Accenting hard surface flooring with area rugs has become a big trend in home decorating.

Area rugs are usually purchased as a way to protect an investment (hardwood, ceramic, or marble flooring) from damage, but rugs can be looked at as a valid investment themselves rather than an expense. These fine rugs are worth the investment because they can anchor the theme of the décor, beautify your home, and add warmth to a room.

Before purchasing a rug

Here are some key points that should factor into your decision of what rug to purchase:

What room you will be placing it in and what design elements are already present in the room? Think about the layout of that room as well. Will the rug be used to bring the room together, or to divide the room into separate living spaces?

What purpose will the rug serve? Is it to add to the design element of the room with artistic expression? Or will it serve a more practical purpose, adding warmth or absorbing sound in a room full of hard surfaces? Rugs can be art for your floor, tying together design elements in a room, or they can be functional and blend in to the room.

Where are you placing the rug? A rug in a family room will get a lot of foot traffic whereas a rug in a dining room will be susceptible to food stains. Think about the cleaning and care necessary to protect your investment.

All of these factors will help you determine what size, shape, color, style, and material rug you should purchase.

Rug materials

Natural materials include animal and plant fibers such as wool, cotton, sisal, jute, seagrass, and bamboo. These fibers are more durable and resilient. Rugs made of natural materials are generally more expensive, but also last longer than rugs with synthetic materials or blends.

Synthetic materials are man-made, such as viscose, rayon, nylon, and acrylic. Synthetic materials are often blended with natural materials in an area rug to reduce cost, but they don’t hold their value as well as rugs made with all natural materials.

Types of rugs

Contemporary rugs are manufactured with both synthetic fibers and wools, and include braided rugs, wool Flokati rugs, and looped wool, bamboo, cotton and nylon reversible, flat-weave rugs.

The main focus of a contemporary rug is the design and color, which is as artistic as the paintings on the wall. The designs are inlaid with colored carpet material, which is “cut in” with a background color to create a custom design.

The quality of a contemporary rug is reflected in a higher price tag. Typically, contemporary rugs are dense in fibers for better wear, and they can be hand or machine bound.

True Oriental rugs are hand-woven and hand-knotted, and highly prized for their high quality and beauty. The origins of these rugs vary, as hundreds of Turkish and Persian tribes scattered all over the Middle East developed distinct tribal styles, colors, and motifs over the centuries. Fine Oriental rugs are handmade from wool or combinations of wool, cotton, and silk.

Oriental rugs add warmth, beauty, and a sense of luxury to a room. Because of their high quality, oriental rugs are very resilient and durable, making them perfect for high traffic areas.

Persian rugs feature bright color and elaborate designs. Most rugs feature a geometric, floral, or pictorial design. Many people confuse Persian and Oriental rugs, but Persian rugs have their own distinct designs that vary depending on where it was created.

Persian rugs look better as they get older, making them ideal for long-term use or as family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation.

Other kinds of rugs include shag rugs, braided rugs, and transitional rugs. These rugs are made from a variety of materials and serve multiple purposes in the home. Some custom rug makers will even allow you to design your own rug so that you can get exactly what you want.

For all the beauty and warmth they add to a room, fine area rugs should be looked at as an investment instead of an expense. If you choose the right style, material, and color, your rug’s beauty will last a lifetime.