Common Area Rug Mistakes to Avoid (& Why)

Let’s be honest: finding the right rug can be a real challenge. From choosing the correct rug size to arranging your furniture on top of it, it can be tricky to create a look you love. Luckily, our team of design experts has created a list of the most common mistakes people make when decorating with area rugs — plus tips on how to avoid these awkward blunders!

5 Most Common Area Rug Mistakes

The truth is, finding the perfect area rug to compliment (and complete) your space isn’t always easy. But if you understand what not to do when looking for a rug, you’ll be well on your way to finding one that makes your room feel just right.

1. Selecting the wrong size rug

Selecting the wrong size rug might be the most common error of them all. An area rug that’s too small may not seem like an issue at first, but on second glance, you’ll notice it draws your eyes in and makes the room appear smaller. You’ll know a rug is too small by checking whether all of your furniture can fit on top of it.

With that said, you don’t want a rug that’s so big it overwhelms the entire room. Just like a rug that’s too small can look a bit silly, an oversized rug can wind up looking out of place, as well.

2. Playing it too safe

If you’re stuck on how to choose a rug color or design, there’s a good chance you’ll play it on the safe side. And yet, choosing a conservative style or neutral tone may not always be in the best interest of your room. Rugs come in all shades and shapes, so one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not having a little fun with these unlimited possibilities!

So, why not spice up your subdued palette? For a room that’s mostly white or monochromatic, a colorful, eclectic area rug can make a great style statement.

3. Underestimating the rug’s impact

While an area rug may not be something you focus on as much as your other decor, you shouldn’t underestimate the impact it can have. Sure, a stylish sofa and well-arranged wall art can draw a lot of attention, but a rug can be an amazing design element in its own right.

Rather than choosing a rug at the last minute, imagine its ability to transform the final look of your space. A rug’s color, texture, and pattern can be incredibly influential, and yet, too many people place rugs at the bottom of their priority list.

4. Skimping on quality

Misjudging a rug’s quality is an understandable mistake, given that so many rugs are made with low-grade materials or have been chemically washed to give them a nicer appearance. Finding a reputable retailer or thrift store can feel daunting, especially since you don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on a rug that could stain or shed all too easily.

But when you’re decorating on a budget, you don’t have to sacrifice on quality — you can always trust CORT Outlet for high-quality previously-owned rugs! When you shop with us, each item is certified and graded, so you know exactly what you’re getting and which condition it’s in!

5. Opting out of a rug altogether

If your home is carpeted, you might assume the flooring is just fine as it is. But even rooms covered in carpet can benefit from bringing in an area rug. That’s because rugs offer a fantastic opportunity to add some extra character or flair, while traditional carpet might leave your home feeling bare and mundane.

Not only can a rug define multi-use rooms, but it can pull in all the colors of your other accents or accessories, too. So avoid leaving your carpets barren, and opt for a rug that’ll fit in with your furnishings and elevate the room to another level.

Tips to help you pick the best area rug

Now that you know the mistakes to avoid, it’s time to talk about the area rug rules that’ll help you pick the best area rug you can. Using these insider tips, you’re sure to find a rug that suits your style, meets your needs and makes your wallet happy at the same time.

1. Look at your room’s needs

The attractiveness of an area rug shouldn’t overshadow its functionality or its ability to meet your room’s unique needs. Even if a beautiful rug catches your eye, you should still make sure it’s ideal for the room where you’d like it to live.

If the rug is meant for an entryway, main hallway, or another walkway, your best bet is likely a wool rug since they’re known to be quite durable and relatively easy to clean. Similarly, if you’re a pet owner, you should go for colors that can camouflage hair or fur when you’re in between cleaning sessions (i.e., a black rug and a white dog don’t always make a great pair).

And if you happen to fall in love with a silk blend rug, consider placing it in your formal living room, bedroom, or home office, where it’s subject to less foot traffic or potential spills.

2. Determine your dimensions

It’s safe to say following rug layout rules and finding the right rug dimensions can feel like a Goldilocks situation — that is, unless you know some basic guidelines. When it comes to how to choose area rug size, try to abide by the following: (1) all furniture legs are on the rug, or (2) front legs are on, and back legs are off.

While there’s obviously some wiggle room with these recommendations (like when you’re working with an open floor plan, for example), they’re helpful as a general rule of thumb. Additionally, you’re wise to take into account the size of the room, the height of your ceilings, and the size and placement of your furniture, as well.

Remember, if the rug is too small or too large for the room, it can detract from the look you’re trying to achieve. That’s why it’s smart to measure twice and purchase once!

3. Consider design and durability

When you’re thinking about choosing a rug design, look for one that complements the two primary colors in the room and can help establish an overall mood. Dark colors create a more intimate vibe, while lighter colors make a small space appear larger. Fiery hues like red and orange add warmth, whereas greens and blues add a calming effect.

And as you’re looking over your design choices, don’t forget to consider the rug’s durability. Tempting as it is, buying secondhand rugs from online thrift stores or marketplaces can be a risky business since you don’t often know if you can trust that site or particular seller.

Instead of bringing home a rug that could be threadbare in a few weeks, take a peek at CORT Outlet’s amazing array of gently-used rugs, where quality and style are always guaranteed.

4. Make the rug a focal point

If your room is completely furnished, your rug options will be limited to whatever flows well with your existing decor. However, if your space is a blank canvas, you can make the rug placement a focal point and allow it to anchor everything around it.

What’s more, it can be challenging to find a rug that fits with your existing pieces; but if you select the rug first, there are endless paint colors, fabrics, and accessories to choose from to pull the room together. And this way, you can bypass the heartbreak that comes from finding an amazing rug, only to discover it doesn’t go with your pillows or sofa!

Shop clearance rugs with confidence!

Since you’re officially a rug expert, you can now make your decision with confidence! Visit CORT Furniture Outlet, and shop dozens of rug sizes, shapes, and colors in-store or online — and take home your rug the day you buy it!

And since every purchase is CORT Certified, you can rest easy knowing we’re committed to providing quality products and a stellar shopping experience.

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