How to get the most out of your area rug

Photos courtesy Ty Larkins

Rugs can make all the difference in a space. They can add warmth to a room that was once cold; they can bring texture into a sleek, modern home; or they can ground a room full of color and personality. They’re versatile and practical. But what size rug should you get? Should its edges extend past the couch? How do you know the right rug size for your room?

In Louisiana and most southern states, for example, we have more land, and more land means more space, and more space means larger rooms. “This mixed blessing necessitates larger, more expensive area rugs to adequately cover these bigger spaces,” says designer Ty Larkins of Ty Larkins Interiors. “Fortunately for many of us, the advent of less expensive floor coverings such as sisal and jute area rugs make it easy for homeowners to fill these larger spaces without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, the ubiquity of these types of rugs have arguably created a ‘sea of boredom,’ as they tend to be visual ‘oceans of neutrality.'”

 

However, Larkins has figured out a way to incorporate both the style and size without having to stretch that wallet.

“One of the practices we employ at our design firm is layering smaller, expensive hand-knotted rugs on top of larger, less expensive natural fiber rugs, which provide maximum floor coverage with a pop of pattern and color typically found on these heirloom-type floor coverings,” he says.

What this also does is create dimension and break up the space a bit more, so that it’s not so overwhelming to the viewer. “Since hand-knotted rugs are typically priced based on the square footage of the rug,” he says, “smaller versions allow them to be acquired far less expensively while still adding a dose of quality and interest to a space.”

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