Choose the Floor Covering for Every Room in Your Home
That feeling of bare feet on a cold floor? It’s the worst. Don’t let choosing the right rug trip you up, though.
Here’s what to look for when shopping for floor textiles, plus some primo picks to use as inspiration.
Well, Hello There
The right doormat is like eye contact and a smile—a must for making a good first impression. Not only should it handily prevent dirt from crossing your threshold, it should be hearty, handsome, and show some personality. This witty mustachioed mat welcomes guests in 25 languages and is suitable for indoor or outdoor use.
It’s Hall Good
High traffic areas like hallways demand a runner that can handle heavy wear, and this go-with-everything classic Berber is perfect for the task. It’s stain-resistant, textured (to hide dirt), and even machine washable. If your hallway is dim, however, you may be better off with a vividly patterned rug that adds brightness (even if it requires more passes with the vacuum cleaner).
Size Matters, Color Is Key
According to top interior designer Erinn Valencich, a small rug can actually make your living room seem small, so opt for one that fits the entire seating area, edging under all furniture legs. “Bigger is better than smaller,” Valencich says. As for color, balance is key. A wildly patterned sofa merits a monochromatic rug (Quick tip: match a secondary color in the pattern). Likewise, neutral furniture begs for something packing a pretty punch, like this Marrakesh Multicolor Area Rug from India, with chunky loops made of felted wool.
Under the Table
Hot to experiment with color and pattern? A bright, bold, and busy rug in the dining room hides spills, softens the sound of clanking dishes, and can easily be swapped out when your tastes change. To make sure chairs move easily and fit comfortably when pulled out, choose a low-pile rug that extends beyond all sides of the table by at least 2 feet. “Having a chair fall off the rug is quite annoying when you’re dining,” Valencich says. And while some rugs are worth a splurge, it’s fine to economize a bit on an under-the-table textile. “I often go for a less-expensive material here, in case food or wine is dropped on it,” she says. This low-pile looker boasts a big and bold geometric pattern, a stain-fighting finish, and hip credentials supplied by Grant Design Collaborative.
Sleep on It
Decadence trumps durability in low-traffic areas like bedrooms, where you can splurge on rugs made from viscose, chenille, and other sumptuous materials that feel luxurious underfoot (and beyond welcome on chilly mornings). Size, however, may be an issue. Bedroom rugs need to fit the width of both the bed and bedside tables. “You don’t want it only reaching halfway to the center of the nightstand when coming out from under the bed,” Valencich says. If you find it’s too big of a buy, consider laying down an eye-catching decorative rug at the foot of your bed instead. Big or small, this scrumptious, textured viscose and chenille Feizy rug is a dream.
Make a Splash
Your bath mat is a workhouse. Its job is to suck up as much water as possible. So choose one that’s highly absorbent and fast drying (you don’t want mildew). A bath rug, on the other hand, can usually be found in front of the vanity and is chosen for its good looks and its ability to keep feet toasty while primping. This stunning rug designed by Karim Rashid for Grund—cushy, absorbent, washable, and crazy colorful—would be a lively addition to any loo.
When it comes to kids’ rooms, Valencich says durability and softness are top priorities: “Shags are fun, often inexpensive, and come in great constructions like viscose or faux fur.” She also suggests using a rug as a great way to bring in a pattern or some color. Some color? With its vibrant rainbow of chevron stripes, this hand-tufted wool rug from KAS provides pure eye candy and a plush play spot.
Patio rugs used to be tacky affairs that weren’t barefoot friendly. Now, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a chic indoors-only rug, and one designed to withstand the elements (in fact, they’re often one and the same). Look for rugs that are UV-resistant to reduce fading and made of materials like polypropylene that thwart rain and mold. As for design, anything goes these days, but cabana stripes always look classic and cool.
And one more thing: If your rug of choice doesn’t come with nonskid backing, a rug pad is a must! After all, no one wants to slip and fall, no matter how fabulous the landing.