Rug Refresh!

By Sharon Naylor

August 20, 2014 4 min read

For an easy room refresh, simply add a new area rug. Unlike the complicated task of a full-room rug installation, all it takes to create a new feel for a room is to unroll an area rug of any size, set it in place and call it a day.

Area rugs achieve several decor goals at once: adding color, adding texture and defining a space within a room, such as a sitting area or an area for play or sleep. For example, a large area rug placed beneath a bed becomes a sort of frame for the bed, and depending on your choice of color and material, a rug can add warmth to a room or a dramatic pop of color in that neutral room you find so boring.

An area rug can change the look of a room, making it seem as if you've just painted, and can elevate the look of your furniture -- say, by bringing out the shade of your couch or the soft texture of its suede material.

Best of all, this is one "remodel" that can be done on a budget, especially if using home-decor store coupons or reward points to load up on area rugs for several rooms at once.

Here are the top five new trends in area rugs to help inspire you:

1) Shape. Area rugs aren't just the traditional rectangular styles you may be used to. Now, you can find square rugs, ovals and circles to create your desired effect.

2) Graphic patterns. In a simply designed room with little pattern, area rugs add a punch of artistry to the space. According to the design team at the Home Design Lover blog (, trendy patterns for area rugs include oversized geometric shapes, colorful checkerboard patterns, cobblestone, branches and other nature motifs including birds, black-and-white lace for a formal bedroom or bathroom design, oversized stripes that create a nautical theme, and pairing two vibrant shades for a child's playroom.

3) Layered rugs. Shelly Hill, associate editor at the online furniture company, says, "To create a space that's unique and full of warmth, consider layering two (or even three) area rugs on top of each other. A few popular combinations are: jute or sisal and animal hide, multiple kilim rugs, and flatweave and sheepskin. The key to this trend is to keep the larger bottom rug in a neutral color. By setting a neutral base, you can layer a fun, colorful or patterned rug on top, and it won't clash or become too overwhelming." Hill advises making sure the top rug is at least 12 to 18 inches smaller than the bottom rug so that you can see the contrast between the two.

4) Message on a rug. Messages are not just for wall hangings. Every morning when you walk into your kitchen to make your coffee, you can see "This day will be beautiful" on the rug at the foot of the sink, or be reminded to "live, laugh, love" on an area rug set before your coffee maker. Kids' rooms could have custom-worded rugs, such as "Zoe's Magic Carpet," and an area rug in your walk-in closet could feature a sassy phrase like, "You look amazing, darling!"

5) The effect of a rug. The experts at custom bathroom design company Birdsall Bath say that a custom, ornate mosaic tile pattern incorporated into your bathroom floor tiling can create the look of an area rug placed in front of an armoire or in front of his-and-hers sinks.

Remember that just like wall-to-wall rugs are now made with recycled and eco-friendly materials, so, too, are area rugs. So explore your options in rugs made from ultra-soft bamboo and other materials to ensure they are comfy to walk, stand and play on, yet not too plush so as to pose a tripping hazard for your family and guests. Try them out in-store to be sure they pass the "touch test" and are ideal as a functional element of your room.

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