How to Decorate with Area Rugs
An area rug can be one of the strongest accessories in a room for pulling together furnishings, color schemes and spaces. They add mood, texture and color to the
room and may be used on a bare floor or over wall-to-wall carpet.
There's no fixed ratio of rug-to-room size that works in every room because it will depend on the furniture
groupings. However, there are a few ground rules for determining what size fits an area the best.
Dining Room - Allow at least 30" or more beyond the table edge to pull back the
chairs comfortably. Larger chairs may need 36". If there is a buffet,
serving table or china cabinet along the wall, space the rug so that you can stay on the rug when at the serving table or china cabinet along the wall, space the
rug so that you can stay on the rug when at the serving table or create a walkway so you can be completely off the rug. An area rug 6 to 10 inches from the cabinet
or serving table puts you half on and half off and is uneven to walk on.
In the illustration above, a walk space on the wall-to-wall carpet in front of the china cabinet and a walk space on the area rug in front of the
buffet. This centers
the table on an 8x10 standard size rug. If it is more desirable to cover more floor space with the area rug, or to bring the rug up to both the front of the
china and buffet cabinets, then custom sized rug 10"x9-1/2" could be ordered with the table placed off center as in the dotted line extension.
Bedrooms - Rugs at the side of a bed should ideally extend to the foot of the bed and at least 36 inches out from the side.
Here, a 5"x5" rug fits the basically square arrangement; 12" between sofa and rug leaves foot room. The rug could also come right up to the sofa, if preferred.
Major Furniture Pieces - Major furniture pieces, sofa and chairs within a grouping should either be on the rug or off the rug. It's usually best not to have some
furniture on and some off. The furniture in a large room may best be placed entirely on the rug. For a smaller room, it's best to place the rug just to the front of
the furniture, or to have the rug fit in the space in the center of the grouping with 8-12" of foot space.
Buying a good quality rug is always best but if the proper size is a challenge to the budget and the furniture would not work as well rearranged closer together
to accommodate a smaller rug - it's better to downgrade the quality rather than buy a rug that's too small.
The sofas are placed entirely on the standard 8" x 10" which covers the main conversational area and pulls the room in for a cozy feel. A 4"x6" rug between the sofas
would visually leave the room with a more open feel.
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Replacing Cabinets or Painting Them
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