Birchwood Furniture Galleries
7315 11th St. SE Calgary Alberta T2H 2S1 587-323-3227
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Choosing the Best Area Rug for your Space

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Nothing pulls together a space like an area rug! Whether they are used to define an open plan space or to anchor a seating arrangement, area rugs bring warmth, texture, colour and pattern to any space.

Despite the area rug being a traditional component of home decor, our clients often ask us questions about the basics of selecting a rug for their home. We want you to feel confident when shopping for your perfect area rug.

How to select the right size?

There are do’s and don’ts when it comes to selecting the right size of area rug for your space. We have summarized the rules for you into the following basics:

1) All front legs of the furniture in your space should be able to sit on the area rug

2) Ideally your area rug should fill the floor space, with between 6” and 18” of bare flooring between the edge of the rug and the wall

3) Be sure to take walkways and transitions between spaces of different functions into account.

How to select the right material?

As you learned in our Fabrics 101 post last month, the fibre content of an area rug will largely

determine where it should be used and what its characteristics are. These materials can be

broken down into natural fibres and man-made fibres, with a large range of materials available in the market place. Today we will explain the properties of a few of our top selling materials – jute, wool and olefin.

Natural fibre rugs bring texture and warmth into a home. Their earthy, versatile style makes them well-suited for either formal or casual rooms. Jute is a long, soft, shiny fibre that can be spun into coarse threads. This material is used to create a natural looking layer of texture in any room. Jute tends to fray with wear and works best in low-traffic areas with large pieces of furniture placed on top of it.

For centuries wool rugs have been used in homes and passed down generations. Wool is a great material for area rugs as it is durable, resilient to crushing and affords comfort. Wool fibres are longer lasting, inherently flame resistant and hide soiling, especially when woven in dark and complex patterns. Wool rugs tend to shed loose fibres but with regular vacuuming, this will diminish over time. Wool rugs are ideal for use in most living spaces in the form of area rugs or broadloom carpet.

Olefin is a man-made fibre made from a polyolefin. Olefin is a very hard wearing, colourfast material. It is resistant to staining, mildew, abrasion and sunlight. This material is ideal for use in entry ways, homes with many pets, and commercial spaces. Olefin tends to be crushed by furniture, so it is recommended that furniture placed on it should have plastic cups on it’s legs.

How to select the construction for you?

Area rugs come in many different styles. Some of our most popular types of area rugs are flat weaves, shags and hand tufted rugs.

Flat weave rugs are woven on a loom and are typically thinner and lighter than a knotted rug with a tufted pile. This type of rug has a more casual look that can be used alone or layered. Flat woven rugs are reversible for twice the wear and are a practical and affordable option for any room. Known for their amazing colours and patterns, flat weave area rugs fit easily into any space or under any door as they have zero pile height.

Shag rugs can range in look from elegant to casual depending on what material they are made of and the length of pile. Shag rugs are soft, cozy and luxurious, and come in a variety of textures and lengths. These thick, fluffy rugs have long fibres that give them more depth and movement than the average rug, and allow for varying patterns and elaborate colour. Perfect for intimate rooms in your home where you might like a little added cushion and comfort.

Hand tufting is a hand-crafting technique in which the pile is inserted into a pre-woven foundation by hand with a tufting gun. The loops of yarn are then sheared to create a soft, plush pile. This process allows the weavers to create intricate rugs of high quality in a shorter amount of time than a hand-knotted rug, thus reducing the cost and creating a very affordable quality option. Hand-tufted rugs can withstand high traffic, and are recommended for use in hallways, family room and entryways.

How to select the colour and pattern?

Options are endless! Whether you are looking for inspiration for your space’s colour palette, a way to layer existing colours through texture and pattern, or to bring in a contrasting element, an area rug can be the missing link to the decor of your dreams. From contemporary to traditional patterns, you can use your area rug as a focal point or an accent in your space.

Capel Rugs at Birchwood Furniture Galleries!

If you are looking for an area rug for your home, come by our Calgary showroom to see the options we have available. We carry Capel Rugs, a company making area rugs in North Carolina for over 95 years.

This covers the basics on how to approach selecting an area rug for your home! When faced with the many choices in store, we hope this information helps. Remember, you are not alone in  this process! Our team of design consultants are here to help you.


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