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.
• 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’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.
Image courtesy of Isaac Leedom.