The popularity of hardwood floors is at an all-time high. Some designers are going so far as to recommend to their clients that they take a peek underneath their wall-to-wall carpeting to see if there isn't a beautiful wooden floor hiding there that someone foolishly covered up several years ago. It happens more than you might think!
But this surge in the popularity of hardwood has also resulted in an increased need for area rugs. Unlike traditional carpeting, rugs can do a whole lot more for a room than many people realize. So, what are some of the many things you can do with an area rug?
Create a Focal Point
Depending upon the size of the room and the amount of wood on the floor, there many not be a place (or places) that focus your attention. A rug can do this - either with a pattern, or a color, or a combination of the two. Contrast is the key. Don't copy the color or style of your walls, drapes and furniture - complement them.
There's no mistaking the sound of heels or hard soles on a wooden floor. A rug will all but eliminate this. So if you need to dampen the sound of footsteps in a hall or well-traveled passageway, a soft, padded rug will do the trick.
Warm Up a Cold Room
Actually this can mean two different things, and both apply equally to the benefits of area rugs. A room might physically be cold - as in having a low temperature. A rug can insulate your feet from a cold, bare floor better than just about any other option. But also the room may be cold in the sense of being uninviting or lacking "warm" colors. The addition of even a small area rug on tile or oak flooring can do wonders toward making the room simply feel warmer and more inviting.
Protect the Floor
It's a lot harder to repair a fine wooden floor than clean - or even replace - an area rug. In a high-traffic area it makes common sense to place a rug to preserve and protect the floor underneath. The importance of this increases exponentially if there are children in the home!
Cushion Your Feet
As anyone who regularly works on his or her feet knows only too well, standing on concrete or tile or a wooden floor all day is not very comfortable on the feet. Simply by placing a padded area rug in the space can make a world of difference. The same is true in your home. Living spaces should have soft rugs available so you can kick off your shoes and give those barking dogs a break.
Keep Dirt Out of the House
Although many people don't think of them this way, a simple doormat is a type of area rug. In addition, a wool or braided rug just inside a door is a great place to trap all the outside dirt that might normally be tracked inside on one's shoes. Again, it is so much easier to vacuum a rug - or even wash it, depending upon the material - than to clean the floor underneath. Every outside entrance should have a durable area rug as the initial landing point.
Create Livable Spaces
Most designers agree that large rooms with expansive floor space look better if broken up into smaller, more inviting areas. The best way to do this is by starting with area rugs and then arranging furniture and objects to create these smaller living modules. It can be challenging and does not apply to every home, but rugs are a great way to subdivide large rooms to make them more practical, inviting and enjoyable.
Obviously there are many more things an area rug can do for you and the only limitations are your imagination - and budget! There are literally tens of thousands of choices available to you, but a great place to start your search is Rugs Direct. Our search engine for area rugs can help you narrow down the vast styles and selections available to quickly find the one that is perfect for your home. To get started, click here.