The Decorating Therapist

Interior Design for your Heart and Mind


Columbia, Maryland
(410) 922-9252

8 Tips to Demystifying the Art of Selecting Area Rugs

How much “area” should they REALLY cover? What’s the best material? How much negative space?

Tip #1
The FUNCTION of a room always overrides the esthetic.
Tip #2
With sofas and chairs in your living space LEAVE AT LEAST 12-18” FROM THE WALL, so you feel that sense of an island. Otherwise, if it takes up the whole room, you are doing wall-to-wall carpeting!
Tip #3
RULE OF THUMB – For dining areas, leave 3’ from the edge of the table so your chairs have enough space to pull out without falling o the area rug.
Tip #4
MATERIAL MATTERS — what’s the fiber? Some people are allergic to wool and may want to consider cotton, jute or man-made fibers.
Tip #5
PILE HEIGHT – thicker generally means cushier, great for seating areas where the kids sit on the floor, but not for dining areas where the chair legs will drag.
Tip #6
HI TRAFFIC AREAS (mudroom/foyer/kitchen) you may want to consider indoor/outdoor carpets because a lot of times they are man-made fibers and more stain resistant, and durable.
Tip #7
If you know you want a plush feel, the HIGHER THE KNOTS PER SQ INCH or knot count, which can be seen on the underside, indicates a better quality rug. Rugs with fewer knots may be pretty but will often pill and endlessly shed.
Tip #8
OUTDOOR RUGS made of acrylic and polypropylene hold up REALLY well, and can be hauled outside to hose or whatever mess happens.