“Our lives are not totally random. We make commitments, we cause things to happen.” — Wendy Wasserstein (1950-2006), American playwright, “The Messiah,” “Bachelor Girls”
We certainly do cause things to happen in our spaces. Just ask any designer. Some good. Some not so good. Some things are easy to decide and others not so much. One thing we all have in our spaces are floors, and one decision that causes a lot of frustration for us is: What in the world are we going to do with the floors?
As many of you know, I do design for clients and I also do a lot of home staging for real estate agents. And one of the things that almost always comes up is the flooring and what to do with it.
Now, for those of us who live in Las Vegas, tile floors are a very common component in our homes. I guess it has something to do with the fact that it’s hot here. But seriously, tile or marble floors, even hardwood, work well here in the desert and help keep us cool in the summer. And folks are not as inclined to carpet entire homes. Some will still do bedrooms, but for the most part, uncarpeted homes rule.
I love the look and ambiance of tile, hardwood or marble floors, but I also love area rugs. I agree with putting carpet in bedrooms, but I do prefer bare floors in other living spaces.
But as appealing as the floors are, in my opinion, area rugs are essential. Tile or hardwood floors are beautiful and practical, but you must have area rugs to make them more usable and comfortable.
While you want to show off your floors, rugs finish off the room and make the floors more “homey” and add much-needed warmth when it’s not 100 degrees.
Using an area rug accomplishes many things. With adding warmth, the texture and color of an area rug will enhance your overall decor. Having a bare floor, regardless of how beautiful it might be, is just not very inviting. By choosing colors that complement furnishings, wall color and fabrics in the room, the rug will tie the entire scheme together and make the room much more cohesive.
If you are starting from scratch with your furniture, you might start with a large area rug for your largest room and use that as your inspiration for the rest of the room.
Hearing shoes clomp around on bare floors is not a pleasant sound, and rugs will soften that sound, while protecting your floors. Rugs are also great dirt catchers when placed in entryways. This prevents dirt from being tracked throughout your home.* Rugs are versatile. It’s lovely to have a wool or silk rug in the winter and switch it out for sisal or coir in the summer. Using rugs gives you a lot of versatility in your space, and can provide almost any mood you wish.
Area rugs also ground your space and pull seating and dining areas together. Placing an area rug within the sofa/chair configuration will add the finishing touch and make it a true conversation area.
Different patterns, textures and colors can certainly be used in the same room. There should be something to tie them together, probably color that can be found in each rug.
Different areas of the home require different shapes. A seating area or a dining table would most likely look best with a square or rectangle rug. An oval rug would soften the area a little more.
Hallways or kitchens make places for runners. These usually range from 2 to 3 feet wide and 5 to 8 feet long.
Bare floors can present safety considerations, and placing area rugs on hardwood or tile floors reduces the chance of slipping on the bare floor. Along these lines, what must be considered is that rugs and bare floors can both contribute to accidents. I still prefer rugs if they are firmly planted on bare floors.
As some of you know, my mom is 91 years old, and I have had the pleasure of working on her house for years. There used to be wall-to-wall carpet. It was removed, and we had the floors refinished and bought large area rugs. For her situation it is perfect.
Having finished floors can be dangerous for some, and the rugs just “secure” finished floors. You just must be sure that rugs are securely placed and not so small that they could slip or slide. It makes my mom happy, and she has never had an accident with the rugs.
And did I mention that area rugs are versatile? They can be moved from room to room as the mood strikes you, which gives you more decorating options. We’ve done that in my mom’s house, too.
So, enjoy your tile or hardwood floors, but for a multitude of reasons, buy area rugs for your space. You will not regret the investment. And they will still enhance your space for many more years.
Carolyn Muse Grant is a design consultant and creator of beautiful spaces. Questions can be sent to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.