchor the furniture and make a room seem larger. As Jean-Pierre Tortil, the global creative director for lauded carpet company House of Tai Ping, says: “The rug is the fifth wall of a room. Yes, you decorate the walls, but the floor is absolutely crucial to a room’s design, and the rug acts as the anchor.”
Here are some tips for finding the perfect size:
In a living room, choose the size of the rug based on your room size, leaving a perimeter of 18” to 24” inches of hardwood or ceramic. This guideline leaves you flexibility to shape the feel and look of the room.
9′ x 12′ or 8′ x 10′
In a dining room, choose a rug size based on your table and chairs. You’ll want a rug large enough that you can pull chairs away from the dining table and have those chairs stay on the rug.
9′ x 12′
8′ x 10′
In a bedroom, choose a rug that will both act as a focal point in the room and provide a soft spot for your feet to land every morning.
9′ x 12′
8′ x 10′
Go big or go home seems to be the rug shopping motto of interior designers, like Kate Watson-Smyth: “Buy the the biggest rug you can afford.”
Jean-Pierre Tortil: “I personally recommend buying a big rug. When people have small spaces, they tend to put apartment-size furniture and a small rug in the room. To me, that is wrong. (read the full article in Architectural Digest here)
What would I recommend for homes with kids & pets & lots of commotion?
I have 3 kids, a dog and a cat and lots of wool carpets.
I recommend wool area rugs & wall to wall carpeting over cotton or silk fiber rugs in the public areas of your home (high traffic areas like hallways, living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms) because they are easy to maintain. Cotton and silk are great choices for a bedroom or study, where there is less wear and tear.
Known as the “forgiving” fiber, wool is soft and cozy, and tough on dirt, spills and wear.
So, here’s the skinny on wool carpet:
Note that wool does not like moisture – and therefore, wool is a damp basement or any damp area of your home is not recommended.
I recently read this blog caption “Wool is a popular carpeting fiber, but it is not the best option for houses with children”, and then realized that the blogger was promoting synthetic fibers with built-in chemical stain treatments. So, we will disregard this advice entirely, because since you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re looking for all natural rugs with no chemicals and no toxic ingredients.
When I launched Organic Weave, my first appointment Patterson, Flynn, Martin, the renowned NYC based floorcovering company. One of the first questions from the lead designer and buyer was: “are all your weavers friends?
“Because I don’t want to see any fighting in your rugs.”
The question made me pause. For so many reasons. I expected to be grilled on price, minimum order quantity and my certifications. Instead, this buyer asked me about the soul of my product.
In our era of fast, cookie-cutter mass production, handmade products tell a different story. A rug weaver may take weeks or months or even years to complete a piece – is her energy woven into the fabric of each piece? Does the mood of the creator show itself in the final product?
Enter Slow Design. More than a trend, Slow Design promotes “well being for individuals, society, and the natural environment. Slow Design seeks a holistic approach to designing that takes into consideration a wide range of material and social factors as well as the short and long term impacts of the design.” – Wikipedia.
The cornerstones of Slow Design are:
HOLISTIC * SUSTAINABLE * NON TOXIC
This movement takes into consideration the maker of the product – is she paid a living wage? How are the working conditions? Is she working with materials that are non toxic?
Few products could define Slow Design better than handmade rugs, which are painstakingly woven and finished and washed by hand. Our work with a women’s cooperative in rural India – Unnayan – has taught me about the value of creating a happy & healthy work environment for our weavers – happy weavers make happy rugs. And everything is more beautiful when made by hand – wouldn’t you prefer I served you a fresh homemade apple pie than a store bought one?
I’ll admit, I wouldn’t have pictured the office of Sigmund Freud to be layered with Persian Rugs. And yet, it makes perfect sense to me that it would be….layering rugs creates a cozy atmosphere – and what could be more inviting to conversation, or unpacking the layers of your soul?
Layering Rugs – a trend, or not a trend? Judging from the pages of shelter magazines and the blogs of interior designers, this look is here to stay. Look beyond the classic layering combination – oversized sisal rug with patterned rug – and experiment withe neutral + stripes, stripes + shags, stripes + patterns – the list goes on.
Here are some ideas for layering rugs:
Photo Credit: kathykuohome.com
Place a small rug on a larger neutral rug to define the sitting area and create a focal point.
Photo Credit: Katie Tarses Home. Photo by Nicole LaMotte via One Kings Lane.
Use similar textures, patterns and colors to unite the space.
Photo Credit: nepinenetwork.org
Layer over wall to wall carpeting or hardwood in a bedroom to create a cozy landing pad for your feet. You’ll want to use non-slip rug underpad to keep the rugs from moving or sliding.
Photo Credit:One King’s Lane
Go Bold with your accent your rug – you can always change it or rotate summer/winter looks.
Photo Credit: My Domaine
Think about scale: you can mix modern + traditional or different patterns, but consider the scale of the designs. Intricate designs work well with other intricate designs and bolder designs work well with bolder designs.