What is the Best Area Rug for the Kitchen?

kitchenrug10

Many of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen, whether preparing food for our families or entertaining friends. The best area rugs for a kitchen are comfortable to stand on, durable, won’t be easily damaged by moisture, and which are relatively easy to clean. There are a number of natural area rugs made to take the high traffic and spills that one would expect in a kitchen. Seagrass, for example, is particularly suited to a kitchen environment, although there are other materials that can work there as well.

Areas that get a lot of foot traffic need a rug that is quite sturdy, and kitchens in particular need rugs that will retain their pattern and/or color while not fading. While inexpensive rugs might seem like an easy solution, they are typically not the best area rugs for a kitchen because you’ll need to replace them frequently. In the long run, you might actually be spending more than if you bought a high quality natural fiber rug from the start. Considering that your kitchen rugs are likely to get wet, have food and dishes dropped on them, and get folded over, you’re better off spending a bit more at the outset for an area rug that keeps looking great despite daily use.

Here are a few tips for choosing the best area rugs for your kitchen:

kitchenrug8

    • Figure out where in the kitchen foot traffic is highest; this will help you to decide where to put your rugs. Typically, it’s a good idea to put rugs in front of any entries or doors. Other good places are under the kitchen table and in front of the sink.

kitchenrug4

    • The area where the rugs will go determines the best kitchen rug sizes. Runners are a great choice for the kitchen, as they can easily fit between a counter and a kitchen island. If you want a rug that’s not so long, 3’x5′ area rugs are just the right size for in front of a sink or entry door. If you have room in your kitchen for a small table or breakfast nook, you’ll want a kitchen rug sized to allow all of your chairs to sit completely on the rug.

kitchenrug3

    • Think about the textures. The best area rugs for a kitchen usually have a flat weave and are made from natural materials like wool or grass. Wool is soft and comfortable to stand on for extended periods of time, while seagrass is moisture resistant and easy to clean. Kitchens typically have hard floors, so you’ll appreciate having more padding under your tired feet.

kitchenrug2

    • Consider your décor. What color scheme is in your kitchen? What colors are on the walls, decorations and furniture? When you are choosing the best area rugs for a kitchen, you need to think about options that will complement the color scheme that is already in place.
    • Remember that rectangular isn’t the only shape available! Small round and oval rugs can look great in the kitchen and bring a feeling of softness to a room that’s often dominated by straight lines and hard corners. You also have options when it comes to placing a rug under your kitchen table. If you have a square table in the kitchen, you’ll typically want a rug that’s square — but why not think outside the box and try a large octagonal rug? Oval tables look great with oval or rectangular rugs, while round shapes are usually the best area rugs for a kitchen table that’s round.
  • When considering the different types of fiber available, seagrass is great for kitchens. Because this fiber grows in saltwater marshes, it is non-porous — which makes it incredibly resistant to water. Seagrass starts out as light green, but it fades to khaki over time. Always use a rug pad with natural fiber rugs to extend the life of the rug and give you additional cushioning when you stand on it.

Choosing the best area rugs for your kitchen doesn’t have to be difficult. Look for shapes and colors that complement your room, and fibers that are comfortable to stand on and easy to clean. Want a shape or size that isn’t standard? Check out a great variety of custom rugs that can be made in just the size you need. The friendly team at Natural Area Rugs is available to answer your questions about choosing rugs for any room in the house! Contact us at 1-800-661-7847 or via our online contact form.

 

Living Room Rug Sizes

living2

What Size Rug Is Best for the Living Room?

Choosing the best rug size for your living room doesn’t need to be a challenge once you understand the role that your living room rug serves. Traditionally, an area rug acts as a visual foundation to pull specific furniture pieces together into one cohesive unit. When considering what size rug is right for your living room, you’ll want to take into account the size of the room, the furniture that you’re trying to tie together, and how you’re trying to define different areas in the room. In most cases, the standard living room rug size is 8′ x 10′ or larger, although smaller rugs can work in certain circumstances.

Rug Size by Room Size

In most cases, you’ll want to choose an area rug size for the living room that echoes the size of the room. In other words, big room = big rug and small room = small rug. A room usually looks best when the rug is in proportion to the rest of the space. It is worth noting that larger rugs tend to make a room look bigger, if about 1.5′ of bare floor is left exposed around the edges of the rug. This is especially true in larger living rooms.

If your living room is long or has an unusual shape, make sure that you’re orienting your rug appropriately. A long, narrow room, for example, will look best with an area rug that’s positioned so that the longest side is parallel to the long walls.

living4

Rug Size and Placement

Legs on or legs off the rug? That’s one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to what size rug is best for your living room. Although designers often disagree about whether it’s ever appropriate to have a living room rug that none of the furniture legs (except the coffee table) rest on, it really does depend on the size and shape of your room.

In most cases, bigger is better when it comes to the right area rug size for the living room. This is particularly true in large rooms where smaller rugs can make the space feel chopped up and disconnected. If your living room is “floating” — which means that none of the furniture is pushed against a wall — the best rug size for your living room is large enough that your complete living room set (sofa, chairs, and coffee table) rests with all legs on the rug, and with the edges of the rug extending comfortably all around the sofa. Often, that means a 9′ x 12′ rug or larger. The furniture should not be so close together as to feel cramped.

When your sofa is against the wall, the average living room rug size is typically smaller, often 8′ x 10′. In a room with this type of arrangement, it’s not necessary for the rug to extend completely under the sofa because no one will see it or walk on it. Typically, you’ll want the front legs of the sofa and any chairs to rest on the rug. It’s best to be consistent: if one piece of furniture has its legs on the rug, all pieces should.

Some interior designers will say that it’s never appropriate to use a small rug in a living room, particularly when none of the furniture (except the coffee table) is placed on it. While this type of arrangement typically does not look good in large living rooms because it’s out of proportion, it can work in smaller, narrow living rooms where space is limited.

living3

Define Your Space

In large, open plan homes, your living room rugs can be very effective at defining specific sections of the room. You’ll usually want to have one or two conversation areas, with a sofa and chairs, and perhaps a reading corner and maybe even a bar area. Think about each of these spaces and how you’ll want to divide the room when considering what size rug to buy for the living room.

To use the room effectively, you’ll need a large area rug that sits completely under all of the conversation area, and a separate rug to place under the reading nook — or at least, under the front legs of the chair and any ottoman or table. The right area rug size for a living room bar area is one that’s large enough to allow any barstools or chairs to be moved in and out without catching on the edge of the rug.

Runner rugs are also great for defining spaces in an open living room. If you don’t have a large rug to go completely under the sofa and chairs, for example, put a runner behind the sofa to help anchor the space. These long, narrow rugs are also great for in front of sliding glass doors and in entryways.

living1

Choose a Rug that Fits Your Home

While there are a lot of rules about what size rug to buy for the living room, it’s important to know your own likes and what will make you happy. Before you buy any rug, try to get an idea of what size will look best. Take an old sheet and place it on the floor, spreading it out and putting your furniture on top where you expect it to normally be. Tuck the edges of the sheet underneath until the size looks right to you. Then use a tape measure to get an idea of about what size rug you’ll need. If this seems like a lot of work, try using masking tape instead of the sheet to mark off the area where you want the rug. Remember: If the size that looks best isn’t an average living room rug size, you can always order a custom area rug.

If you’re debating between two sizes, go with the bigger one. Most people prefer larger rugs in the living room, so bigger is usually better in this case.

Do you have a rug or two that you love, but which don’t seem to be the best rug size for your living room? Buy a sisal or seagrass rug that’s the size you need, then put your favorites on top! The larger rugs will define the space for you, but you’ll still get to enjoy the look and feel of the smaller rug. Ultimately, choosing the right size rug for your living room comes down to what looks good to you and what makes you happy. If you have any questions about choosing living room rugs, call the Natural Area Rugs team at 1-800-661-7847 or use our online contact form.

How To Clean A Wool Rug

final1

Wool rugs are some of the softest and most beautiful area rugs that you can buy, but many people are concerned about how to clean a wool rug properly. Fortunately, wool naturally repels water, allowing you to quickly blot away small spills and minimize stains. To keep your rug clean, avoid tracking dirt on it as much as possible, vacuum regularly but with caution, and treat any messes immediately, before they have a chance to set. You should schedule a professional wool rug cleaning every year or two to return your rugs to their best appearance.

Minimize Dirt

While we can provide lots of tips for how to clean a wool area rug, the best advice is to take a few simple actions to minimize dirt in the first place. Ask family and visitors to wipe their feet when entering your home, and take off your shoes before walking through the house. It can be more difficult to keep pets off of your area rugs — especially nice soft ones made of wool — but you can check their paws before they come in the house from being outside. If possible, you should also try to keep food, paint, craft supplies, and similar potential messes away from your rugs.

Placement also has a big influence in how often you need to clean your wool rug. Wool is durable, so many people like to use this type of rug in high traffic areas. Make sure that you rotate your wool rug regularly so that dirt doesn’t get ground into specific patterns. Always use a rug pad; not only do pads give your rug more stability and cushioning, they also make wool rug cleaning easier and reduce wear and tear.

Vacuum Regularly

The best advice for how to clean a wool rug and keep it looking good is to make sure that you vacuum regularly — and correctly. Wool rugs have a tendency to shed, although this should decrease over time. Using a vacuum with a very high suction and beater bars can damage the fibers and cause them to shed more than they should, wearing out your rug more quickly. It’s best to use a vacuum with adjustable suction and no beater bar so that it’s gentle on the fibers. Flip your rugs over and vacuum the back regularly too.

Many rug experts recommend that you perform wool area rug cleaning with a vacuum once a week at most, and only every other week unless your rug is obviously dirty. This will help keep the wool fibers in good condition.

Beat Your Rug

Depending on the size, one common method to clean a wool area rug is to take it outside and shake or beat it. A small rug can be shaken aggressively for 30 seconds or so to allow loose dirt to fall free, and even left outside (out of direct sunlight) for a few hours to air out and release any odors. Larger rugs really cannot be shaken, so hang them from a sturdy clothes line or drying rack and use a broom or rug beater to knock the dirt free. Complete your wool area rug cleaning with a good vacuuming to remove any debris that has been loosened.

Treat Spills Immediately

Because the surface of a wool rug naturally repels liquids, you should be able to avoid many stains by treating spills as soon as they happen. Always use a clean, white towel and always blot — press the towel over the spill firmly so that any liquid can be absorbed. Do not rug a stain. While the top of a wool rug repels stains, the deeper fibers actually attract and hold liquids. If you rub a stain, you risk grinding it into the wool and making it harder to remove.

How to clean a wool rug stains

  • Use a clean, white towel to absorb any liquids. (Avoid colored towels, which might release dye onto your rug, making the problem worse.)
  • Carefully scrape away any dried substances, such as mud or food particles. A metal spoon can be a useful tool for this.
  • Combine a small amount of mild clear dish washing soap with water. Dip a clean, white cloth in the soapy water and gently blot the spill, being careful not to rub or oversaturate the fibers. Once the spill has been removed, use a clean, damp cloth to remove any soap solution.
  • Add a small amount of white vinegar to your wool rug cleaning solution to treat food and pet stains, along with many other types of messes.

Always test any cleaning methods on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on your rug. Never apply cleaners directly to the rug; put them on a clean rag instead. Work from the outside of the stain toward the middle to minimize the chances that the stain will spread.

Wool Rug Cleaning Methods to Avoid

Wool rug fibers can be easily damaged if not treated with care. Avoid any cleansers with bleach, as well as “oxy” products, which may remove color from the rug fibers. Most experts also do not recommend using a steam cleaner or any method that involves completely saturating the rug with water. As mentioned above, any liquids that penetrate the surface of your wool rug will quickly be absorbed by the fibers. Once wool is wet, it’s extremely difficult to dry completely and may discolor with mold or mildew. In addition, it’s best to avoid using steam to clean wool because the heat can damage the fibers.

While you may read tips online for how to clean a wool rug with laundry soap, soda ash, or similar products, it’s best to avoid these cleaners. Alkaline cleansers can damage wool fibers and may make colors bleed. Many rug experts also recommend against using ammonia on wool rugs. Use caution with any dry powder cleaners as well, as they can quickly get trapped in the rug and may be extremely difficult to remove. Do you have more questions about wool rugs? Call the friendly team at Natural Area Rugs. You can reach us at 1-800-661-7847 or use our online contact form.

Rug Sizes – What’s Right for Your Home?

Buying rugs for your home should be simple, right? You find a fiber and pattern or color that you like, you buy a rug, you put it on the floor. While it’s certainly possible to buy a rug this way, you’ll quickly realize that there are a lot of different rug sizes available, and it isn’t always easy to know which size will look best in your home. Area rugs are very effective at defining spaces within a room, so think about the look you’re trying to achieve, the size of the room, and the arrangement of your furniture when considering which area rug sizes will look best.

Common Rug Sizes

Rectangular and oval rug sizes:

  • 2′ x 3′
  • 3′ x 5′
  • 4′ x 6′
  • 5′ x 8′
  • 6′ x 9′
  • 8′ x 10′
  • 9′ x 12′
  • 12′ x 15′
  • 2’6″ x 8′ (runners)

Other standard area rug sizes:

Other standard area rug sizes:

  • Round: 2′ to 10′ or larger
  • Octagonal: 5′ to 8′

Choosing the Best Rug Sizes

When considering the different common area rugs sizes and which ones would look best in your home, keep the size and shape of the room in mind. A small rug is likely to get lost in a large room with a lot of open floor space, while a large rug won’t be very effective in dividing up a small room. Think carefully about the role you want the rug to play in your home and how willing you are to go outside of “traditional” room arrangements.

Living Room Rugs

CaptureLR

Large rug sizes are common in most living rooms, as they typically act as the foundation of the sitting area. Traditionally, there are a few standard arrangements, depending on the room size, the rug size, and the furniture in the room.

  1. The standard “best” living room layout is to have a very large rug — often 9′ x 12′ or 12′ x 15′ — with all of the seating area furniture placed completely on the rug. Visually, this creates a clearly defined space and pulls all of the furniture together. If you have a sectional sofa, in particular, this arrangement works well.
  2. Often considered second best, use an 8′ x 10′ rug size and allow only the front legs of seating furniture to rest on the rug; alternately, chairs might sit completely on the rug, while only the front legs of the sofa do. This layout is often recommended for rooms in which the sofa is against a wall. For a smaller room, or one with less furniture, a 6′ x 9′ rug might be large enough.
  3. Now for the controversial option: A small rug that only the coffee table sits on. This layout is typically discouraged because it usually looks awkward and out of proportion in a larger room. That said, small area rugs can work in rooms that are also smaller, so the proportions look natural. You might also consider using several small matching rugs to tie the space together visually.

Bedroom Rug Sizes

CaptureBR

When shopping for bedroom rugs, choose a rug size that balances the room and the bed. If you’ll be placing the rug under the bed, make sure that the rug extends out on both sides (and the foot) so that you can comfortably walk on it. Ideally, you want the entire bed and any nightstands to rest completely on the rug, which would likely mean a rug size of at least 8′ x 10′, and probably larger. You can use slightly smaller area rug sizes, turning the longer side parallel to the head of the bed and keeping the headboard and nightstands off the rug.

If you’d prefer not to hide most of the rug under bed, consider placing smaller rugs or runners along the sides. This will echo the look of a larger rug and give you plenty of comfortable softness to walk on first thing in the morning. You can also place a small rug at the foot of the bed. Runners are a great solution for rooms that contain two twin beds, although you can also decorate with a single rug, sized large enough to lay completely under both beds and any side tables.

Dining Room Rugs

CaptureDR

The best standard area rug sizes for the dining room are 5′ x 8′ or larger, depending on the size of the table and the number of chairs. The key is that the rug size should be large enough to allow all of the chairs to rest completely on the rug, even when pulled out so that people can sit down. Rugs that are too small not only tend to look out of proportion with the table, they make it difficult for diners to push their chairs in or out without catching on the edge of the rug.

For this same reason, it’s often best to choose a round or octagonal rug to go under a round table and a rectangular rug for a rectangular table. If you have a smaller square table, you can place it on a round or octagonal rug, as long as all of the chairs fit appropriately.

Uncommon Area Rug Sizes

While all of the dimensions listed above are common area rugs sizes, there are many situations in which the “standard” isn’t what you need. Consider the size, shape, and proportions of your room when shopping for rugs, and don’t be afraid to consider custom rug sizes. In a large living room with a sectional sofa, for example, a big square area rug might better define the conversation space than a standard-size rectangular rug.

In most cases, it’s better to choose a larger rug rather than a smaller one when deciding what’s going to look right in your room. Large area rug sizes often do a better job at tying together all of the furniture in your room, helping it to feel connected as part of one unified and useful space.

Still not sure about which rug size you need? The experienced team at Natural Area Rugs is here to help! Call us at 1-800-661-7847 or use our online contact form.

Custom Rugs and Their Benefits

Sure, you can go out and buy any old area rug and take it home and throw it on the floor.  Why would you do that though?  Why not get one that will be perfect for your home in every way?  This can be achieved by getting a custom rug.

Fit

One of the benefits of getting a custom rug is that it will be able to fit anywhere.  Sometimes, hallways and rooms can have shapes that are irregular or odd, and in such cases, your standard area rug just won’t have fit right.  One of the great things about a custom area rug is that it can make your space appear to be symmetrical and neat.  Using a standard area rug just won’t give you that effect.  You can even get custom wall to wall carpeting and stair carpet if you know where to look.

Color

When you decide to have a custom area rug made, you will have the ability to match the rug’s color to the room or space you where you will be using it.  You can spend days looking at various stores and different rugs and never find the right colors.  Being able to color match your rugs means that you will have no trouble at all in matching your rug to the rest of the room.

Details

Do you have a material preference?  Maybe you are looking for a rug that is made from natural fibers, such as those at Natural Area Rugs.  When you order a custom rug, you will be able to choose your materials as well as those other details like borders, corners, and the like.  This means that the style will be better able to reflect your personal preferences.  You will be able to be the actual designer and this allows you to pair elements that might be difficult to find in the standard area rugs that are so common.

If you already have your dream rug pictured in your mind, the chances are good that you will never be able to find what you are looking for in a store.  Also, because this rug will be one of the staples in your home, you should never have to sacrifice any of the elements you are looking for.  The only way to do that is with a custom area rug.

Keeping Your Natural Fiber Rug Clean

Natural fiber rugs, such as those you can find at Natural Area Rugs, can be a fabulous way to bring an organic and natural feel to any interior design.  Most of the time, these rugs will be made from materials such as jute, sisal, wool, or seagrass, and because of these natural fibers, they can’t be cleaned in the same way as your everyday, run of the mill, carpets and rugs that are made from synthetic materials.  By taking the following measures to clean them, you will be ensuring that your natural fiber rugs will look fantastic for many years.

Vacuuming

Vacuuming your natural fiber rugs on a regular basis is critical to keeping them well maintained.  This removes any loose debris and dirt before it can be ground down into the fibers and causing any damage.  Once the debris and dirt gets ground into those fibers, it can be more difficult to remove.

Raising the Stains

One critical thing to keep in mind when dealing with rugs made from natural fibers is that they do not do well when they are subjected to a lot of moisture.  Because of this, they can’t be cleaned with water and a cleaning agent like other carpets and rugs.  To get rid of lingering stains, you will need a bit of patience and a gentle cleansing solution that you can make yourself.  All you need is a teaspoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of a mild detergent.  Mix these with a half-gallon of water that is lukewarm.  Now, take a clean, white rag and dampen it with the solution and then blot the stain with the damp rag.  Do this until the stain lifts.

Drying It’

This is also a critical step.  The reason is that if the rug isn’t dried properly, it can distort, shrink, and the corners can curl up.  A great way to dry your natural fiber area rug is to roll it in a clean, dry towel to absorb the excess moisture.  You might need to do this a few times depending on how wet the rug is.

Your natural fiber rugs can maintain all of their beauty if you care for them properly throughout the years.  By following the steps outlined above, you will be ensuring that your rug will continue to be a gorgeous part of your décor for years.

 

Spring Time Design Inspiration for Your Home

It is spring and this is a great time to redecorate your home.  Spring always brings new interior design trends and colors.  Take a look at what will be in fashion this year and see which of these things your home just can’t do without.

Going Green

Staying eco–friendly and going green has been in fashion for a while, but never more so than now.  If you want to give your home a new design or look that is long lasting, you can do it with a plethora of eco–friendly products.  Some of these products include things like house paint that is toxin free and cabinetry hardware that is antique.  Beyond that, you can scour the antique furniture stores for those hardwood pieces you have been longing for.

Be Natural

Nature is popular this spring too.  Because of this, you can’t go wrong with natural fabrics.  Think about seagrass, mountain grass, sisal, and jute as great fibers for natural area rugs that will be perfect for use in any room in your home.  These can soften rooms that have a bit much in the way of color and they can also give your home a more natural appearance, even if you aren’t really the type to go totally green.  You can always find a great selection of natural fiber rugs at Natural Area Rugs.

Jute Rugs

Have a Great Color Palette

Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit… the colors, that is.  Mix those bright, bold colors with neutral tones like those found in natural fiber fabrics.  You might even think about painting a room with a bright color and then having neutral colors for the accent pieces, furniture, and rugs.  Alternatively, have a neutral color on the walls combined with bright colors for the pieces in the room.

Get Inspired

The outdoors can be a great place to get inspiration.  When you are getting your color palette together, take a look at coastlines, mountains, and beaches.  Turquoise, mossy greens, and ocean blues will be big this year, and all of these colors mesh well with neutral colors, which makes it easy to bring more definition to a room.  Try not to go overboard and make an entire room a single color though.