Rugs should ideally be the first item purchased for a room since they can set the color palette for a beautiful room. Rugs can be fabulous focal points, help define furniture groupings, create an intimate atmosphere, and further convey your decorating style. From here you can focus on selecting furnishings to complement your rug’s color. However, if you have already furnished your room, choose an area rug that pulls together the room’s dominant or accent colors.

Here are some basic good measures to take when selecting area rugs:

1. Measure your room size and decide how much of the floor you want to be exposed. Consider leaving at least 8” to 1’ of flooring to frame your rug.

2. In a dining area, your rug should be 2 feet larger all around the table to accommodate chairs when pushed out from the table. Keep in mind that most rugs have approximate dimensions. For example, a 9' x 12' rug may actually be more like 8'6" x 10'10". Each rug is different.

3. If a rug defines a living space, make sure all the furniture in your room fits on it (often an 8 x 10 or larger). This will maximize to the eye the space in your room and present a pulled together look. If defining a conversation area, the rug should be placed in front of the furniture, usually under a cocktail table (often a 5' x 8' or 6' x 9' is used).

4. If your sofa has a very busy or intricate pattern, select a rug with an open field in a contrasting color to set it off.

5. In high-traffic areas, choose a rug for its durability.

6. Select different sizes of complementary patterns and comparable quality to create a coordinated look in adjoining rooms.

With proper care, a good investment will last a lifetime and give years of beauty and pleasure.