One of my favorite features of my small apartment is the wood flooring throughout the entire home. After I moved in, I quickly realized that I needed an area rug or two to break up the wood and provide a comfy place to sit or stand. Plus, I wanted to dampen some of the noise for the benefit of my downstairs neighbor. That’s where the real fun started! With tons of research, here are some helpful tips on how to decorating with area rugs.

Rug Placement

Size Matters

Don’t make the mistake of choosing the wrong size rug for the space. According to Karl Lohne, an interior designer and co-host of HGTV’s This Small Space, there are a few rules to follow for rug sizing:

  • For an office or other small room, choose a rug that is two feet shorter than the smallest wall in the room.
  • For hallways or entryways, measure beginning from the end of an open door to provide clearance and give at least 6 inches of floor showing around all sides.
  • Dining room rugs should go at least 18 inches beyond the edges of the dining table to accommodate dining chairs.
  • In bedrooms, place the rug one third of the way under the bed from the bottom.
  • For large common areas, rugs should fit the configuration of the furniture and frame the area.

Textured rug

Source: Bernbaum-Magadini Architects

Consider Your Lifestyle

Material and texture also are huge factors to consider when choosing a rug. If you’re not a fan of vacuuming, maybe a shag rug isn’t right for you. Or maybe you have little ones running around, you might consider a low pile rug with minimal texture to avoid a trip hazard. Consider your lifestyle and purchase accordingly.

Don’t Limit Yourself to the Floor

If you already have an area rug and looking for a quick and easy refresh, there are many uses for old rugs other than to cover the floor. Some fun ideas that I’ve seen executed beautifully after some quick cleaning and DIY crafting:

Rug repurposed as headboard