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Monday, July 7, 2008

Decorating with Rugs - Selecting Rugs to Fit a Theme

Copyright © 2007 AnnaRae Mills

In the world of interior decorating, few design elements are as versatile as the rug. Rugs are at home everywhere - from humble, country kitchens to grand, neo-classical entryways. Rugs bring warmth, comfort, and color to bare floors and add new life to lackluster rooms and hallways. Whether you're decorating a brand new home, or remodeling your lived-in bungalow, rugs are an easy, affordable way to add charm, character, and style to any room.

When some people think about decorating, they imagine hordes of furniture, gallons of paint, and an endless array of curtain swatches and wallpaper samples. Furniture and color schemes certainly play an important role in creating a total look, but they're not the only element of interior design.

Some home decorators overlook rugs and don't yet realize that rugs are a highly fashionable and flexible decorative element. Using a rug that complements the other elements of your room can really transform your living space. It's also a lot more fun than lugging around cans of paint when you're looking for a quick way to change the flavor of a room!

There are many ways to decorate with rugs. The best way to get started is to think about the look and feel you want for the end result. Maybe a bright fruit or floral motif to open up a stuffy kitchen, or perhaps a classic gold and crimson Persian medallion rug would add the final touch of elegance to a formal dining room.

Using rugs as part of a theme is one of the most satisfying (and easiest!) ways to spruce up a room. If your living room has Southwestern furniture and/or art, then a complementary Navajo or Southwestern style rug helps to carry the design elements throughout the entire room. If a child's room has carnival colors, a modern polka dot rug adds to the overall look and feel. It's easy to find rugs for almost any theme and these rugs offer more than just color and shape.

If you're thinking about a rug to enhance a certain theme, the first step is to decide what your "official" theme is. That might sound silly, but with some decorating styles, a theme could be hard to pinpoint. If the room has an obvious theme, narrowing down the rug choices becomes far easier.

If a room's theme isn't well defined, you can pin it down by looking at the elements (furniture, art, etc.) of the room and finding common aspects. Ask yourself a few questions: Which colors are most noticeable? What patterns or designs stand out? Does the room have a classical feel or more of a contemporary feel? Are there antiques and/or curios in view? Does the room remind you of a serene country setting or more of an urban locale? Hey, maybe it's not so hard after all!

Even if you're not able to clearly identify a theme, you'll still be able to select the right rug(s). Think about your responses to the questions above and pick a rug that matches or complements the more noticeable elements of the room.

You can also create a different look/feel in a room by using a rug that draws attention to itself or a nearby object. An eye-catching color or bold design will surely get noticed. On the other hand, a rug with a subtle design or a soft hue does not detract from other items.

As you think about how the aspects of a rug (color, pattern, size, and texture) help contribute to the overall effect, you'll realize that your decorating palette has no limits!

Reflecting back on our earlier examples, if your home has a Southwestern style, a Navajo or Southwestern-inspired rug is just right for that bare spot in front of the fireplace or the open area near the entryway. Likewise, if you have a comfy, down-home country kitchen, a cheerful floral or fruit patterned accent rug will add new life to that space.

Whatever your taste or desire, you can achieve any look you want with the wide variety of rug styles that are available. Decorating with your favorite styles of rugs is a satisfying way to achieve first-rate designer results.


About The Author:
AnnaRae Mills is wild about rugs! She has a goldmine of tips and information to share with you. Decorating ideas, shopping tips,and much more. Find out how to pick the right rugs for your home. See pics of all rug types at http://www.Area-Rug-Tips.com

Decorating Tips: Best Placement for Rugs Under Furniture

Copyright © 2007 AnnaRae Mills

Small rugs and accent rugs can usually be placed wherever they look good or fulfill a specific purpose, but larger rugs look best when basic guidelines for placement are followed. Since a larger rug often serves as an anchor for a furniture grouping or the main floor covering in a room, proper placement is essential for several reasons, including a balanced look.

A typical setting for a large rug is under a coffee table and/or in front of a sofa. The coffee table is usually centered between the long ends of the rug. The rug can be along the front edge of the sofa or it can be placed under the sofa's front legs, 2 to 3 inches behind the front legs. The back legs of a sofa usually do not get placed on the rug unless the rug is a very large rug.

When using a large rug that covers most of a room, it's best to use a rug size that allows at least 8 inches of a hardwood or tile floor to be exposed around the rug. Center the rug in the room as much as possible, with an equal distance from the wall to each side and an equal distance from the wall to each end. This equal spacing guideline still applies if there is a feature (such as a closet or fireplace) that sticks out in part of the room.

Large rugs are often used in a home's dining area. The best size of rug to use under a dining table extends a minimum of 24 inches beyond each edge of the table. This allows someone to sit down or get up from a dining chair while the chair's back legs remain on the rug. If you've ever tried to get a chair's back legs up and over the edge of a rug while seated, you know how important this guideline can be.

A large room might have a sitting area that is separate from the room's main area. A mid-size rug can help define a sitting area, which could include a couple of chairs and perhaps a small table. A good size would be 4 X 6 feet, 5 X 8 feet, or a 5 to 7 foot round or hexagonal rug. The front legs of each chair are on the rug and the chairs are arranged, often at a slight angle, so the people sitting there can have both feet on the rug. It's okay to have all four legs of each chair on the rug if the rug is large enough. However, it is best not to have more than two feet of empty rug behind the chairs.

Sometimes, a couple of things get overlooked when people want to get a large rug. Think about this for just a moment: You know the design and color you want, but will the rug really fit where you want it to go? If a door opens over the rug, does the door have enough clearance? Will the rug's desired placement impact any air vents or electrical outlets?

I certainly don't want to throw a wrench into the cogs of your decorating plans, but thinking ahead will almost always help you avoid unwanted "surprises." Good placement for large rugs might not seem like such a big deal, but poor placement can throw the look and feel of the entire room off balance.

You'll find that it's time well-spent to mark off the area for a new rug before you get the rug. This can be done with newspaper and masking tape, plus a tape measure. Put newspaper where you want the rug and hold in place with the tape. You can also use a blanket or sheet folded to various sizes. Work with this outline until the overall size looks just right. Measure the outline and look for a rug that closely matches those dimensions.

With the wide variety of rugs in every design and color you can imagine, you'll probably be able to find your favorite rugs in just the right size for each particular placement.


About The Author:
AnnaRae Mills is wild about rugs! She has a goldmine of tips and information to share with you. Decorating ideas, shopping tips,and much more. Find out how to pick the right rugs for your home. See pics of all rug types at http://www.Area-Rug-Tips.com

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Next Area Rug

Material
Material is an important decision since it plays a major role in the rug’s durability, stain resistance, look, feel, and cost. Please see our section on area rug materials for more information on the most common natural and synthetic fibers used in today's area rugs; with that information in mind, consider the following questions:

  1. Will my new area rug be exposed to heavy or light traffic?
  2. Will my new area rug be exposed to substantial amounts of sunlight?
  3. Will my new area rug experience spills and stains, such as in a dining room, children’s room, entry way, or mud room?
  4. How much do I want to spend on my new area rug? And, how long do I intend to keep my new area rug for?

Size
The appropriate size depends on the overall size of your room, how much of that area you want to cover, and what effect you are looking to create. If you are looking to cover more of your floor, a general rule is that your area rug should be 1 to 2 feet off the walls. If you want to expose more of, however, then the size of the rug will depend on what effect you are looking to create. For example, you may place a smaller-sized area rug underneath a coffee table or place more than one smaller-sized area rug, either the same or cordinating styles, in a larger room to define separate seating arrangements. Once you have determined the overall size of your room and how much of the floor you want to cover, consider how the area rug will work with your furniture; for example, if your rug is for underneath a coffee table, then all four legs should fit on it, if your rug is for underneath a dining room table, measure the table and then add to each dimension to to accommodate the four legs of the chairs when sitting at the table, or if your rug is for your living or family room, it is okay for larger furniture like your couch to have its front legs on the rug and back legs off, as long as the pieces are still balanced.

Style
There are many styles of area rugs available, including, traditional, transitional, braided, contemporary, floral, southwestern, and shag. The best bet is to choose one that reflects your taste. Also take into consideration your furniture style, the room the rug will be in, and the rug’s purpose; for example, an area rug with a center medallion might not be the best choice for underneath a dining room table as you wont be able to see the medallion.

With today's home's current open floor plans, it is common to use area rugs to visually define the spaces. While it might not be best to mix styles within such areas, using cordinating colors and patterns within styles are a great way to create visual interest match the decor of each area.

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Area Rug Basics – Floor Coverings AND Art for Your Floor!

Copyright © 2007 AnnaRae Mills

Area rugs are a great way to enhance your home decorating. Rugs can add warmth and sophistication to your living room or an offbeat flair to your den. They're perfect for padding a hardwood floor, or giving a stylish lift to your bedroom. Whatever your personal taste and decorating style, you'll have a wide selection of rugs to suit your color scheme and your personality, as well as your budget.

Rugs are the workhorses of the home furnishings universe. They've been used for centuries in all types of dwellings from royal palaces to the tents of nomads. They're ideal in today's homes as well, offering their beauty and durability in our entryways, dining rooms, and living areas.

Many people (myself included) see rugs as more than just floor coverings; we see rugs as art for your floor! And why not think of rugs as art? After all, they come in all sorts of designs and patterns, including some you probably could not even imagine. And the colors - there's no end to the possibilities!

Area rug is a generic term that might apply to almost any rug, but often refers to a rug that is 4 feet by 6 feet in size, or larger. Medium and large size rugs can be used as part of a furniture grouping or in the open area of a large room. These rugs are ideal as a focal point, an anchor for a sitting area, or under a dining table.

Accent rugs are smaller size rugs that look great in front of a bookcase, a fireplace, or in the kitchen. Another great spot for an accent rug is at the foot or the side of a bed.

Hall rug runners and stair runners are long and narrow and they're used (yup, you guessed it) in the areas indicated in their descriptive names.

Traditional rugs are the elegant Oriental and Persian rugs that have been handmade for centuries with intricate detail. Their striking paisley and arcade designs are rich in color and history. They're ideal for the homeowner wanting a touch of sophistication. Also, these rugs are the top choice for a rug that can be handed down as a family heirloom.

Some contemporary rugs have designs and/or colors that are bold, hip, artsy, or cutting-edge. Saying "anything goes" might best sum up such rug designs. Other contemporary rugs, such as shag rugs and braided rugs, have even wider appeal.

Transitional rugs are a wide range of rug designs that fit in between the traditional style of rugs and the designs of the contemporary rug style. Some of the more popular motifs of transitional rugs feature floral or botanical designs.

Even though some styles have been around for centuries, rugs have come a long way in recent years thanks to daring new combinations of design and color. Also, more people now have access to all types of rugs due to great online rug sources.



About The Author:
AnnaRae Mills is wild about rugs! She has a goldmine of tips and information to share with you. Decorating ideas, shopping tips,and much more. Find out how to pick the right rugs for your home. See pics of all rug types at http://www.Area-Rug-Tips.com

The Importance of Rug Pads

Rug pads do more than just keep your rug in place; they help prolong the life of your rug by protecting the bottom of your rug, which is the first place rugs wear out. The cushion of a quality rug pads cushions the rug from the floor underneath and absorbs the impact of foot traffic.

Craftrugs.com's guaranteed lowest prices on Super Movenot, a premium reversible, non-slip rug pad designed for all types of floors, make rug pads an inexpensive way to insure the longevity of your area rug. Please Shop CraftRugs.com for the lowest prices on Super Movenot Rug Pads.

Flat Woven Area Rugs

Flat Weave rugs are created on looms which weave a weft yarn across the warp yarn creating a basket-weave design; both the weft yarn and the warp yarn can be natural or synthetic or a combination thereof. Because flat weave rugs do not have a pile or knots, they are reversible.

Hand-Made Area Rugs

There are different types of hand-made area rugs: knotted, tufted, hooked, looped and flat weave.

Hand Knotted
Hand knotted area rugs are woven by hand; and depending on size, construction and density, it is a very time-consuming process. Hand-knotted area rugs are secured to the foundation by knotting, versus gluing, producing exceptional density and quality.

Hand-Tufted Area Rugs
Hand-tufted area rugs are usually created by punching yarn in a cloth that is attached to a frame, and then gluing the backs with latex after hooking the yarn. The surface loop pile is then sheared to produce a flat surface. This process creates an area rug that is very plush, generally less expensive and easier to make than hand-knotted area rugs.

Hand-Hooked Area Rugs
Using a pattern and a hooking device, yarn is punched through a canvas cloth creating a looped pile. The yarns are then glued in place in lieu of knotting, and a cloth is attached to the back.

Flat Weave Area Rugs
Flat weave area rugs are less expensive, easier to make and are usually made of wool, cotton, bamboo, or nylon. Because they are looped, flat weave area rugs do not have a pile and are reversible.

Braided Area Rugs

Braided area rugs are constructed in several different ways, including tape, tubular, and flat. Tape braided rugs are constructed by weaving the surface finish yarns into flat "tapes" which are then folded and braided together in a traditioanl braid. Tubular braided rugs are constructed by wrapping the surface finish yarns around a single core--usually a waste yarn. Flat braided rugs are constructed by braiding the surface finish yarns around two center strands of yarn. The finish braids are then sewn into a variety of shapes, including ovals, rectangles, octagons, and squares.

As far as the different types of constructions go, flat braided rugs tend to be the most durable; however the quality of any braided rug depends on the materials used and the quality of the braiding and stitching.

Machine-woven Area Rugs

Machine-woven area rugs are made on power looms by hand, machine or computer. The loom is strung with a cotton or jute warp, and then woven using nylon, polypropylene, wool or other material. Machine-made area rugs have become very popular due to the variety of sizes, colors, designs, lower pricing and availability.

Sisal

Sisal is a natural fiber derived from plants. Sisal fibers are:
  • Resistant to static;
  • Good at absorbing sound;
  • Resitant to flames;
  • Durable;
  • and inexpensive.