Rugs are Art for Your Floor

Beautiful area rugs for your floor, particularly handmade rugs, can be investment pieces that last a lifetime and have been known to be passed down through generations with pride and honor as revered heirlooms. Even machine made rugs can be a long-term purchase to carefully consider. In addition to complimenting the décor, area rugs add softness and warmth to a room and create a feeling of intimacy. They can reduce noise level in a room while elevating and defining the space.

If an area rug is the right solution for a room, choosing just the right area rug can be daunting. Area rugs are one of the most varied and unique aspects in the floor covering industry today. There are virtually endless choices – in color, texture, pattern, materials and construction. You can also step into the world of handmade antique rugs which are woven from history, many created long before you were born. These can be incredibly intricate and exceptionally beautiful, magical and mysterious, aged and ageless all at the same time.

As a professional interior designer, helping my clients discover the right rug solution for the way they live is part of my challenge. There are several major aspects I research before specifying and presenting just the right area rugs for my client’s spaces.

Size and Shape Matter

First and foremost, we consider the size and shape of the rug for your spaces. Most handmade rugs are rectangular and use standard sizes. Common sizes of area rugs include 2’x3’, 4’x6’, 5’x8’, 6’x9’, 8’x10’ and up. Commons shapes include rectangles, circles, squares, ovals, octagons or runners. We always field measure a room, then draw the room floor plan and furnishings to scale with the rug sizes we are considering. A rug should never be run to the farthest baseboard perimeters of a room, and should at least leave a border of 12” to 15” to set off the area rug. Exposing even more of the flooring under a rug will give the illusion of a larger room.  As professional space planners, we always work hard to scale a rug and leave 36” beyond a dining table’s edge for a dining chair to pull out wherever possible. Circular rugs work very well under round tables, and help soften rectilinear spaces. Never be afraid of ordering a custom rug made to perfectly scale to your space and interior décor!

Color is Paramount

Color is one of the most vital elements when selecting an area rug, be it machine or handmade. The right combination of colors expressed through the right design, becomes more than an area rug on your floor — it becomes a work of art for the floor. We always select a rug with colors that our client’s have identified in our surveys that they love and those that enhance the room’s décor, but not all of the colors have to match other materials in the room perfectly.

Michael Joseph, the owner of Joseph’s Oriental Rug Imports, a highly-regarded local area rug dealer, states “Clients should buy a rug with colors that make them happy first and foremost. Don’t just buy trendy rugs, but instead buy to compliment your architecture, your furniture and definitely your tastes including color, unless you can afford to make a choice that you can replace as trends change.”

Pattern More or Less

An interior designer would define pattern as the way lines are used to form repeated shapes and figures. Pattern is the real decoration of the rug. Many old rug patterns include floral or animal motifs, but other patterns in today’s market exist including geometrics. When choosing a pattern for an area rug, we consider other patterns in the room such as the upholstery or wall coverings and if these are already ornate, we choose a more subtle pattern for the area rug. If, on the other hand, the upholstery and walls are subdued, you can add a much stronger pattern on the rug to create visual interest in the room.

Another consideration with pattern is traffic flow in the room. If there is a great deal of foot traffic, a highly patterned rug would be a better choice since it will show less wear and dirt. If you specify more pattern in a rug, it can equate to lower maintenance over time. We also consider focal points when considering patterns. If the space lacks a focal point, a great area rug with a center medallion would create the focal point and anchor the space. But if there are already great focal points such as a fireplace or window wall with views, an area rug with more of a repetitive pattern and no medallion would work best.

A Looming Decision

There is nothing that matches the look, the feel and the quality of a handmade wool rug. Wool is natural and durable, it takes dyes extremely well, is soft and cleanable and is the standard by which all other carpet fibers are measured. Investing in a hand knotted wool rug made on a loom in the old-world tradition can be a purchase to honor your family and your home for many years to come. A beautiful handmade wool rug truly can be artwork for your floor.

Please feel free to contact us via telephone at (317) 357-0155 with any questions about this material or to request more information about our services. Visit the It’s YouTM section on our website at to learn more about the Jeff Sheats Designs, Inc. interior design process. We are your partners in interior design.