Welcome to our Q&A with Rugs USA column, where we answer your burning questions about rugs and all things interiors! This week, we’re talking light-colored rugs and kids, how to layer rugs on a budget, tips for a new house, and so much more.
Have a question you want answered? Follow Rugs USA on Instagram and drop us a comment or DM any time—then watch this space for the next round of Q&As!
Q: I have a new house and I don’t know where to start. Help!
A: Congrats, and happy to help! In fact, we’ve pulled together a dedicated post just for new movers, but here’s the quick-and-dirty of what you need to know.
First of all: breathe. And know that it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed! Between unpacking and decorating, it takes time to settle into a new home. Allow yourself some space to simply be and live within these new walls.
Our next big tip: Ask yourself which rooms your family will be using the most, and dedicate your energy to those first. Is your baby learning to walk and needing a soft spot to land? Roll out rugs in their room and the family room. Are you planning on hosting a dinner party in the near future? Focus on the dining room and living room. Prioritize your home by room, and make your way down that list at your own pace!
Q: Can I have a light neutral rug with three boys under age 5?
A: Absolutely. We’re big believers in the fact that you can have the home you want with kids and pets—you just have to get a little strategic! Your strategy here is to pick a rug that will help conceal any spots and be easy to clean when the inevitable messes do occur.
In terms of pattern, our recommendation is to go with something busier—think a traditional or an elaborately graphic motif, and not wide, solid-colored stripes. For colors, look for a rug that has a lot of tonal variation, even if they are all beige and tan. Both of these things will help hide the everyday wear and tear that comes with kids.
Material-wise, you’ve got a few options. Polypropylene and other synthetic styles are affordable and easy to clean, as are our outdoor rugs. Our new washable collection is another good bet. Whenever a mess is made, simply toss it in the washer, and voilà! Good as new.
Q: I love layered rugs, but want to stay on a budget. Any ideas for the living room?
A: The layered look is so chic! To stay on budget, we recommend forgoing XL, room-spanning rugs in favor of two smaller styles. As you can see in the photos above, it totally works! Let the layout of your furniture dictate which size base layer you get (you can learn more about that here), and go with a natural jute style, which will likely be less expensive. On top, choose a size that will frame your coffee table—at least a couple inches longer than each side will do the trick!
Q: What rug will go with charcoal furniture, original hardwood oak floors, and light gray walls?
A: Great news! Because you’re working with all neutrals, nearly any rug will look great. But we have a few ideas on what colors will be especially fabulous in your space!
We love the idea of black-and-cream graphic moment, and think our selection of Moroccan rugs would fit the bill perfectly and help create a modern boho feel in the space. On the traditional end of the spectrum, again, so many options would work! To tie it all back to the couch, we would look for traditional Persian-inspired styles that have a bit of black or gray in them. And if you’re wanting to highlight your gorgeous floors, choose a rug with hints of brown, orange, or yellow to bring out the natural beauty of the wood.
Q: What size should a rug be under a sectional couch in a living room?
A: You may think your sectional needs to have an XL rug underneath it. And it certainly can! But the truth is, so many sizes of rugs can work with sectionals. Let us explain!
If your budget is smaller, or you don’t want the rug to span the whole room, try a small 3’ x 5’ or 4’ x 6’ rug. Place it under your coffee table (if you have one) in that negative space that’s in between the benches of your sectional. (See an example two photos up.) And if you eventually want more coverage, you can always add a larger rug underneath for an extra layer!
On the medium side of things, look to 5’ x 8’ or 6’ x 9’ rugs. Depending on the exact size of your sofa, these styles can be placed under the front set of legs of the sectional, and extend a little beyond the “floating” bench’s edge. (See the photo directly above for a good example.)
You can also use large rugs—those that are 8’ x 10’ and above. The entire sectional (front and back legs included!) can likely be placed on the rug, depending on its size and how far you want the rug to stretch into the room.
A few extra tips: Don’t forget about a rug pad, which will help protect your floors and rug from the heavy sectional on top. And if you’re still having trouble deciding on a size, grab a roll of painter’s tape and tape out the exact dimensions of a few rug sizes to see exactly how they will look in your space.
Q: Can you put an area rug on top of carpet? I have a blue carpet in my apartment. Not cute to say the least!
A: We feel your pain! Unwanted carpet is no fun, but luckily you can hide it with a rug. The fact that it’s blue makes it a little tricky. So we suggest getting as large of a rug as your budget allows, and choosing a pattern or color that won’t clash with the blue—whether it’s a neutral or has blue or complementing hues in it. Secure the rug with carpet tape or with our rubber-backed Pet-Friendly Non-Slip Grip rug pad to make sure everything stays in place. And don’t forget to share a pic once you’ve rolled out the rug!