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Decorating & Furniture/question about rug size and style


Hi.  Could you possibly give me some advice on selecting rugs for my home?  Our home is new, and the entire first floor is covered in hardwood maple floors in a natural maple finish.  

We hired a designer sometime ago who suggested an oriental rug for our great room because of its durability and that fact that it does not show soil (we have two children and two dogs).  We selected a soft pile oriental rug in a gold color with a very soft floral-like design in salmon, lime green and cranberry.  While we have loved the rug, I am not sure whether it is the right size or the right style an color for my decorating taste.

First the question of style.  I love English garden, and French country styles.  I tend to love anything floral and pastel - think Laura Ashley.  My favorite colors are pink, green and yellow, and I love almost any version of these colors. I am not certain whether oriental rugs are really compatible with my decorating taste.  Abusson designs seem to come the closest, but they are difficult to find.  Pastel or soft colors are also difficult to find in oriental rugs.  The only other type of carpets that I have seen that seem interesting are some I saw made by Stark carpets in floral patterns or Abussons that they show on their web site.  

Despite these concerns, I really like the durability and stain hiding properities of orientals, (and I have spent quite a bit on the two orientals that I have).  If I try to change to a differnt type of rug, do I need to move the ones I have to other parts of the house since all of my downstairs rooms are very open to one another (with the exception of the dining room which is off of the front entryway)?  I would love to hear any thoughts you have.  

On the issue of size, the largest rug I have sits in a great room that measures 19ft. 6 inches in legnth and 16ft. 7 inches in width.  This great room has very little wall space.  The entrance to the room comes after a two story entry way with a bridge dividing the entry way and great room (there is also a wall here which forms the base of the stairs that go to the upper floor).  The opposite (back) of the room is entirely covered by windows with a sliding glass door in the middle.  

While facing the wall of windows, the kitchen is two your left with two entrances to it, one of them very wide (the one by the wall of windows).  On the other side of the great room are two othe rooms that open up to it with very large opennings - a media room and living room.  Therefore, the two side walls in the great room measure only 9ft. 4inches (this is the wall separating the great room from the kitchen) and 6ft. 3 inches (the wall separating the great room and living room.  

We purchased the rug I described for the great room is 9ft.+ by almost 14 ft, and it doesn't seem to fit well in the space.  Our designer reccommended a larger size, but when we found this one that we liked, she said it was o.k. that it is smaller.  However, it has never seemed to fit well in the space.  An architect told us that it should be bigger and should fill the room.  A different designer suggested a smaller 8 x 10 rug which is the second rug we own (it is lime green in color with some pink and salmon).  The architect described this size rug as a postage stamp in the great room. Could you weigh in with your opinion?

Also, in general, how much space should one leave around a rug in a room?  Thank you for any advice you might provide.  


Thanks for writing and for your questions concerning rugs.  This is a debatable answer at best because every designer tends to think his/her recommendation is what works best.  Basically it's "to each his own" in rooms other than dining rooms, where the table size and chairs when pulled away from the table are considered the "perfect" size.

If you want to accent one of more than one furniture groupings in a room, you can do that by placing a rug underneath the feet of the furniture you want to accent, allowing the rest of the space to be "rug free" or even adding a second rug to define a second seating group.  

If your intention is to "cover the room" then the larger is your better option.  If you like having the floor show (which I personally do) then a smaller rug is better suited in the space.  

Here's what it boils down to.  If you do not like the rug that you have, then you have the wrong one.  If the colors are wrong, then they're wrong and unless you like the rugs, you won't be happy with them in any part of your home.  Rugs are not cheap as we both know, and if you don't hate them, then use them elsewhere.  If you do hate them, sell them either to a dealer (maybe arrange a trade in) or at a local thrift or garage sale and buy what you like.  

Here's the one thing I can honestly say:  there's NO RULE where rug size is concerned.  Obviously scale has to play a part - you wouldn't put a teensy rug in a huge room - but at the same time the rug size depends on the room size, the furnishings and the intended use.  

Visit  That site (and their catalog) has some wonderful rugs at all price points and all styles.


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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

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BA, Psychology

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