Rugs define, enhance your décor

By Cathy Lee Posted in: Celebrate StyleImprove

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When you set aside a budget for furnishings and décor, don’t forget your living room area rug. I personally feel that every living room should have one, especially if you have hardwood or tile floors. Area rugs add warmth, both underfoot and visually; they ground a space and make a room feel finished.

The biggest mistake people make is buying a rug that’s too small. People think a large rug will make a small space feel smaller, but it’s just the opposite. So, get the largest size that you can afford.

Another important thing to remember is an area rug is not carpeting. It should not go wall-to-wall, but should end at least 18 inches from the wall.  Standard sizes that you’ll find are 5 feet by 8 feet, 8 feet by 10 feet and 9 feet by 12 feet. My least favorite is 5 feet by 8 feet, because it is commonly sold to be under a coffee table with all the legs of the surrounding furniture resting off of the rug.  The effect is a grouping that looks like a last-minute addition. Most rooms with a coffee table, sofa and chairs can fit an 8-foot-by-10-foot rug. Now you can place the front legs of your seating half-on and half-off the rug. If your space can fit a 9-foot-by12-foot rug, you may be able to get all the legs of your seating onto the rug, or at least the majority.

Keep in mind that the purpose of your area rug is to define and ground your space while enhancing your décor. In my clients’ living room, instead of making it the focal point with a striking pattern or color, I chose a neutral rug and let the green and brown swivel chairs stand out.

And finally, before shopping for a rug, lay out the size you want on your floor with blue painter’s tape. See how your furniture would fit on it. If you can’t find the exact size you want, custom rugs are very expensive, but FLOR tiles are more affordable and available online and wherever carpeting is sold. These 19.7-inch modular carpet squares come in different colors and tex tures. You can make your own patterns and sizes and can even cut them. I’ve used them when I’ve needed a custom size and budgeting was an issue.

So, want your space to feel more finished? Start from the ground and work your way up!

Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Visit cathyleestyle.com, and keep up with her blog, Homefront.