5 Reasons You Need a Rug

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You need a rug. When you are designing a room, they are as necessary as windows. You may have the most beautiful hardwood floors ever created, or hand-painted Italian floor tiles, or an acre of glossy travertine, but you’ll still probably want a rug. In all my years designing, I can only think of a handful of designs that didn’t just beg for a rug, and most of those involved wall-to-wall carpeting.

There’s just so much a rug can add to a room.

Rugs unify a room.Because a rug can claim as much space as it needs, and play off any objects in the room, nothing does a better job of tying a room together. The right rug will pull together or complement colors from throughout the design, and makes the whole design concept look thoughtfully selected.

Rugs anchor furniture.Put a piece of furniture on an unadorned floor, and it looks like it’s floating. Push it against a wall, and it looks like it’s just hanging there. But with a rug underneath, furniture placement looks more purposeful.

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Vintage Anatolian 4.10 x 22.5 from Nashville Rug Gallery. Click to shop.

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Vintage Anatolian 2.7 x 13.10 from Nashville Rug Gallery. Click to shop.

Rugs define sub-spaces.Giant rugs indicate a space for lots of activity, like a ballroom or conference hall, and that’s great for family spaces. Smaller rugs can define conversation spaces within a larger room or a space that’s devoted to a desk or a reading nook. And a runner, suggestively placed, tells people to walk where you want them to walk (and not between you and the television).

Rugs add warmth and texture.Obviously, they’re more delightful to walk on than a cold marble floor, but rugs add visual warmth, as well. The texture or intricate pattern offer a layer of visual interest that breaks up the cold expanse or horizontal surfaces, and they certainly cut down on noise. A rug is the difference between a living room and a waiting room.

Rugs make a statement.Rugs, done right, can be like pieces of art, and they make a big statement about the personality of the homeowner. I love a great antique rug, of course, but I also love adding something strikingly modern underneath classic furniture.

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Giant rugs indicate a space for lots of activity, like a ballroom or conference hall, and that’s great for family spaces. Click to view on Instagram.

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Smaller rugs can define conversation spaces within a larger room or a space that’s devoted to a desk or a reading nook. Click to view on Instagram.

Yes, they need to be vacuumed and occasionally shampooed. Yes, dogs and children and your friends who like cabernet will have accidents on them. But oh, how wonderful they feel underfoot

What’s on your floors? What kind of rug works best in your life? Tell us all about it in comments.


Mary Spalding is a Nashville based interior designer with over 30 years of experience. She has overseen countless home revitalizations, renovations, and restorations. She can be reached with your projects and ideas at mary@spaldingway.com.

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