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How to buy an area rug

It goes without saying that we love area rugs at Discount Rug Outlet! Our feeling, of course, is that decorating your home should start from the ground up with an area rug. Proper rug choice can bring fresh excitement to your room and can impart comfort and warmth as well as tie together various elements of your architecture, furnishings and accessories. Quality rugs are available in nearly every price range and there are so many shapes, colors, materials and designs available to suit any and all design preferences.

First, visualize the “look” that you want to achieve. For example, your look could be an uncluttered and single-tone room or even one that is rich with color and various textures. Next, evaluate how the room is to be used. For instance, consider using a durable and/or patterned rug for high-traffic areas such as hallways and foyers.

If you are starting with a bare room, first choose a rug and then compliment the rug with paint colors or wallpaper selections. If you plan to incorporate a favorite painting or piece of furniture, pick up key colors from those pieces. Elements of an area rug’s design can be further incorporated into the overall design scheme. Patterns can be mixed if they are coordinated by color. For example, if a rug has a floral pattern try adding framed prints, pillows and/or flowers in similar colors.

There are few “rules” in interior design, but some useful generalizations follow: Light colored rugs tend to make a room look more spacious and deeper colors lend a look of coziness. A rug with a bold overall pattern can be the focal point of a room, with a sofa and chair in solid or subdued patterns. Consider using round, oval, octagonal or other shapes for a lively look.

Unless you are having a custom area rug manufactured, choosing the right size rug for your room and function may be a compromise based on standard area rug sizes and your specific design goal. The most common sizes tend to be 4x6, 6x9, 8x10 and 9x12. Of course, rugs come much smaller and larger as well.

A 4x6 is great for a foyer or entryway. 6x9's can be used anywhere, such as under a coffee table or in a sitting area (or even out doors on a patio). However, dining rooms and living rooms often can handle larger sizes such as 8x10 or 9x12. Typically for a dining table, you want the chairs to be fully on the rug when tucked under the table. When pulled out, make sure that the rug is large enough so that at least the front legs of the chairs remain on the rug. Smaller area and “scatter” rugs (2x3, 2x4, 3x5) can be ideal for use in small spaces or at hearthside, bed-side or in front of a kitchen sink; perhaps where a splash of color is wanted.

Choose a rug that will look and perform well, with the right combination of fiber and density. Wool and synthetic yarns (nylon, polyolefin, acrylic, etc.) are durable, soft and easy to clean. Additionally, the denser the pile, with closer tufts, knots or stitches, the better your rug will wear. Remember to periodically turn your rugs 180° in the room to equalize wear and sun exposure.

Think of non-skid underlay padding as a part of your rug purchase. Not only does it keep your rug in place, it also helps to absorb impacts, protects floors, reduces wear and makes cleaning easier and more effective.

Closely follow the cleaning instructions for your rug to obtain the best wear performance. Do not use a vacuum cleaner beater bar when cleaning fringe or long-fiber rugs. You should also have your area rugs professionally cleaned annually.

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