Purchasing an area rug should be a top priority when you move into a new apartment that does not have carpeting. These versatile decor pieces can create a point of interest, add comfort to a space and enhance your color palette. The trick is to find the right area rug for your apartment. Here’s how:

Rug Sizes

The wrong size rug will look off in your apartment, but one that fits will help define the space. This is why it’s important to know how to choose a size that works. There are several rules of thumb: the edges of the area rug should be no more than 2 feet away from the walls, and no closer than 6 inches. Another rule suggests that the rug should be about 2 feet shorter than the smallest wall in the room.

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The sizing rules can be bent depending on how you’re using the rug. For example, if you’re placing it in a corner of your room to define an office space, then it can be smaller than the two-foot rule, but it still has to fit both the desk and the chair–this is especially important if you have wood floors, as the rug will protect them from scratches caused by your seating.

Do some measuring in your apartment before you go area rug shopping and you’ll end up with the perfect size.

Color, Pattern and Focal Point

You can use your area rug to create a point of interest in a room by choosing unique colors and patterns. For example, if most of your living room uses neutral colors, pick a bright hue or bold pattern. This will draw the eye to your beautiful rug. Patterns can fit any decor theme, including vintage, modern and classic.

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Make accent colors stand out by matching your area rug to them. You may have mostly cream colors in your apartment with a pop of green here and there. A green area rug will bring out the other matching hues in the space.

A rug can even bring a room together if it combines several mismatched elements of your apartment. For example, you may have a leaf pattern on your bed, blue curtains and a cream chair that don’t seem to meld. Find a rug that has all of those elements and the room will suddenly look complete.

Choosing Pile

A low-pile rug has shorter threads. Shag carpets are an example of high-pile rugs. You should be sure you pick a rug with a pile that fits your lifestyle. Pet owners may want to stay away from high-pile rugs because animals like rabbits and cats like to dig and scratch. However, a high-pile area rug could work great in a living room or bedroom, as long as it’s small in size. This design is also way more comfortable for your feet than wood floors.

If you have children, pets or have people over all the time, then choose low-pile rugs. They are easier to clean than their shaggy counterparts and they reduce the appearance of wear. Also consider treating your rug with a stain resistor to avoid ending up with spots from spilled wine or dropped dinner (this is especially helpful for families with children).

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