November 13, 2017

3 Area Rug Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Area rugs are a wonderful way to infuse warmth and texture into your home without the commitment that accompanies wall-to-wall carpeting. With countless colors, patterns, and textures to choose from, selecting the right rug tends to be a headache but, luckily, we’ve already got you covered on that front: Mastering the Area Rug 

So, what happens if you journeyed out and picked up a rug before mastering those selection skills or, perhaps, you ran into an issue once your luxurious new beauty was in place? Scroll on because we’re here to troubleshoot!

Traditional rustic living room

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Mistake #1: My Rug is Too Small

Friends, this is absolutely the most common issue we run into when it comes to area rugs! And, if we’re being honest, everyone’s guilty…who hasn’t gotten caught up in an outrageous annual sale (it would be a crime not to buy something), been captivated by a salesperson waxing poetic about looms and wool (now, where did you say those sheep were from again?), or enjoyed a touch too much bubbly before hitting up that local flea market?

Round Top Oushak rugs

We’re not lying, we’ve been there

But here’s the bottom line – there’s a method to all the madness when it comes to sizing your rugs and, when possible, it’s crucial that you measure your space prior to purchase.

Feeling helpless? Here’s an adorable rug buying guide from the lovely Joanna Gaines:

Joanna Gaines Rug Buying Guide

Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines

With everything above in mind, we all move, renovate, rebuild, or reconfigure and there’s bound to be a time when we find ourselves trying to fit a pre-purchased rug into a space that seems to swallow it right up!

Here are a few ideas for those moments when you’ve just gotta’ make it work:

  1. Layer – Depending on its size and style, consider layering your current rug over a larger rug for added texture and interest. We love using custom-cut natural fiber rugs as an anchor with more lively rugs or hides on top!

    Layered natural fiber rug

    via Jenny Komenda

  2. Combine – If you’re trying to cover a lot of square footage, it may be worth purchasing a second rug that matches or feels similar to the one you already have. Create multiple seating arrangements that are sized appropriately for each individual rug and, ta-da, everyone will think you planned it!
    eclectic interior with multiple area rugs
    Scandinavian design with blue sofa

    Two area rugs in one space

    Design Unknown

    3. Challenge – If all else fails, tap into your wild side, buck all the rules, and embrace the unexpected!

    Modern dark blue office

    This rug is on the smaller side but who would ever notice in a space this grand?! via Consort Design

    Midcentury modern bedroom design

    If you’ve got enough space, why not make your area rug a runner? via Architectural Digest

    Naomi Watts moody bedroom

    Loving this playful runner at the end of Naomi Watts’ bed via Architectural Digest

Mistake #2: Spots and Spills

You might think falling in love with a rug’s pattern and colorway is all you need to do before carrying it home but, unfortunately, there’s more to it than that. You may have happened upon your sisal rug soulmate but if the material isn’t suited to your lifestyle, it’s best to walk away.

What do we mean by lifestyle? That if you have a house full of kids and/or pets, entertain often, or live with roommates who lack your sense of cleanliness, it might be best to steer clear of uber-expensive rugs (and sofas, and chairs…you get the idea) that require professional cleaning.

Perhaps you’ve ignored the suggestions above or you’ve inherited an exquisite heirloom rug from grandma and now you’re staring at a Texas-sized red wine stain…here are a few tips we’ve picked up over the years that we hope will help (starting with general maintenance):

  1. Read Always read the care label. Although you may be thrilled about your steal on a sassy new jute rug, most natural fiber rugs cannot be cleaned, which means any small accident could result in a trip to the store to purchase a new one.
  2. Handle With Care – Taking consistent care of your rug is important. Allowing dirt and debris to pile up in the fibers means you’ll eventually be faced with some serious stains…and don’t even get us started on the odor. Vacuuming regularly is crucial but don’t forget about step 1 – read the care label to determine what your rug is made out of so that you’re using the correct setting on your vacuum. Messing up that setting could lead to serious fiber damage!
  3. Blot – No matter where you turn for advice, you’ll hear this golden rule. If you encounter a spot or stain, blot the stain, never scrub, and always test cleaners before using them!
  4. Call for Help – Depending on your rug material, it simply may not make sense to clean it on your own. Although it’s a huge headache to move furniture and remove the piece altogether for a cleaning, there are professionals dedicated to this service and they would be happy to handle those logistics for you. On the hunt for a local vendor? Our fave is Clean as a Whistle!

Mistake #3: I Bought Whatever I Could Find

Many of us spend months dreaming of the sofas, tables, and chairs that will grace our new abodes, forgetting to turn that thoughtful attention to the floor. Rugs should never be an afterthought. In fact, they generally serve as the room’s anchor, directing the design of your entire space, and that makes them crucial to the beauty of any home. If you’ve been operating with a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to area rugs, it’s time to reconsider. Whether it’s a massive rug in your living room or a strategically placed runner, let’s give these woven beauties the attention they so greatly deserve…and, on that note, let’s wrap things up with a bit of inspiration to get you started:

Midcentury modern living room

Marie Flanigan Interiors


Rustic hallway runner

via Architectural Digest

Traditional elegant bedroom

via Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

Blue office study space

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Modern transitional living space

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Eclectic vintage living room rug

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Light bright bungalow bedroom

Marie Flanigan Interiors


Join the Conversation

  1. Kate says:

    My favorite local rug go-to source is river oaks rugs; calvin has taken care of me so many times.

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