Design on a Dime: Size Matters When Choosing a Rug

Celebrity Style Aug. 24, 2010 AT 9:43AM
Design on a Dime: Size Matters When Choosing a Rug

Jeff Andrews, a top Los Angeles interior designer, has transformed the homes of numerous A-listers, including American Idol's Ryan Seacrest, Michael C. Hall, and Lamar and Khloe Kardashian-Odom, and had his work featured in publications like Architectural Digest and House Beautiful. Here, he provides tips on how to create an A-list abode without breaking the bank.

As a designer, I like to start from the floor up in a room, so a good rug can really help to set the tone. It's also a great way to add color, texture and comfort. Since a rug is one of the key design elements in the room, it's wise to consider making it an investment piece.

SIZE MATTERS

A rug should cover the majority of the room and there should only be about two feet of floor space around it; although there are no real rules with area rugs and furniture, I usually like all of the furniture to sit on the rug. With that being said, there are exceptions; like beds, for instance, where it's OK to have the back legs on the floor, just make sure you have enough rug to cover the space where you walk the most.

FABRICS TO WATCH FOR

There are a lot of different types of area rugs that vary in quality and price. Wool is the best as far as quality and durability, and has a natural stain resistance. Wool also comes in a variety of colors, sizes and prices.

A wool/silk or cashmere blend is more luxurious -- as well as pricey -- but adds softness and texture and brings sheen to a tone-on-tone pattern. Natural animal hide rugs are chic and durable; they are also relatively cost effective and they come in so many great patterns and designs -- I like Kyle Bunting's selection, for example.

I'm also a fan of natural fiber rugs like seagrass, jute and sisal. They provide a simple, quiet and understated elegance, and are versatile enough to work in a beautifully designed formal living room or a funky beach cottage. They are also a great budget-conscious choice. The only complaint I get from clients is that they can be a bit scratchy (jute is the softest) so they're not recommended for a room where kids (or adults, for that matter!) are sitting on the floor a lot.

DESIGNER VS. RETAIL

Some of the quality "designer" rugs I love are from companies like Mansour Modern and The Rug Company; both offer a huge selection of designer colors and patterns in standard sizes that can be purchased off the floor or through your designer. They can also customize the size and color to suit your room. And on the more affordable retail side, you have companies like Crate and Barrel, ABC Carpet and Home and Anthropologie, which offer a variety of stock sizes of differing textures and patterns. Literally something for everyone.

By Jeff Andrews for UsMagazine.com. For more on Jeff and his L.A.-based design firm, visit his Web site.

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