Think Like a Designer: Secrets to Picking the Perfect Rug

Curating home décor from scratch can feel a lot like filling an empty canvas — the opportunities are truly endless. This can be an overwhelming task for many, but if you learn how to think like an interior designer, you can achieve the space of your dreams. Expert interior designers recommend first surveying the space and keeping a close eye on natural light and architectural elements. Once you’ve determined a theme, start with the walls and flooring. Here are some secrets to picking the perfect rug like an interior designer.

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Keep it Simple
The fact is that if you’re decorating for a furniture-heavy room — like the living room or dining room — the rug is likely not going to be showcased. If you want your furniture and artwork to do the talking, choose a simple wool weave in a natural color. Rugs that are heavy on design or texture can deter from the draw of unique pieces of furniture. Living room rugs should be sized based on your furniture, so make sure you choose a rug large enough to accommodate all of your pieces. There’s nothing worse than a sofa placed outside the edges of the rug.

Think Beyond Convention
Conventionally speaking, American designers start with a rug and build a room outward. Take a more European approach by doing things the other way. Choose statement pieces first — distinct accent chairs or large wall hangings — and opt for a rug that will complement them, not match them. It’s far more difficult to weave in unique pieces than it is to add simple accompaniments. European designers also suggest approaching a room’s décor naturally rather than strategically. It’s better to have a room that feels like it has evolved along with you rather than to have it feel overly decorated or staged.

Keep it Custom
Interior designers are big on creating custom-shaped and -sized rugs for particularly challenging spaces. If you want a custom rug, choose a natural fiber rug like jute or sisal, as they’re much more affordable to order in custom sizes compared to Persian or Oriental rugs. The beauty of choosing custom is that you can design a room to your tastes and needs, rather than around the space and its constraints. Custom rugs can be also be ordered with whatever border and binding you want, ensuring that every detail is tailored to you.

Focus on Practicality
Contemporary interior designers aren’t always focused only on aesthetic. Choosing sensible, practical pieces that are appropriate for your space and lifestyle is a big part of thoughtful, responsible design. Before you select a rug for your home, determine the foot traffic of the space. If it’s a high-traffic room like the foyer or kitchen, durable natural rugs made from sisal or seagrass are a fine choice. If the rug’s main use is mainly for decorating or to rest beneath furniture, a rug made from jute or wool might be a better choice. Remember to reserve white- or light-colored rugs for low-traffic, occasional-use rooms.

Everything in Moderation
Although today’s designers love the eclectic and out-of-the-box, it’s important to remember that big and bold statement pieces should be used sparingly. Keep a neutral base and decorate around it or choose specific spaces and rooms to express your unique personality. Every room should be a reflection of yourself, your tastes and your personality, but you never want to deter from a room’s organic spirit or architectural feel.

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