There is one common element I find in every new home I furnish, and that is the unlimited flooring possibilities the new home owner can choose from. No longer is wall-to-wall carpet the standard for rich and luxurious elegance. Stone, tile and wood is now the accepted standard, and within those three mediums, the choices are almost unlimited in regards to colors, materials and textures. With that now the norm, the popularity in area rugs has gone up dramatically, creating an entirely new focal area within a room.
Area rugs have a unique way of bringing together all of the elements of a room, by pulling together various colors throughout the room and décor. But the benefits of area rugs extend far beyond style. Here are a few to consider.
It’s obvious that carpet is a lot softer than hardwood or tile on your feet, and most will agree that carpet is more comfortable to stand on than that of hard surface floor. Not only does the carpet feel softer to the touch, but its softness gives it flexibility, which allows the carpet to absorb some of the impacts of your footstep. This literally takes some of the pressure off your body.
An area rug will significantly decrease the noise in your room by eliminating sounds reverberating off walls and floors, especially in larger rooms. It acts as buffer by absorbing sound from the air. Lay down an area rug, and listen to the difference.
Although winter temperatures in Las Vegas are rather moderate compared to many cities, it can still get rather chilly giving carpeting an advantage to hard surface flooring. An area rug placed in the center of your seating area will not only help retain some heat in that area, but it will make walking with bare feet more comfortable.
A properly placed area rug will instantly anchor the furniture within a room, which in turn will create a cozy, intimate living space. I always choose a rug that is large enough so that the main pieces of furniture (sofa, love seat, chair, coffee table) are all sitting on the rug, or at minimum have the front legs on the rug. Without the rug, it can feel as though the furniture is ‘floating’ in the room.
If you subscribe to feng shui or similar beliefs, or even if you just intuitively sense it, an area rug helps slow down the energy that flows through a home. In other words, its helps ground a space by providing resting place for both body and energy. Energy travels quickly over hard surfaces, creating feelings of excitability or anxiety. An area rug introduces a sense of calm into the space by slowing the energy.
Choose the Right Rug
Be sure to choose a rug to match the space. Skimp on size, and your room will look smaller, choose one too large and you'll loose the ascetics of your hardwood or tile flooring. In a living room, the rug should define the conversation area, and be large enough so at least the front legs of the furniture are on it.
Don't be afraid to layer an area rug over existing wall-to-wall carpeting. It will add playfulness while still pulling together the rooms boundaries.
Start at the Bottom
When I'm asked to design a room from scratch, I often choose the rug first and work my way up. After all its the biggest, most impacting piece that will tie the room together. Then I select the furniture, throw pillows, textures, and then textiles for curtains.
Color & Texture
I will often use the area rug to introduce color and contrast into the room. An interesting pattern or texture to the rug will instantly create a focal point, drawing the eye to it before moving up to the furniture and beyond. Its a wonderful way of adding color to a room designed around neutral colors and textures.
Lastly, area rugs are fun! They can be changed out periodically and each time it will completely revitalize the space and feel of the room. They can even be stored and re-used again at a later date, or swapped out to a different room or space. I think of area rugs much like a persons wardrobe. Something to change to suit the mood, climate or purpose.