I have hardwood flooring in nearly every room of my old home, and while I love the charm of wood floors, they can be a bit chilly to the toes during the winter. My freezing feet have given me just the excuse I've needed to invest in area rugs to warm up each room. As I've experimented with different sizes, shapes and styles, I've learned a few very important lessons about how to pick the perfect rugs for your home and how to care for them.
HOLD OUT FOR TRUE LOVE: I think of area rugs as artwork. They bring loads of color, texture, style and personality to a space. So when I'm on the hunt for a new area rug, I only consider those that capture my heart. Don't ever purchase an area rug just because it has the right colors for your room or is the right size. Rugs can be very expensive, so chances are, you'll be living with your choice for many years. So hold out for a rug that captivates you and complements the room.
My quest for the perfect area rugs for my home has led me to Kalaty Rug Corp., in the heart of the rug district in New York City. I'm head over heels in love with their Soumak collection because these classic beauties look just like the old Persian rugs I fawn over in antique stores but could never afford. I stock several of the Soumak patterns in my stores, and each one looks like it has a history, a story to tell. I've also been impressed by the workmanship and affordability of the Kalaty rugs. Each rug is made with high-quality wool and features a harder, thinner weave that doesn't easily crush or show wear.
When you find a rug that steals your heart, make sure it also features outstanding craftsmanship so it will look fabulous for years. You'd hate to invest so much in a rug only to have it look faded, worn and matted in a few years.
GET THE RIGHT SIZE: One of the biggest mistakes people make is purchasing an area rug that is too small for the space. This cost-saving measure usually doesn't pay off in the long run because an incorrectly sized rug can throw off the look of the entire room, even if the furnishings are fabulous.
To determine what size rug you'll need, decide where your furnishings will be placed. If the furniture will rim the room, your area rug should measure 1 or 2 feet smaller than the room's perimeter. If your furniture grouping will float in the center of the room, perhaps in front of a fireplace, your area rug should be large enough so that the front legs of your furniture can rest upon it.
Similarly, in your dining room, don't make the common mistake of getting a rug that's the same size as your tabletop. Add 18 inches to each side to accommodate your chairs.
GIVE YOUR RUGS LOTS OF TLC: Once you invest in a gorgeous rug, treat it right so it will look lovely for years to come. Start by putting a high-quality pad under the rug, because the right pad can double the life span of a rug, especially if the rug is in a high-traffic area.
Sunlight can slowly leach the color out of a rug, so if your rug is in a sunny room, close the window shades when the sun is beating down directly on the rug. In addition, be sure to rotate your rug on a regular basis to even out factors such as sun exposure and wear.
When cleaning your rug, sweep or vacuum on low suction and never vacuum against the nap of the rug. Check with the manufacturer for recommendations on how to treat stains. When accidents happen, clean the stain immediately, before it has a chance to set in, working from the outside of the stain in to keep the stain from spreading.