How to select a traditional rug for a classic-style home

A fine traditional rug is a gorgeous addition to any style of home decor, but it’s at its most splendid when it graces a home that is classically furnished and decorated with antiques or lovely reproductions. Traditional rugs range from antique and new Persians to Turkish kilims to hand-knotted Pakistani to Berbers to Chinese, Navajo, and more. Their fibers include wool, silk, cotton, and fine synthetic, and production techniques run the gamut from handmade to machine-woven. The common denominator of traditional-style rugs are the classic designs and tonal influences that have lasted the test of time. As an important investment for your home, and with so many options available, it’s critical research well before making your purchase. Below are some valuable factors to consider when selecting a traditional rug to complement a classic style room:

Assess Your Space

One of the first considerations to take into account is the size of your room. If you are going to invest money in a good traditional area rug, you don’t want it hidden away under the furniture, so take the time to think through your furniture arrangement in the room, as it will dictate the size. In traditional style when the furnishings are floating (set with all legs completely within the perimeter of the rug) the rule of thumb is to measure the entire seating area of the room and then go with a rug that is the next size up. Other options include furniture set partly off the rug with two front legs on the carpet and their backs to the wall. This option can allow you to go with a smaller rug, as can the option of putting a small area rug under a coffee table with furniture legs completely off the rug and centered around it.

Think of the Rugs in Adjoining Rooms

Remember that adding or changing a rug is one of the easiest ways to freshen up a room, but  it’s also part of a larger whole. Look at the room where you plan to put your new rug from several perspectives: inside, outside, and through. Stand inside the room to get a sense of what the rug would look like within the room. Then, stand outside the room to see how will appear when you are entering the room. Finally, look at the perspective as you gaze from one room to the next. You want your home to function as a whole connected space, and rugs are a simple way to connect rooms. Rugs in adjoining rooms should have at least one color in common, so that spaces flow smoothly into each other.

What is Your Lifestyle?

When choosing a traditional area rug, be sure to take careful stock of your lifestyle. Do you have pets and children? Will there be a lot of traffic in the room or is going to be fairly quiet in the space? These considerations will affect both the color and fiber of the rug that you choose. If you expect a lot of activity, you may want to choose darker colors over lighter ones--or be prepared to do a lot of cleaning. And if you have a quiet, more stately home, you can afford to go with lighter tones.

What is the Function of the Rug?

Is your traditional rug going to be purely decorative in purpose and in a more formal setting? Will you want to be able to relax and sink your feet into deep pile? Will it be located in a more casual, social setting where guests or family may be using the rug as a place to sit and play or watch television? Taking its intended usage into account is essential in determining the type and color of rug that you select. Flat-woven rugs are more durable, while rugs with deeper pile are more comfortable and luxurious. Assessing the function can help you narrow down the type of rug that works for your life.