Choosing a rug isn’t like choosing a life partner, but it can still be just as emotional.
A rug is something that will command attention in your space for years or decades to come. So, naturally, people take selecting one seriously. There are many factors to consider when choosing a rug, with the obvious being color, style, and size. But what about the hidden factors? That’s what we’ll discuss here—three very important things to think about when choosing a rug.
What kind of maintenance are you agreeing to?
There is a vast array of area rugs to choose from, and some require more particular care than others. Choose an antique rug and you’d better be ready to put in the time and money to keep it looking good. After all, an antique Oriental rug is old and often that means it's in delicate condition. Regular vacuuming might actually damage it. Instead, you may need to invest in regular professional cleanings to help it keep its luster.
A more durable rug, on the other hand, offers its owner a longer lifespan with less expensive care.
Rather than requiring the services of professionals for a regular shampoo each season, a good weekly vacuum and annual deep cleaning should be enough to hold its shape and look. For instance, this Euston Collection 7681 Blue Abstract Area Rug is contemporary and tasteful, but it’s also hardy and can stand the test of time in any space.
How will the rug be used?
Is this rug in a formal living room that rarely sees guests? Or is it going to be placed in a kids’ playroom that sees everything from fort building to multi-child wrestling matches? How you answer this question could play a big role in which rug you decide to go with.
If it’s a busy space with lots of foot traffic, a flat-weave rug with a low pile is likely the best option. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to outfit the very private sanctum of your bedroom where only those you allow can enter, then go wild with a plush shag rug. While the latter does require more attention and care, if you know you’ll be one of the few individuals stepping on it, that may not be an issue.
For most of us, a delicate, high-maintenance rug is not an option. It’s rugs built of stronger stuff that we’re after. And there are plenty of rugs available that offer both beauty and hardiness. While still providing optimal elegance, you can get the same look as a gorgeous antique rug, but with much more rugged materials. The Hampstead Collection 8027 Silver Oriental Area Rug, for example, is the epitome of Old World elegance, but provides the durability of a brand-new rug.
How does the rug feel?
Is it soft to the touch? Does it have a unique texture? Does it feel scratchy or itchy?
If, given the chance, you could walk on it barefoot (as most of us are wont to do in our own homes) would you want to?
This is important, not only for your own comfort, but for those around you. If you have frequent guests, chances are someone’s feet will come into contact with your rug. If you have small children, what are the chances of rug burn given a particular fabric? Is there a possibility of tears over a skinned knee on the rug? Might want to rule it out.
And if you’re ordering online and can’t feel rug options in person, look for descriptions and product details that explain and describe the materials used. The textiles used will affect the feel of a rug, but so will the weave itself, so educating yourself on area rug weaving techniques can help inform your rug purchase decision.
Determining exactly which rug will work for you is a calculated decision that requires a thoughtful look at all the variables from textures to fabric, cut to color.
Weighing all of these options will help guide you to just the right choice, at which point it comes down to one final question: How does the rug make you feel? If, as Marie Kondo would say, it “sparks joy,” then what’s not to love? Sure, you might be contradicting some of the earlier questions with your choice, but if a rug is really right for you, it will make you feel good and make your space feel happy.