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How to Choose an Accent Rug

Rugs add warmth, texture and interest to any room of your home. From area rugs in living rooms to runners in entryways and hallways, discover a floor covering that complements your existing furniture and personal style. Read on to learn more about how to choose and properly place an area rug, including selecting the size, material and color or pattern.

Consider Size: This consideration will depend on the room in which you want to lay out the rug. If you wish to cover a wide expanse of space, like the living room floor, for example, your ideal accent rug is most likely an area rug. This type ranges from as small as 5'x8' up through 10'x14', more than enough fabric to cover flooring from the sofa to the fireplace or media console. Consider a runner rug for the high-traffic entryway and hallways to protect your floors. Runners have a rectangular shape, perfect for long, narrow spaces. No matter where you're planning to lay it down, you should measure the space before shopping for styles.

Consider Material: Wool is a traditional material for floor decor, as it's fairly stain-resistant and highly durable yet soft and comfortable to the touch. It's a sensible option for high-traffic spots such as the entryway or hallway. If you're considering an accent rug in the dining room, try wool for its formal look. Cotton rugs, alternatively, have a more casual appearance. Easy cleaning and smaller sizes make cotton excellent for the threshold of the back door, laundry room, or at the foot of the sink or oven in the kitchen. Polypropylene is durable enough for use outside as well as inside. Whichever material you choose will provide underfoot comfort, soften ambient sound and make your space cozy.

Consider Color and Pattern: Accent rugs are a simple touch to a room but can wholly set the tone of the space. If the area is furnished with simple, neutral furniture, don't shy away from vibrant colors and bold patterns. Sophisticated, multiculturally-inspired patterns make a splash in the living room or entryway. Cool tones and subtle geometric lines bring modern serenity to the entryway, hallway or bedroom. Designs with neutral colors or simple patterns such as stripes, squares, circles or chevrons add a familiar and sunny warmth to a family room or indoor-outdoor area.

Living Room Rug Placement

The right living room rug placement can pull your space together, unify your furniture and result in a polished, collected aesthetic. A wall-to-wall rug is one of the easiest options, requiring only the measurements of the room. If you want the ability to use your mat to clearly define the sitting area and designate walkways through the room, you may want to consider a smaller size or shape. Regardless of style, a living room rug should at least cover the entire seating area, preferably from the sofa to the edge of the coffee table and accent chairs. Before browsing, take the measurements of the family room, as well as the main pieces of furniture in the space. Arrange the carpet so that one end is under at least the front legs of the sofa to unify your biggest piece of furniture with the smaller seats and surfaces. For a modern look, consider combining two or three smaller mats rather than laying down one large rug. Pair a medium-sized rectangle with a small or medium-sized circle, depending on the size of the sitting room, in matching or complimentary styles and patterns. Try arranging the furniture so that the space between the two carpets is a clearly-defined walkway—the carpeted sections should define the lounge areas.

Regardless of how you choose to style your accent rugs, remember to add rug pads. Not only do rug pads protect hardwood flooring and preserve the integrity of the textiles, they provide plush, luxurious comfort underfoot, a welcome addition to any room in your home.