Think Like a Designer: Secrets to Picking the Perfect Rug

Curating home décor from scratch can feel a lot like filling an empty canvas — the opportunities are truly endless. This can be an overwhelming task for many, but if you learn how to think like an interior designer, you can achieve the space of your dreams. Expert interior designers recommend first surveying the space and keeping a close eye on natural light and architectural elements. Once you’ve determined a theme, start with the walls and flooring. Here are some secrets to picking the perfect rug like an interior designer.

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Keep it Simple
The fact is that if you’re decorating for a furniture-heavy room — like the living room or dining room — the rug is likely not going to be showcased. If you want your furniture and artwork to do the talking, choose a simple wool weave in a natural color. Rugs that are heavy on design or texture can deter from the draw of unique pieces of furniture. Living room rugs should be sized based on your furniture, so make sure you choose a rug large enough to accommodate all of your pieces. There’s nothing worse than a sofa placed outside the edges of the rug.

Think Beyond Convention
Conventionally speaking, American designers start with a rug and build a room outward. Take a more European approach by doing things the other way. Choose statement pieces first — distinct accent chairs or large wall hangings — and opt for a rug that will complement them, not match them. It’s far more difficult to weave in unique pieces than it is to add simple accompaniments. European designers also suggest approaching a room’s décor naturally rather than strategically. It’s better to have a room that feels like it has evolved along with you rather than to have it feel overly decorated or staged.

Keep it Custom
Interior designers are big on creating custom-shaped and -sized rugs for particularly challenging spaces. If you want a custom rug, choose a natural fiber rug like jute or sisal, as they’re much more affordable to order in custom sizes compared to Persian or Oriental rugs. The beauty of choosing custom is that you can design a room to your tastes and needs, rather than around the space and its constraints. Custom rugs can be also be ordered with whatever border and binding you want, ensuring that every detail is tailored to you.

Focus on Practicality
Contemporary interior designers aren’t always focused only on aesthetic. Choosing sensible, practical pieces that are appropriate for your space and lifestyle is a big part of thoughtful, responsible design. Before you select a rug for your home, determine the foot traffic of the space. If it’s a high-traffic room like the foyer or kitchen, durable natural rugs made from sisal or seagrass are a fine choice. If the rug’s main use is mainly for decorating or to rest beneath furniture, a rug made from jute or wool might be a better choice. Remember to reserve white- or light-colored rugs for low-traffic, occasional-use rooms.

Everything in Moderation
Although today’s designers love the eclectic and out-of-the-box, it’s important to remember that big and bold statement pieces should be used sparingly. Keep a neutral base and decorate around it or choose specific spaces and rooms to express your unique personality. Every room should be a reflection of yourself, your tastes and your personality, but you never want to deter from a room’s organic spirit or architectural feel.

How Ever-Popular Natural Area Rugs Embody Timeless Style

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If you’re in the market for home décor that’s going to transcend trends, choose a natural area rug. These rugs evolved with mankind, dating all the way back to the Stone Age, when early humans used animal hide to cover the floors in their huts and shelters. Animal skin rugs — especially patchwork cowhide rugs and leather rugs — are still a highly desirable choice among interior designers and homeowners today.

Rug weaving techniques, many of which are still in use in modern day, were developed around 4,000 years ago in the fertile Middle East region of Mesopotamia. Naturally, these techniques spread throughout the rest of Asia and inspired centuries of rug-making traditions throughout Turkey and what is now Iran and Egypt. These rugs were generally made from sheep’s wool that had been dyed to various rich colors.

Since then, natural fiber rugs have continued to play a central role in the realm of high-quality flooring and home décor. Here’s a little bit about natural fiber rugs in the 20th century and today.

1900–1930s
During the turn of the 19th century, elaborate Tudor and Victorian mansions were erected throughout the booming industrial cities of the Americas. Expensive, elaborate Oriental rugs were shipped over from Asia en masse and used to decorate the homes of some of America’s elite. The Hearst Castle, which was built by newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst in 1919, featured an exceptional collection of fine-quality Oriental rugs.

1930s–1950s
In the 1930s and ‘40s, it was all about art deco. Perhaps in response to the Great Depression, color schemes were pleasant and pastel, so wool rugs were quite popular. Wool is a highly reactive fiber, so it makes a wonderful base for bright colors and detailed patterns. Oriental rugs, which are traditionally woven with cotton, wool or silk, maintained their popularity among high society throughout the 1950s. Since many motifs relied heavily on Asian influence during this era, silk and bamboo rugs were décor staples.

1960s–1970s
Mid-century rugs were big on warm colors and striking, geometric patterns. Wool and cotton rugs were popular thanks to the fibers’ appropriateness for dying and fine weaving. Although some historians suggest that the shag rug originated in the Middle East or Central Asia much earlier than the 1960s, it certainly hit its peak in America during this period. This super-groovy style, usually made with wool or cotton, prevailed into the 1970s and eventually became archetypical of the era’s decor. Other eclectic styles, like patchwork cowhide rugs, grew in popularity during this time period, too.

1980s–today
As a reaction to the green movement in America, eco-friendly home décor has picked up major steam in the past several decades. This has inspired a whole new generation and class of interest in natural fiber rugs that are eco-friendly. Bamboo and jute, two high-quality fibers that are quick-renewing, have become some of the most popular rug options on the market today. Contemporary rugs tend to feature super-saturated, rich colors over detailed yet not too-busy designs. Simple, all-natural fiber rugs in earth tones are always trendy for homeowners that want to create a calm, soothing space.

Using Natural Area Rugs to Enhance Your Specific Design Vision

If you’ve spent a lot of time carefully choosing an interior décor scheme that complements your personality and lifestyle, you want to make sure that every piece you select closely aligns with that vision. Thanks to their eco-friendly appeal and exquisite, artful aesthetics, natural area rugs are a great choice for any space, whether it is down-to-earth and eclectic, chic and minimalist or rustic and woodsy.

Natural rugs’ versatile fibers and materials allow for a broad range of looks and textures to help perfectly complement your home’s design motif. Choosing the right rug for your room’s décor can be exhausting, so check out some of these décor and rug pairings for new ideas and inspiration.

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Rustic
Rustic décor is all about reconnecting with nature. If your dream décor is inspired by a chalet among the cedars or a log cabin in the mountains, you’ll love these rustic rugs. No oasis in the woods is complete without an animal hide rug. The perfect complement to your white cedar furniture or antler chandelier, a cowhide rug brings simple sophistication to any space. Patchwork leather rugs make a great alternative to the standard cowhide rug for decorators who want a clean, geometric shape rather than a cut that follows the hide’s natural shape.

Earthy
Create a soothing, earth-inspired space that feels like an extension of the outdoors with a stunning jute or sisal rug. Inspiring earth tones with intriguing, artistic weaves pair perfectly with your nature-inspired décor. These rugs are often left in their natural coloring to help mimic the beautiful color spectrum of the earth. Sisal and jute rugs are also made from eco-friendly, fast-renewing and biodegradable materials, so you can rest easy knowing you’re getting a high-quality, eco-friendly product when you select this option.

Beachy
Finish off your seaside hideaway with one of our beautiful seagrass or mountain grass rugs. This fast-growing plant grows at the bottom of the sea, so it’s an authentic and honorable way to turn any room into a splendidly seaworthy space. Mountain grass and seagrass rugs come in a huge selection of earthy, all-natural colors to help create a neutral base for your beach-inspired knickknacks and marine-colored walls.

Modern
Choose a contemporary natural area rug that suits your clean, modernist vision to help lay the foundation for modern décor pieces that are big on color and personality. Leather rugs are a popular choice among contemporary interior designers because they feature an unconventional pattern and texture without the distraction of a busy design. Today’s leather rugs come in so many colors, including crisp white and bold black options, to help complement your pre-existing palette.

Traditional
When you think of traditional rugs, you may automatically envision ornate, ornamental Oriental rugs. Today’s traditional styles draw heavily from the Asian rug-weaving traditions that came before, but are often made with a modern subtlety that makes them even more versatile. Choose a jute rug with a bit of fringing or a wool rug with a detailed pattern to help complement your room’s more traditional spirit.

 

 

 

Why a Natural Area Rug Trumps Man-Made Alternatives

If you’re going by aesthetic alone, it’s not hard to see why a beautiful natural area rug trumps its man-made counterparts. Rugs made with natural fibers are masterpieces in their own right — made with the best quality materials that come straight from the planet — and feature extraordinary designs, patterns and colors for both traditional and contemporary spaces.

Rug-shopping can be an overwhelming experience for many homeowners and designers, so we’ll help explain why you can’t go wrong when you choose a natural area rug. In the end, it comes down to quality, appearance and environmental considerations.

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Unbeatable quality
Natural fiber area rugs are woven with some of the most desirable, natural textiles in the world — including wool, hemp, bamboo, sisal, seagrass and jute — that have been used to create long-lasting flooring for centuries. These materials, some of them somewhat wood-like, are hand-crafted using weaving techniques that help the rug retain its shape and strength through years of use — even when placed in the busiest rooms in your home. Because of their natural durability and resilience, natural rugs are often recommended for use outdoors.

On the other hand, synthetic rugs are typically made in a factory using man-made materials like polyester, acrylic or nylon. Because they’re generally made from plastic- or petroleum-based fibers, synthetic area rugs don’t take abrasions or impacts as well as natural fiber rugs. They’re also known to yellow or fade much quicker than rugs made from plant-based fibers, so they’re not ideal for placement in rooms where there’s a regular stream of natural sunlight.

Artful aesthetic
Furthermore, natural area rugs provide a truly unique appearance that adds texture to any room. From the woody presence of bamboo to the soft sheen of cotton, there’s no better way to bring dimension to your floors. Natural rugs are also a better choice for anyone who wants a quality, colored rug that won’t fade or dilute. Wool rugs, for example, are made with reactive fibers, so they’re known to hold and retain dyes exceptionally well. You simply will not get the same grade of coloring with any kind of synthetic rug.

Effortlessly eco-friendly
Perhaps the most compelling argument for natural rugs over man-made rugs is their eco-friendly angle. Bamboo rugs, for example, are made from one of the fastest-renewing trees in the world, so they’re a great option for anyone who wants to design their home with sustainability in mind. Man-made rugs require much more water and energy to produce than their natural, hand-woven counterparts and often emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may be dangerous to human health and are especially harmful to the environment.

 Health-conscious
Because natural fiber rugs emit zero VOCs, they’re much healthier for you and your family. Natural fiber rugs also have the power to alleviate symptoms of allergy sufferers. This is because synthetic rugs are much more hospitable to dust mites, mold spores and pet dander than natural area rugs. Similarly, natural fibers may help those with asthma breathe a bit easier.

Happy Earth Day from Natural Area Rugs!

In celebration of Earth Day and honoring our commitment to Eco-intelligence and responsible sourcing, Natural Area Rugs has assembled an incredible selection of earth-friendly carpets and rugs made with natural fibers by master artisans makers. There are so many different ways that people all over the world are helping contribute to the stability of our planet by making Eco-friendly choices. Natural Area Rugs and Carpets are made from rapidly renewable materials that come from plants. As fibers grow they can be harvested over and over again, causing no harm to our environment. Because of the materials that make up natural carpets, there is no Eco-damaging manufacturing involved.

Begin your journey towards a sustainable lifestyle with natural fiber carpets as the foundation of your home. Visit Natural Area Rugs http://www.naturalarearugs.com/ and check out our newest rug collections. Happy Earth Day Earthlings!:)

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