A touch of style in any room

If you like the idea of something warm on your feet but are shy about committing to full carpeting in your room, a floor rug maybe be the perfect compromise. Strategic placement of rugs in any room can add the coziness, comfort and style that complete any room decor.

Fabrics for Every Room

Floor rugs are available in a number of fabrics, so to choose the right one, think about what kind of foot-traffic your rug is going to see. If your rug is in an entryway or another location where people will be wearing shoes, you'll want something durable and easy to clean. In this case, seagrass or bamboo rugs are great choices because they can stand up to heavy wear and can be spot-washed without fear of damage. In the case of bamboo rugs, sweeping is also possible for removing dirt, making them even more ideal for hallways and doorways.

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If you're looking for something more pleasing to the feet, cotton and wool rugs are great choices. Plant these rugs in front of chairs or sofas or under kitchen tables to give people a soft place to rest their feet. They're also great for bedrooms, but if you really want to step into luxury on cold winter mornings, try sheepskin rugs (authentic or faux). These high-pile rugs are soft and warm, but keep in mind they're also difficult to keep clean. Keep them far away from high-traffic areas or anywhere that is vulnerable to dirt and spills.

Common Types of Rugs:

Area Rugs

Area rugs are the largest of rugs, generally used to cover up big spaces without resorting to wall-to-wall carpeting. Most often they're rectangular in shape, but you can also find round area rugs or oval area rugs that still cover large spaces but in are softer on the eye from a design standpoint.

Large area rugs are available in any style, including classic florals and oriental patterns for more traditional rooms. However, if you're looking for more contemporary area rugs, you'll see no shortage of stripes, checkerboard patterns and thick-bordered brightly colored patterns to complete your redesign. Also keep an eye out for modern area rugs in bold geometric prints for a rug that makes a statement.

Accent Rugs

Accent rugs are much smaller than area rugs, usually ranging in size from 3 to 5 feet by 2 to 3 feet. These rugs are great for places where you stand, such as in the doorway or in the bathroom in front of the shower. But the most common are kitchen accent rugs, placed in front of the stove as well as in front of the sink. They can keep your feet warm if you have tiled floors and also provide leg support over longer periods.

Accent rugs are available in all the patterns of ordinary rugs, but often printed accent rugs make the best design statement – here, you can integrate bolder choices, such as animal prints or tropical scenes, without worrying about overwhelming your room. Printed accent rugs are perfect for kids rooms, as you can find road prints for racing cars or favorite cartoon character prints to add to a themed bedroom.

Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs are a classic choice in formal rooms, such as a dining room or a library. Rich colors, such as rust and terra cotta give a room depth and warmth, while the lavish oriental designs add elegance to any room. Authentic antique oriental rugs are beautiful choices that will lend a sense of history to your room, but for a more limited budget you can find replica oriental rugs with all the same style and beauty.

Keep in mind, cleaning oriental rugs is slightly more challenging than ordinary rugs, particularly if you do go with an antique. You'll want to vacuum regularly, but avoid any type of steam cleaning or dry cleaning. Hand washing with a detergent is permitted, but be sure to spot test for color running and rinse thoroughly when complete. To maintain your rug, clean up spots and spills immediately and rotate the rug regularly to prevent traffic marks.

Braided Rugs

You'll find braided rugs mostly in country decor, but these rugs are actually suitable for any room if you choose the right colors and the right size. Accent oval braided rugs are an easy way to integrate accent colors into your room without overwhelming the decor, so you can add them to the kitchen in front of the sink, to the sides of your bed for stepping in and out, or anywhere else where you'd like a touch of color and style.

At one time (and still often today), braided rugs were handmade by sewing scraps of fabric together in rolls and then stitching the rolls into coils. Cotton braided rugs were common, as remnants of the fabric were plentiful after making your own clothes. These days, braided rugs can now be made by machine and wool braided rugs are the most commonly produced. Machine-made rugs produce even rolls, and colors are handpicked rather than making use of remnants. While convenient and cost-effective, these rugs do lose some of the flavor of a true handmade braided rug.

Sisal Rugs

Sisal rugs are made out of high-grade fibers from the sisal plant. Their beautiful texture not only looks good but also absorbs sound and resists the buildup of static electricity. Left undyed, a sisal rug is all-natural, and it doesn't tend to trap dust, making it perfect for environmentally friendly homeowners or those with allergies. Sisal rugs are generally considered high-end accessories, but there are reasonably priced options. If you look hard enough, you may even find a discount sisal rug at a fraction of the usual cost. Sisal area rugs also come in a variety of sizes, so if you want to try the look before making the investment, buy a small sisal area rug as a sort of test piece. If you like it, you can then invest in a larger or full-sized version.

Rugs Done Right

Choosing the right rugs for your space comes down to just that – space. A rug must complement a space, rather than overwhelm it or get lost in it, so consider the size of rug you'll need before you buy. Fortunately, rugs are available in many shapes and sizes, so you'll have no trouble finding what you need.

A rectangular or square rug is a great option under a dining table, as it allows space for both the table and chairs while still leaving a perimeter of flooring around the room. Sometimes, however, a rug with corners can chop up a room and take away from its flow. Particularly in a country room where comfort and hominess are the ultimate goal, oval or round rugs are a better choice.


Floor rugs aren't always cheap, and you may have to pay a price to accent your room in the style you choose. But before you rush out and buy, shop around for discount rugs in stores with a clearance or discontinued section. Don't compromise on quality, however – rugs usually see a lot of wear in a home, so you'll want something that can last for years. The initial investment you make in a quality rug will save you money in the long term.