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  • Consider These 3 Things When Choosing A Rug: Color, Texture, and Size

    Consider These 3 Things When Choosing A Rug: Color, Texture, and Size

    Selecting an area rug for a space can easily become a challenge; choose the wrong one and it could throw off the entire feel of the room. Choose the right piece, however, and it can take the aesthetic to a new level. An area rug, as the term indicates, is a large design item, covering most of the floor surface and more-or-less setting the visual mood for a space. There is no need for trepidation while shopping for one, though! Just evaluate your options using the following categories, which will simplify the process and give you confidence in your decision. 


    Color (and we‘ll include pattern in this category), should be the first point of reference. If the other design elements (furniture, lighting, paint, etc.) are already in place, then use the tones and aesthetic of those pieces as a guide for selecting your rug. If the space is dominated by a lot of light pastels, choose a rug with a similar color and shade. Make sure you bring paint swatches or fabric samples to help with matching and coordinating. Our expert team at the showroom is great at helping customers choose designs that will complement their existing style!

    Some designers prefer to start with the rug first, and choose other design pieces to play off tones in the rug, which works well if you are starting with a blank slate. We also recommend this method if you are leaning toward a rug with bold patterns and/or multiple colors. It's best to place the rug first, then add the rest of the decor using the rug as a reference.

    Generally speaking, if furnishings and wall coverings have already been installed, it is easier to go with a neutral tone: a natural fiber rug like wool, or something with a simple pattern that nods to the wall color. Don't be shy, though. If a boldly patterned textile like the Depiction Annora Multi by Stacy Garcia really speaks to you, and it's tones are on par with the aesthetic of the space, we say go for it. It may be just the thing to lift the design level from safe to compelling.

    (pictured: Stacy Garcia Depiction Annora Multi)


    This is often overlooked in the choosing of an area rug, but texture, pile height, and weave can be crucial not just for appeal but for matching your lifestyle. Most people instinctively don't look past the color and pattern - especially while shopping for rugs online - but they should pay attention to specs about pile height, and close-up images of the fibers. Well curated textures will add depth and layers to a space. Look for pieces that contrast with the existing textiles, or that stand out in their own unique ways. If you have a couch with a soft, heavily textured upholstery, choose a rug with a low pile, made from a soft material. Should your room feature smoother surfaces such as a leather sectional or chair, aim for a rug that is full and fluffy like the Moroccan inspired Hygge YG-04 Oatmeal/Sand in hand-knotted wool. You can also leverage high-low styles like the Sojourn or Bennett collection which uses multi-height pile to bring more interest to the design and to your overall space. Apply the same principle with smaller décor items like pillows and throws for a rich, layered feel.


    Hygge Moroccan Inspired Rug, Styled(pictured: Hygge YG-04 Oatmeal/Sand)


    Rug sizing is a relatively straightforward part of the process, but since different rug manufacturers size their rugs differently, it's not always easy to get the rug you want in the correct size. It can be tempting to go against best-practices when an attractive piece isn't available in the right size, but we recommend sticking to rugs that will fit properly in the space. Under sizing an area rug will make the room feel small and awkward. As a general rule, covering the entire seating area is standard, but you'll do right to at least make sure the front legs of all chairs are on the rug. Most importantly, you and your guests' feet should be touching the rug while seated.

    For the dining room, the chairs should all have room to be pulled out from under the table while still fully on top of the rug. When the front two legs are on and the back two are off, it could create a wobbly or tilted experience for the person sitting on the chair. A bedroom rug should extend at least a couple feet beyond the bed so that your feet find a soft landing when you get up. In the living room, it is okay to put just the front legs of the sofa or sectional onto the rug - this works well in rooms where the sofa is up against a wall. You may also take into consideration whether the shape and size of a room might be better suited to a square or round rug, in lieu of the standard rectangle. For more direction and examples of sizing, check out our helpful Rug Size Guide.

    Putting It All Together

    Keep these three categories in mind while rug shopping, and we swear the experience will be simpler and the results exceptional. Setting boundaries while designing and knowing where you may or may not be limited frees you up to focus on what you need, and prevents the paralysis of infinite options. In the end, we always recommend shopping for rugs in person, if you can. The opportunity to see and feel a rug helps address all of these points at once, and we have seen much higher satisfaction rates with customers who come look at rugs versus buying online. NW Rugs & Furniture has been a leading rug retailer on the West Coast for over 30 years. We are available to answer any questions you might have about sizing, color coordinating, rug fibers, and more, even if you don't live in our area. Contact us to learn more!