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Decorating with area rugs is one of the easiest ways to update, revitalize and beautify your home. Rugs can add dramatic color and design to every room; create a focal point or define areas; add warmth to the look and feel of tiles, stone, or concrete; protect hardwood floors or wall-to-wall carpeting; and tie elements of a room together. You can change rugs when the seasons change and take them with you if you move. It is not surprising that area rugs are of great interest to the do-it-yourself decorator. Color is probably the most important element in decorating and should top the list of your requirements when selecting area rugs. If a room has a lot of bright colors and looks very busy, choose a neutral color and a subtle design for the rug.

 

 

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If the colors of the room are soft and neutral, you can add a splash of color and interest with a bright rug and a dramatic design. If you want to enhance the color scheme that exists in a room, select a rug that repeats the dominant or accent colors; if the color scheme hasn’t been chosen, buy the rug of your dreams and decorate the room around it. The pattern on the rug must not clash with patterns on the wallpaper, window coverings, cushions, and other fabrics in the room. Dark colors add warmth, and light colors will make the room appear more spacious. The amount of traffic is also a consideration. If there are children or pets, or the rug will get steady use, dark colors and intricate patterns will not show dirt as much or as quickly as light colors.

 

 

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If you buy a rug for the bathroom, make sure the colors are compatible with the color of the bathmat. (Or buy a new bathmat.) It is also important that a rug in the bathroom not be adversely affected by moisture especially if it will be underfoot when you step out of the shower or bath. Maintenance is an important consideration when choosing rugs not only for the bathroom, but also the kitchen, the hall, or the room of a child. Select designs and colors that don’t show the dirt, and are stain resistant and easy to clean. It is a good idea to add padding under a rug because it will not only keep the rug from moving, it will also extend its life, absorb sound, and make vacuuming easier. If you are placing a rug over wall-to-wall carpeting, choose a thin under-pad coated with an adhesive.

 


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If you want an area rug to cover most of the floor in a room, the same amount of bare floor should be exposed on all sides of the rug, even if the room is an irregular shape or there is a closet or fireplace extending into it. If you are not able to arrange that, try and have the same amount of floor showing on two parallel sides. When defining an area – a conversational grouping, for instance – there should be no more than two feet of empty rug extending out from behind the furniture. A rug used in this fashion will unify the items placed around it if the rug is large enough to accommodate at least the front legs of each piece of furniture. If you are going to place a large rug in the bedroom, it need not be centered but the same amount of floor should be visible on two or three sides of it. In the dining room, the rug should extend eighteen inches to twenty-four inches beyond the table.


 

Interior Design

 

 

An eight- by ten-foot rug will work in most living rooms and dining rooms. A six- by four-foot or a six- by nine-foot rug will be fine if it is for a small area, such as under a coffee table, in which case, the entire coffee table should be on it and all other furniture set back from it at an equal distance. If you have trouble visualizing what a rug will look like in a room and can’t decide what size would be best, use masking tape to define the space. If that doesn’t help, cut pieces from a paper roll or lay out bed sheets to cover the area before you decide what size to buy. You don’t want any surprises. If a rug is to be the focal point of a room, consider purchasing one with a central medallion, which is a popular design for an oriental rug.


 

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