Choosing and caring for rugs
By Matthew Anthony
Redecorating a room? Start from the floor and work your way up, say design specialists. The comfort, warmth and wide variety of styles and design choices make it easy to find rugs that fit any style of decor and accent any room. According to carpet designer Christine Van Der Hurd, quoted in House Beautiful magazine's September 2005 issue, rugs let you introduce colour and texture into a room from the ground up. Van Der Hurd offers the following ten tips for choosing colour and pattern to suit your design and lifestyle needs.
1. Think of the floor as the background canvas for your room. If possible, choose your rug before choosing upholstery, paint and wallpaper patterns. The colors in your carpet can be a source of inspiration for the rest of your room.
2. Keep the function of the room in mind. If the room you're decorating will see a lot of use, choosing a rug with a pattern will help camouflage daily wear and tear. The same holds true if you have small children or pets.
3. Decorating an office? You're not stuck with industrial wall-to-wall. Instead, choose rugs that you like to look at to help make the workplace more pleasant and inviting.
4. Give a bland hallway a makeover with a rug runner. Rugs that are designed as stair runners and hallway runners can accent and extend your design choices from the rest of the house into what is usually a forgotten, utilitarian room.
5. Decide whether you want your rug to be a focal point of your room or a subtle background accent. Patterned rugs with bold colors will call attention to themselves, while rugs with subtle blends of color can tie an entire room together with color - without being obvious about it.
6. If you're looking for rugs that will coordinate with fabrics and wall colors already in place, consider custom design. It's not much more expensive than a good quality off the rack rug, and you'll be assured of a unique, one-of-a-kind work of art on your floor.
7. Choosing rugs for kids' rooms can be one of the more fun and challenging parts of a redecorating project. Let your imagination run wild. Don't be afraid of color - children love it. Remember that kids spend nearly as much time on the floor as they do on the furniture. Choose rugs that are soft and comfortable - and pick a pattern that inspires the imagination.
8. Like texture but don't care for pattern? Rugs that leave the yarn loops uncut add a wonderful texture to the basic solid color. Other choices include rugs made in natural yarn that takes fabric dyes unevenly to create a unique 'un-patterned' pattern.
9. If your room has lots of color and pattern, don't over do it with the rugs. Stick with a solid color - but don't be afraid to be bold. Choose a color from the upholstery or wall-covering.
10. Forget everything you've heard and go with your gut. Whatever rugs you choose, you'll have to live with, so pick a rug that you like and are comfortable with.
About the Author
Matthew Anthony has produced the content for rugs.
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