Just like a carpet, an area rug may be flat-woven or exhibit a soft, plushy pile surface. It may even be a pelt from an animal, although activists would not approve. If you like the look and feel of carpeting, but you prefer not to completely cover your floor, consider having a rug made from carpet. If you have a room that is awkwardly shaped, or has an odd size that will not accommodate a standard-sized rug, then have one made. They are not as expensive as you might think.
Figure 1 - New Generation Area Rug
Complete selection of area rugs.
Of course adding an area rug to a room is one of the easiest home improvements one can undertake!
But first, be sure to figure out the exact size you will need. Take a floor plan, mark in the furniture in the arrangement you want (to scale), and go from there.
Here is a good rule of thumb: make the rug large enough so that all of the furniture fully sits on the rug, with a comfortable margin of carpet extending beyond the arrangement on all sides. You don't want some of the furniture sitting half on the rug and half off. An exception to the rule might be an animal skin.
You can go to virtually any carpet retailer to get the rug made. They will have the carpet cut, bound or finished on the edges with a hem according to your specifications. You can even have a border in a different color sewn around the main field for a more designer look. Even if it's just more of the same carpeting, it will give it a more custom look. You can choose the same loop or pile family as the field of the rug, or go with something else altogether. The options are endless.
Let me emphasize once again. It is important to either have all of the furniture sit fully on the rug, or sit completely off the rug. Otherwise the furniture will give the appearance of
falling off the rug and that destroys the feeling of balance and security. In the dining room, the rug should be large enough so that the chairs still remain on the rug when they are pulled back and away from the table. So be more generous in the dining room. Pick a size that will accommodate the table and chairs when any leaves are in the table. All should be designed for when the table is set at it's longest size.
In a bedroom, an area rug looks best when the bed and any nightstands are all on the rug together. Leave the other large furnishings off the rug completely or let them sit on the rug if it is large enough to accommodate them comfortably.
If you're working with a very large room, and you have more than one seating arrangement, it is okay to use an area rug to define each seating arrangement, even if you have wall-to-wall carpeting. The rugs break up the overly large space and add an element of coziness. But for continuity and unity, it would be best if the rugs match or are very similar in color, shade and tint. Consider making one rug larger than the other one so that it commands the room, with the second rug acting as a supportive element.
Standard Sizes of Area Rugs:
The most standard sizes for rugs are: 2' × 3', 3' × 5' and 4' × 6'. These work best when used to feature some architectural detail, such as a fireplace or sofa or bed. In these sizes, furniture might not be placed on the rug at all, and they can be very effective in a bathroom, powder room, small entry or narrow hallway.
Larger common sizes are: 6' × 9', 8' × 10', 9' × 12' and 12' × 15', though they become increasingly hard to find the larger the size goes. But there are ready made rugs that are made as large as 15' × 18'.
There is basically an unlimited selection of area rugs that will suit any decor.