The living room in your house can serve many purposes. It’s likely to be the place you linger the most, enjoying family time or solo relaxation.
That makes it even more imperative to select each feature with care, creating the right ambience, level of comfort and aesthetic appeal.
Attention to detail certainly needs to extend to “what lies beneath”.
Choosing rugs for your living room is not always straightforward though. You need to marry what looks good with an item that stands the test of time and offers reliability and warmth underfoot.
Here are a few helpful tips on choosing the right living room rug for your home.
The Fibre Factor
One of the most crucial areas for consideration is the fibre type and content. Some of this decision hinges on the likely usage and location of your living room rug. For example, is it purely for decorative purposes, or is it likely to be where kids sit to play and watch TV?
If it is in a high-traffic area or you have pets, then clearly a more sturdy fibre is needed.
Your options include:
Wool – This is a great choice for warmth and durability, particularly if you want a rug to add a layer of insulation to wooden flooring in your living room.
Wool-mix – A popular choice due to the fact it holds its shape much longer than wool alone. The addition of such things as nylon, polyester or polypropylene reduces the overall cost too. Keep in mind though, that wool-mix rugs are tough, but don’t tend to last as long as wool ones.
Polypropylene – This is great for when your rug could suffer stains and hard wear. It’s a man-made fibre that’s easy to clean, in some cases even with a diluted bleach formula (check cleaning instructions first though).
Polyester – This can look and feel like wool, but it’s highly resistant to water-based stains. It dries quickly and colour fades slowly. It’s important to note, though, that oil-based stains are tough to shift from polyester rugs.
Jute and sisal – These are both natural fibres sometimes used in rugs for a rustic style. Jute is soft, but not particularly hard wearing. Sisal is tougher, but stains easily.
Size And Space Matters
Another key consideration when choosing a living room rug is where you are going to place it and how to line it up against the features and usage of the room.
For example, even the best made living room rug from a top manufacturer may not be best placed near a constantly opening door. It will rumple and distort it, in a way that creates a trip hazard.
Give careful thought to your living room layout and design. Is this rug meant as a central focal point? In which case something quite dramatic and contrasting may be appropriate. Or is it a decorative feature to unify your other furniture and accessories? In which case, complementary colours and a harmonious design might be best.
Also, consider whether you want your rug to sit centrally on the floor, with space between its edges and your furniture, or whether you want it to sit beneath certain existing items in the available space.
Measure the space carefully – particularly if you are considering a circular design living room rug. Having a rug that is too small can look superfluous and odd, and one that sits at a strange angle or abridged furniture in an awkward way can jar.
Keeping On Top Of Your Rug
Having sorted out the aesthetics – like the size, look and feel of your living room rug – your next consideration needs to be maintenance and longevity.
If this rug is the subject of considerable wear, then flat-weave and low-pile options are best as they can withstand quite a bit of “action” and still retain their looks. They are also easier to clean, including regular vacuuming and the occasional removal of spot stains, making this sort of rug ideal for family living rooms in particular.
Thicker pile may be more appropriate for rugs that are to be used for sitting and laying on, or for placing on wood floors. They may need more specialist cleaning products and services though.