Area rugs are popular and practical accessories that provide everything from a warm place to stand in a bathroom to a visual point in a large living room. From a design standpoint, some of the most common uses are:

Area rugs can define a smaller space within a larger one. You may choose to create a seating area by starting with an area rug and adding a small sofa, chair and table. This will define the seating arrangement and provide a cozy area for people to chat.

You can create a ground-level color accent to anchor or unify the other colors in the room. Take your favorite color and create a seating area built around the color. Your area rug can complement this or the anchor in the area. If you want a formal area, add an oriental area rug for the area. These are available in wool or other materials such as olefin. Or the opposite approach would be to use a more informal rug to establish a causal area in a room. You can use a geometric print, stripes to make the room less formal.

Size is important when it comes to area rugs. Big are not always better, depending on what you are trying to create. Area rugs create little pockets of intimacy. You may need a designer to help you choose the right size for your rooms and the look you are trying to create.

Common sizes for non-custom area rugs are 4- x 6-ft; 5- x 8=ft and 8- x 11-ft. Machine –made Orientals also offer runners in 8- x 11-ft. Machine-made Orientals in addition offer runners in 5- x 8-ft. lengths. Runners can also be purchased by the foot if you need one for a long hall or stairway. Custom area rug manufactures will weave a rug in any size you want.

In order to create a custom-made area rug is really quite simple. Look for inspiration in your clothing, wall paper and magazines. You may want to create a pattern for your floor, which coordinates with your wall. Let’s say you have oriental style wall paper; you can use the colors in the paper or the pattern to build around your area rugs.

Remember safety. Area rugs that are placed over the carpet won’t slide, but over a hard surface such as wood or tile, the carpet will slide. To prevent slipping of your area rug, purchase a rug pad to lie underneath. This will make the rug softer to stand on and wear better. A carpet pad will absorb the pounding from foot traffic.

When you don’t use a rug pad, the pounding is absorbed by the rug thus causing it to look old and worn.