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Area rugs can be the key to a fashionable appearance. Just as a colorful work of art or a tasteful love seat can make or break a room, the right area rug can add an exciting, distinctive touch that speaks to your personal taste and flair. Well-chosen rugs help divide large spaces into living areas, and because they add a note of softness and warmth to rooms with tile or hardwood floors, they’re an easy tactile improvement.
Area rugs are a smart, convenient choice for renters, college students in dorm rooms, or anyone who wants to avoid the expense of carpet installation. After all, the installation process for an area rug consists of unrolling it and placing it on the floor. They’re also good options for people who enjoy frequent redecoration. The use of area rugs in both homes and offices has increased in the last few years, and large oriental rugs have become a fixture in executive suites.
Those of us who live, work, and relax in rooms with a great deal of foot traffic will find area rugs especially helpful in protecting vulnerable floor surfaces. These rugs can easily be lifted for regular cleaning, so even carpeted rooms benefit from the addition of area rugs. The carpet underneath stays cleaner, which will add years to the life of the carpet and reduce cleaning costs. Area rugs are as practical as they are fashionable.
The only challenge, then, is in choosing among the many types available: braided rugs, Dhurrie rugs, Flokati rugs, Navajo blankets, rag rugs, sisal fibers, Turkish kilims—the list goes on and on. If you’re using an area rug as the focal point of a room, consider buying a rug with a medallion shape in the center. Repetitive patterns are better for floors in front of fireplaces or bay windows. Simpler patterns contrast well with ornate wallpaper or furniture upholstery. It’s perfectly permissible, by the way, to have two different patterns of area rug in the same room, as long as the patterns complement each other.
Experts suggest bringing samples of your wallpaper or paint when you shop for new area rugs. As for fibers, acrylics are the most resistant to mildew and sunlight. Wool is more durable than cotton, but cotton is softer than wool. Jute is the softest but fades easily, and olefin (polypropylene) is the least expensive, but highly stain-resistant. Whatever your choice, you’ll find the right area rug is the accessory that completes a room.