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From the Blog of Scout & Nimble: Choosing an Area Rug

One of the easiest ways to completely transform a room is through the use of area rugs. Think of a rug like a piece of artwork. It instantly adds color, texture and personality, setting the tone of any space from the ground up. Not to mention, rugs just make rooms more comfortable! Here are tips on picking the perfect rug for any space.

Think about scale. Choosing the right size is the most important part of purchasing a rug. One of the most common mistakes we see is people buying rugs that are too small. Unless you are living in a tiny house or apartment, your living room is probably going to need at least an 8-by-10, but much more likely, a 9-by-12 rug. The one exception to this rule is cowhides. They are a sculptural piece, so their organic shape is not meant to go under all furniture legs. If you bought a rug that’s too small, buy a natural fiber rug and layer it underneath. Layering can be a great solution to add texture.

Pick the right pattern. Rugs come in many styles, which is why picking a pattern often can seem like an overwhelming task. Choose something that is timeless: stripes, plaids, Persians, solids, natural fiber and simple patterns always are going to be in style. Neutrals and classic colors will be more versatile—but that is not to discount a beautiful, colorful Persian that will work as a neutral. A general rule of thumb is the brighter the color, the trendier it probably is and the shorter the lifetime of the rug. As quickly as it might have caught your attention, it will be outdated even faster. (Remember the big, bold and bright chevron explosion that happened several years ago?) Patterns are also a great way to hide stains or wear and tear, so keep in mind the lifestyle of the space. Do you have kids or pets that use it? If so, a distressed rug can be a great choice. It has a ‘lived-in’ look and can camouflage mishaps, therefore increasing its longevity.

Set it properly with furniture. In the living room, there are three placement options: no furniture legs on rug, front legs on rug, or all four legs on rug. Our personal favorite is setting the front legs of all furniture pieces on the rug because it pulls the pieces together and grounds the space. It also avoids having to buy an extremely large rug to fit all of the furniture. Also, make sure you have at least 6 to 12 inches of rug sticking out on either side of your sofa or sectional. For a dining room, we recommend buying one large enough to fit at least 24 inches past the table on all sides, but it can extend farther. This is keeping in mind the additional space needed for when guests scoot in and out from the table. No one likes being on the wobbly edge of a carpet.

Rug choices also differ for bedrooms. You have to think about how much of the actual rug you want exposed. (We recommend at least 24 inches on both sides and at the foot of the bed). Most bedrooms need at least an 8-by-10 rug for a full or queen size bed and a 9-by-12 rug for a king. If you want to step out of the bed onto something soft, choose a large rug that your nightstand and bed can sit on.

Scout & Nimble is a retail site and blog that aims to make expert design accessible to all. Follow at blog.scoutandnimble.com.

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