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Decorating with Area Rugs

by Nikki Willhite


Area Rugs can be well used by the frugal decorator. They are extremely versatile, and serve many purposes. They can start off in the living room, move to the Family Room or Bedroom, and eventually end up in the garage or an outdoor room.

Unlike wall-to-wall carpet, which is best kept in a neutral color, area rugs can bring colorful designs and patterns into your room without overwhelming it. Also, unlike wall-to-wall carpeting, once you buy them, they are yours to keep when you move.

You are lucky if you have wooden floors under your carpeting. It may take some work to refinish them, but they last forever. They do not collect pollutants, like carpeting, and are much easier on people with allergies. New houses are so well insulated, that you need all the help you can get keeping your home fresh.

Laminate flooring has become very popular, and looks great with area rugs.

You can lay area rugs on high traffic areas to protect  carpet, or use them to tie a seating area together. You can also just use them for display, even on the walls.

Some people will tell you not to lay one carpet on the other. However, from experience, I know that if I put down a carpet runner in a high traffic area, I can fluff up and restore the carpet. If I don't, the carpet will be ground down to a pulp and there is no fixing it.

There is tremendous variety of types and prices of carpets, from woven mats to oriental rugs. Stores like Costco often get in luxurious wool rugs, as well as some of the more novelty type rugs.


If your room seems very square and angular, consider an oval rug to soften it.

Add interest to your room by choosing from the many designs and styles, such as contemporary, Oriental, Indian, Floral, Geometric, etc.

Braided rugs add wonderful country charm. However, generally they are not of the same quality and they do become dirty and require more care.

As far as decorating, if you need texture in your room, think about a Berber carpet. To read more about texture, see Texture and Interior Design.

Room Definition

Most area rugs are used to group furniture arrangements. For instance, in a living room the area rug would most likely be placed in front of the sofa and under the coffee table. The chairs and tables would be grouped around it. You may be able to create an interesting effect by placing it under your furniture at an angle.

Custom Rugs

If you can't find what you want, think about having one made to your specifications. One very durable solution is to find a beautiful commercial carpet that you like, and have it bound to your dimensions. If you want to cover your whole room, leave about a foot between the wall and carpet, and be sure and turn it once a year. It will last for years.

Take advantage of area rugs if possible. Wall-to-wall wears out, and eventually your house becomes patched with different carpeting as you replace worn out carpet in different areas.

Using area rugs with color and texture lessen the need for other accessories in a room. Use area rugs as you can to save money and beautify your home.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money! 




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