At Home, Summer 2014
Cutting-a-Rug: How to Properly Outfit Your Floors
Also seen in HauteResidence.com
Design insight to help you properly outfit your floors
So you’re still stepping out of your bed onto a cold floor because you’ve been meaning to invest in a super soft rug but you’re not quite sure what to buy. You want it to be just the right size and pattern to pull the room together and a splash of color would be great too. So where do
Start with the rugs if at all possible, when designing a room. They define spaces, create warmth, absorb sound, and set the tone for your style; in some cases like foyers and kitchens, rugs serve to protect your floors beneath. What type of rug you should choose is based on its location, the amount of traffic/ wear it will take, your budget, and lastly, your own amount of consumer consciousness. Check out the table Chisana has created for you for some textile tips to help you make your selection. Note that if a rug is a blend of multiple textiles then the effect is typically to produce a more affordable rug that has combined properties of the fibers used.
Scale large rugs that will encompass entire seating areas such as your dining room table and chairs or your entire living room by measuring from your strongest center-line, for example: your fireplace or a bank of windows, out to either the nearest point where foot traffic would begin or out to your wall, less 12”-30”. For seating areas you’ll want at least the front two legs of your chairs and sofas to be on the rug. Paths of travel behind seat groupings can stay uncovered. Standard rug sizes for newer, machine made rugs are 3’x 5’, 4’x 6’, 5’x 7’, 6’x 9’, 8’x 10’, 9’x 12’, 10’x 14’ and 12’x 15’. Runners for hallways or galleys are typically 2’-6”x 8’. Once you’ve measured your room, pick the length/size that would suit best. If you are in between sizes, go bigger; just make sure you don’t cover any air vents or floor details such as inset hearths. It’s okay for all of your furniture to be on the rug in one direction and just the front legs of the furniture in the other direction, for example if your room is square but your rug is rectangular. Square rugs do exist but they are better under a round table in a kitchen or to group club chairs around an ottoman- a grouping that is symmetrical with a strong central element.
Where to shop for your new rug, you ask? For modern or solid rugs try InMod, or your favorite furniture shop such as Rowan Company or Four Rooms. For fantastic antique rugs, such as Turkish or Persians, try Togar Rugs in Asheville, or Hakim Rug Gallery here in Greenville. A wonderful way to get coverage without breaking the bank is to visit your local carpet store, such as McAbee’s Custom Carpet Inc., and have any carpeting cut down to your desired size. This is also a smart choice if you want or need a specific shape other than a rectangle, i.e. one corner needs clipping to fit the angled wall in your room. Carpet stores can also help you create stair runners to dampen sound and protect your stairs. Try adding an accent color as a fabric binder to boarder your rug for a fun detail at not much additional cost.
Some dos and dont’s:
I’ve often had the question arise ‘Can you place a rug on a carpet?’ and my answer is this: If the carpet is a tight looped or hooked pile then a rug can successfully sit on top of it. A good rule of thumb is if your carpet has movement to it when you step on it, it’s probably too thick to put another rug on top. Rooms we typically see this would be in a nursery or secondary bedroom where extra color, patter, and softness is desired. Never put wall to wall carpet over hardwoods if at all possible. Instead, opt for your largest available area rugs to do the job. When purchasing your rug, don’t forget to ask for the appropriate rug pad to go beneath your new floor covering. Pads add plush comfort and can keep slipping at a minimum. Even your outdoor rugs need pads. Outdoor rugs are no different than Indoor rugs in regards to placement. Technology has brought outdoor floor coverings to feel softer and plusher than ever. If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at outdoor rugs, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with your options.
Once you own your new rug (and pad…wink wink!) or have shuffled your own rugs around for proper placement, check to see if the fibers look different in one viewing direction versus another. You will see this simply by walking to the shorter length of the rug and looking back up the length of the pile. The rug will appear lighter from one direction than the other. Wools and silks are typically very directional so pick the coloring side you prefer and place it towards the location of the room from which you most enter. Since you will be walking on your floor coverings, remember, all rugs need different method of cleaning. Follow the recommended cleaning directions or call Ike’s for a fantastic professional service to do it for you.
Rugs are like art, they come in all sizes and qualities, so picking them is primarily a matter of finding the ones that you love and are right for your needs. If it takes you time to fill your home, that’s ok, when you do dress your floors you will appreciate the result a good rug can offer. Take a chance on a wonderful rug and see how well composed design will bring you absolute delight!