There was a time, when I still lived in England, that I thought the days of the area rug were over. It seemed everyone had fitted carpets, a wall to wall covering that had replaced the old small carpets and rugs. It was all very different from my childhood, when bare timber or stone floors may have gained some relief from a large rug or carpet; a quality Persian carpet if you were lucky, or even an Axminster carpet, to give you a covered area in the middle of the floor in the main living area.
As with many types of products in the consumer world, like fashion, contemporary changes in decor often draw on past designs, and that is certainly the case of area rugs. Over recent times, people have started to appreciate more that rugs really can have a part to play in modern decor. In fact, rugs can be used effectively in vintage decor themes, too.
Many people have never lost their appreciation for wooden floors, with polished timber being such an attractive flooring material, while thousands of others are rediscovering, or discovering for the first time, that a lot of bare floor can provide a good foil for your furniture, furnishings and other decor. Rather than cover the whole floor wall to wall with a fitted carpet, a well chosen area rug can provide an extra piece in the interior decor puzzle. The floor itself may be tiles or timber, but the rugs can be just as effective if you choose an appropriate design.
There have also been several developments over recent years that have brought area rugs back into fashion. The range of natural materials available to make rugs may not be new, but modern techniques and artistic designs have made some old natural fibers and other materials, such as cowhide leather, that much more versatile and attractive than before. This has come at a time when concerns have been raised by wall to wall carpeting with synthetic carpets, and the possible pollution to the home atmosphere. Mixed, perhaps, with a bit of nostalgia for traditional materials, natural fibers have become increasingly attractive to modern consumers.
While some of the natural fibers can have a rough or course feel to them, they can still find a place in the home, whether in the main living area, dining room, or bathroom. Examples of the rougher or ribbed textured natural fibers that are in vogue, for area rugs, are Sisal, Seagrass, and Jute. These can be useful for heavy use areas of the home, such as a porch.
For those who prefer softer textures, then wool rugs and carpets are widespread, and the shaggier styles can be quite luxurious. Shag area rugs add a warm ambience to your decor, whatever the color or style, and one of the most luxurious of all is the Flokati rug, a type of wool rug traditionally made in Greece.
If you have not considered area rugs as part of your home decor, then it is worth taking another look at the latest designs. You may be pleasantly surprised.
if you have have wall to wall fitted carpets, then there may still be a place for an area rug. If the carpet is plain, a patterned area rug can complement and contrast if well selected. With a patterned carpet, a plain rug may show off the patterns of the carpet better, plus provide some relief if it is a particularly bold pattern.
The important thing to remember, though, is that rugs have not been condemned to the graveyard by wall to wall carpeting. They are very much alive and blossoming.
This article about the use of area rugs in the modern home was written by Roy Thomsitt, owner author of the Gardens and Decor website. Gardens and Decor has a section on rugs, where you can read about Sisal rugs , Persian rugs, seagrass rugs , and Flokati rugs , plus many more popular styles and types of contemporary and traditional area rugs.