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by nwrugs March 20, 2014


Part of our everyday work with clients is guiding them to the perfect rug and making sure that rug fits all their needs. We ask a wide range of questions about where the rug will be placed, the type of traffic it will get, and what effects the client would like the rug to provide for the room - such as warm it up, make it look bigger, act as a focal point, or how to work with multiple rugs in one space.  Here we share some of our most popular tips - ones clients ask about often and that they have found to be great solutions.

: Don’t spend hours trying to match colors exactly. It doesn’t happen in nature, and if you try too hard you’ll end up with an artificial look. One trick designers use often, especially when doing a room from scratch or re-doing a room to make it up-to-date and fresh, is to start with a rug and pull the color choices from there. If you're afraid to go bold with color, start small. A tribal rug is a great beginning. They go with everything. Over time you will discover a favorite color in it and then can move to color the walls. The great thing about rugs with a lot of color and design elements is that you are not locked into any one aspect and you can change up the color of the walls several times over the life of the rug.

Dark colors make objects appear smaller and light colors do the opposite, making objects or spaces appear larger. If your space is small try using a light colored rug to make your room have a more expansive look.

Many get hung up on color matching, getting an exact shade match. This is probably the most common frustration. Relax …. colors should not match exactly. The golden rule – stick with similar hues and it will all work out perfectly. Think of a bed of roses. All the rose colors don’t match – in fact there are probably hundreds of shades of colors in ONE rose bush – different greens in the leaves, gradations of color in the petals. Color is the least of problems.

RUG SIZE TIPS: THE number one mistake is getting a rug that is too small. Rugs that exceed the edges of the furniture can make a room appear larger. A small rug just makes everything else look out of scale. The rug sets the ground for what rests on it. 


Too small

The right size


Too small


The right size 

See our room by room guide for rug placement and size choice. 

MIXING RUGS: This great tip comes from Fred Albert. "Oriental rugs can be easier to combine than other rugs, because they often share a common sensibility and color palette, and the patterns are so detailed, they're less likely to clash with other patterns. The mix works best when there's a common dominant color."

Rugs in the same area do not need to match exactly, but only need to be complementary. Nor do they have to lay straight on - on the diagonal adds visual interest.

WARM UP YOUR SPACE: An area rug is one of those details that makes your room’s decor feel “finished.” It can also help warm up or soften hard surfaces like wood and tile flooring, which can come off looking and feeling cold underfoot..., especially long hallways that can appear cavernous.

RUG MATERIAL TIP: Wool is naturally soil resistant because of its outer layer which traps dirt in the upper area of the rug pile so that it can easily be removed by vacuuming. 

ABOUT WOOL: There are many grades of wool. Generally wool from sheep that are from higher altitude areas is finer, the neck and belly area also have finer wool. The wool from young healthy animals is better. Live wool, the only kind you want, is sheared from a live animal, while dead wool is chemically removed from dead animal. The dead wool has no oils and is rough to the touch.

MAKE A SOFT LANDING! Square rugs work quite nicely in foyers making the perfect welcome for guests. [Phote: Regan Baker Design]

RUG FACT: Wool rugs act as a natural air filter, trapping allergens such as dust and pollen and keeping them out of the breathing zone. Wool is a non-allergenic material! 

SHOPPING TIP: Bring your fabric swatches, paint chips and flooring samples (carpeting, wood flooring, tile, etc.) to coordinate the perfect look. Also, create a photo album on your smartphone or a private Pin Board on Pinterest where you can store photos of your home, closeups of windows, room details, furniture etc. This way you have your home with you wherever you go and won't be tempted to make an impulsive buy that doesn't fit with your vision. AND, this is so important, measure everything in your space and keep a list of those measurements with you at all times. Include sizes of chair heights, window frames, doorways, room size, and sizes of pieces of furniture or accessories you are hoping to find, like mirrors or paintings. 

BONUS TIP :  "Saturate your mind with images of interiors and color stories you feel excited about." says Elsie Larson of Red Velvet

She continues, "Once you've collected enough images and had time to analyze them, you'll pick up on the trends and patterns that you're drawn to and can then think about how to incorporate those into your own home."



Lastly, DO NOT BE AFRAID to ask lots of questions when shopping. Our team is knowledgeable and prepared to answer any questions you have. Our goal is to help you make your home beautiful, comfortable, and something you can be proud of creating for your family and friends.

by nwrugs
by nwrugs

3 Responses

Manasvi Damani
Manasvi Damani

May 18, 2017

I have a huge confusion while selecting the colour of rug n curtains for my living room ..the colour of room is peach n sofa are cream n furniture is black ..pls suggest the colour of rug n curtains


February 13, 2017

I have living and dining combo. The rug under dining table is red black printed over beige color. If I put a orange, cream and grey strips rug in my living room, will that look good.


January 24, 2017

I don’t usually have trouble with decorating decisions for myself or for others. I’ve sold art work for 27 years. But I’m having difficulty choosing a dining room rug. Draperies’ prominent is deep burgundy/wine with other accent colors. Should a 9×12 rug repeat the bold color, or just the opposite, with the burgundy in less prominence ? Thank you for tne help!

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Placing the correct size rug in your space is as important as choosing the right color or pattern. A rug that it is too small will shift the balance of the room unfavorably. A rug that is too big, especially in open floor plans, may put the area designations off. There are a few rules of thumb, but a picture says it better. Use these handy guides by Interior Designer Lisa Ferguson to make the best choice.


Living Room Size Guide



Dining Room Size Guide


Bedroom Size Guide

Bedroom Size Guide 2

Bedroom Size Guide 3


All guides by Lisa Ferguson, Interior Designer  Follow on Twitter @decormentor