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How to Buy the Best Rug for Your Room on a Budget

by Merri Cvetan

I love design and redecorating. I became an interior designer to help the “design challenged” bring style and personality into their homes. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a big budget. There are many ways to add style, color and pizzazz to your living room without breaking the bank. Bringing in an area rug is one of the easiest ways.

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One Room, Three Rugs

An area rug is the foundation to a room. If possible, it should be one of the first purchases you make when redecorating. It becomes the jumping off point when choosing color, fabric and accessories.

Gray paint with gray rug

This living room has pale gray walls with white wainscot paneling. A lounge chair in medium grey and round end table with a dark grey skirt is a great start to a conversation area. Gray is the new beige and coordinates with every other color imaginable.

If your style leans toward monochromatic, meaning you like rooms decorated with a single color, then the area rug should be in a similar shade. In this room, that means gray. The result is a calm and soothing scheme. You can add accessories, pillows and art in contrasting colors to add some pizzazz.

Before choosing a rug, consider who uses the room. Kids, pets, and spills go hand-in-hand. You will want a rug that is easy to clean and care for. A two-tone rug will hide dirt much better than a single, solid color.

Best area rugs for kids and pets

Traditional style doesn’t have to be old-fashioned. You’re not living in great-grandma’s parlor. A classic pattern in a new color adds old world elegance with a twist. Persian-style rugs are available in a variety of price points, materials, colors and sizes. A less expensive synthetic rug looks just as good as a valuable antique and doesn’t require dry cleaning. Area rugs are the anchor in a room. Depending on the size of the space and amount of furniture, choose a rug to fit the seating arrangement. The rug should be placed under the furniture—if not fully, then at least under the front legs.

Modern room rugs with bold color

Are you daring enough to handle lots of color with a contemporary flair? Or a maybe a bold pattern or a mid-century shag rug is more your style? Any of these choices are usually best in small doses. As much as I love these options, I wouldn’t do any of them in wall-to-wall carpeting. That’s the beauty of area rugs. You can bring in something unexpected and swap it out for something else when the mood strikes or the season changes.

Wherever you add in an area rug, don’t forget the rug pad. A rug pad not only adds cushion, it reduces slipping, extends the life of the rug and protects the floor.

As with all your home purchases, buy the best you can afford. If you plan on keeping the area rug for a long time, it’s a better investment to spend a little more. If you like to change the room’s decor regularly, then consider a lower price point. Whether you’re starting out with your first home or apartment or just ready to redecorate, an area rug adds style and personality. You want your room to say “I live here!”

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Interior designer Merri Cvetan writes about area rugs and other floor design topics for The Home Depot. Merri's style concepts are based on her work with clients since she began her design career after purchasing an 1890s Wisconsin farmhouse. Research area rugs available on Home Depot's Home Decorators Collection website, including patterns discussed here at BetterBudgeting by Merri.

Read more articles like this in our Frugal Living Index

Copyright © 2016 by Merri Cvetan. All rights reserved.

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