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Susquehanna Life

The Art of Area Rugs

Aug 18, 2016 12:03PM ● By Erica Shames

Area rug can work magic in a room. It pulls together the space, adds interest to the floor and can even influence the color palette for the whole room. But, that’s a lot of pressure to put on one item in your room. Choosing the perfect rug can be very difficult. If only it were easy. If only there were some simple rules to follow. A quick online search will show you that it may not be that simple.

There are rules. And there are many who disagree with the “rules.” Instead of adding rules to the list, here are 3 simple tips to help you choose the rug that is right for your room.

Get the Perfect Fit

Before you go rug shopping (online or at a store), measure your room and map out where your furniture will be. No matter how beautiful that 8x10 rug is, if your home office is 7x9, it’s not going to work. Most rugs come in standard sizes like 8’ x 10’, 9’ x 12’, 4’ x 6’, etc. If one of these sizes will work for your room and furniture, that’s great but often, that is not the case. Fortunately there are options to get the perfect fit. Choosing a broadloom (wall-to-wall) carpet, having it cut to the size you want, and having the edges bound is a great alternatives to purchasing a standard size rug. (Check out Carpet One Floor & Home’s Create-A-Rug system!)


Know Which Rules to Follow

There are a few rules that almost everyone will agree on. If you’re looking for a rug for your dining room, it is very important that you choose on that is large enough that all four legs of your chairs will remain on the rug even when they are pulled out. This will make sure your guests will be able to sit comfortably without worry about wobbly chairs or chair legs getting caught on the edge of the rug. Another rule to abide by is to keep your rug at least 8” – 12” away from the wall to show off some of the floor around the rug. Any closer and you might as well have wall-to-wall carpet.SWAG_M6880_V

Be Consistent

Some say all the legs of your furniture should be on the rug, others say “all off”, and many say “half on half off.” There are situations where all these rules work and some of it is just a matter of taste. Our advice is to pick one technique and be consistent. Take a look at inspiration sites like Houzz and Pinterest to get a good idea of the look you are trying to achieve. You’ll notice right away which technique you prefer.


The best thing about area rugs is that they are easy to change so you can try something new without a long-term commitment. More information is at

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