The Rugs Don’t Work. Yet Sometimes They Do.

Rugs are like bad relationships: In the beginning, they get lots of attention, but over time, they tend to be forgotten. Eventually, they just get walked all over.

When designing rooms, I put ample effort into choosing wood or stone flooring and often overlook rugs as a design element. Yet when I do get rugs for clients, I am always impressed by what is out there.

There are really only a few areas in the home where area rugs actually work: the living room, family room and bedroom. When placing furniture on carpets, I say go with what suits your fancy. Rugs, like sofas and sectionals, are a focal point in the room, so choose something that you know you can live with for a long time and try to avoid the temptation of going trendy.

I find that rugs with pronounced texture can really add interest, particularly patterns inspired by nature (think waves in the sand at a beach). I do like the classic look of sea-grass, but these carpets are a tad hard on bare feet and spills are tricky to clean.

Dos:
•    Do use an area rug to anchor furniture groupings: it quite simply completes the look.
•    Be adventurous when choosing long fiber rugs: the great look and feel warrants the extra maintenance. (Alpaca makes and excellent rug.)
•    Look for interesting patterns to add interest to the look of a room (check out Betsey Johnson and Paul Smith for The Rug Company).

Don’ts:
•    Don’t use a rug under a dining table: pushing chairs on a rug is annoying.
•    Don’t put an area rug over wall-to-wall carpet: it just looks tacky.
•    Don’t put carpeting in kitchens or bathrooms: it’s not practical and should have died with the ‘70s.

Have design dilemmas? Please visit my homepage or email me at roy@roybanse.com.

Image courtesy of Isaac Leedom.

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