There are several things to consider when making rug choices for living areas.

There are several things to consider when making rug choices for living areas.

Rugs have been a common staple found in all dwellings for several centuries. From huts to houses to medieval castles, you will find the rug a functional, yet decorative household item. Ancient civilizations as well as today’s indigenous tribes have used animal hides or woven reeds as rugs and sleeping mats for flooring. The origination of the Persian rug (also known as the classic magic “flying” carpet) was designed for wandering tribes needing instant flooring for tents erected in sandy deserts. However, today the Persian rug is highly desired by collectors and homeowners alike for its fine craftsmanship and rich patterns.

For today’s modern lifestyle, choosing a rug that is right for a room can do several things for decor. For example: Light colored rugs with simple patterns in a crowded living area create the feeling of openness. Darker colors and dense, intricate patterns bring the feeling of intimacy to a room. Southwestern, country, or contemporary rugs can complete a room’s theme. Rugs, such as Navajo rugs, can also be utilized as wall art.

Natural or Synthetic?

When choosing a rug, keep in mind there are two types of rug materials to consider – synthetic and natural. Natural materials are either plant or animal. Synthetic materials are man made. Here is what you can expect from some of the more popular natural materials.

Wool typically comes from sheep but can also include alpacas, goats and even rabbits. A hardy, durable fiber known for its warmth and insulation, wool retains dyes well. Wool tends to resist fire more than cotton and some synthetic fibers. It is resistant to static electricity.


Cotton is another natural fiber to consider when choosing a rug. Soft to the touch, cotton can be a natural choice for hallways, bedrooms or living areas. Cotton does not have the life span of wool, but can be more cost effective.

Jute comes from plant fiber and is strong and durable. Known for its sound insulation qualities and heat insulation, jute is also environmentally friendly as the fibers can be recycled more than once. When choosing a rug, keep in mind that jute is 100% biodegradable and is a great choice for people suffering from allergies. Jute takes on an “earthy” tone in decorating.

Cowhide or leather is quickly becoming a favorite for decorative rug accents because of their soft suppleness. With the tanning process, these rugs are long lasting, durable and bring a warm feel to a den or family room.

Synthetic materials such as nylon and polypropylene are designed of man made materials. The qualities of nylon are such that it is stain resistant, strong and easy to clean. Because of their durability, nylon rugs are an exceptional choice for placing under furniture or in heavy traffic areas. When choosing a rug for the bathroom or an outdoor living area, polypropylene is second to none. It is strong, colorfast, mildew resistant and resists tearing.

Rugs are not only for keeping floors warm and protecting high traffic areas, but for aesthetic value, comfort, and decor. Choose the right rug for indoor and outdoor living areas with care and they will bring you lasting durability and beauty.