Tonawanda News

August 27, 2013

DESIGNS BY DANA: Choosing the right area rug

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Question: We just had hardwood floors installed in our living and dining rooms and we’re considering getting area rugs for both spaces. Are there any rules on determining the sizes and designs we should be looking for?

Answer: Congratulations on your decision to have new hardwood flooring installed in your home. 

Besides its natural beauty, hardwood is long-lasting, easily maintained and increases your property’s value. Although it may be a tough decision on whether or not to cover up some of your new wood — adding area rugs to these spaces can serve a number of purposes. 

Along with giving definition to a space, an area rug will add sound absorption and warmth. 

The addition of these rugs can also be a key factor in bringing a specific style to these rooms through the use of the colors and patterns that you choose. Are you leaning towards ultra-modern? Select a rug with bold colors and abstract shapes. A more traditional decor might require a Persian-style motif to give your room it’s finishing touch. 

There are situations when it might work best to opt for a simple and neutral area rug for your room so that it doesn’t fight or interfere with anything else in the space. Your furniture and accessories become the main visual focus and the rug acts as the unifier. 

With such a large selection of area rug designs available on the market today, the differences they can make in your room are only limited by your taste and style — just by changing the rug you can completely change your look and mood. I’ve worked with clients who have opted to purchase a few different rugs for each space and they change them with the seasons — their room is completely transformed by switching out this one single item. 

As vast is the number of color and design options available to choose area rugs from, so are the choices for sizes and price. To determine what size a rug should be for a space I try to educate my clients on a few key thoughts. It’s important to have the rug act as a grounding point for the furniture in your room to give it unification. 

In order to accomplish unification in a living or family area, the front legs of the main furniture pieces must rest on at least 6 inches of the rug. If the rug is too small it will look out of proportion and disconnected. Avoid multiple rugs tossed around a room; not only can they be a tripping hazard but it will create a busy and non-cohesive appearance. 

The bedroom is one location where you can’t really go wrong; you can decide whether you prefer to use one big rug that extends beyond both sides of the bed or whether to use a smaller rug on each side of it; because of its size, the bed itself keeps the space unified. 

In a dining room the size of the area rug you select depends on the size of your table. It is important that the chairs under the table are able to slide out from it without leaving the rug. This is a room that I tell clients to think bigger if necessary — too small will make the entire room look out of proportion and, most important, we don’t want any chairs tipping over the edge !

Bold, soft, busy, subtle, funky, formal, shabby, quirky, cute, high-end, budget-friendly, large, small, round or oval — any way you like it — there is the perfect area rug out there that serves the functions you desire!

Dana Longfritz is the owner of Interiors by Dana. You can email your design questions to her at or contact her at M. Carter Decor 434-2159.