Posted on:
November 17, 2023

Master the Art of Home Decorating: Top Tips for Using Area Rugs on Hardwood Floors

Unlock the secrets of decorating with rugs on hardwood floors. Maximize comfort and aesthetics in your spaces with our practical and stylish ideas.

Master the Art of Home Decorating: Top Tips for Using Area Rugs on Hardwood Floors

The importance of area rugs in home decorating

Area rugs play a crucial role in transforming the look and feel of a room. They have the power to tie together different elements of your decor, create visual interest, and add warmth and comfort to your living space. When it comes to hardwood floors, area rugs become even more essential, especially for living rooms with hardwood floors. Not only do they protect your floors from scratches and wear, but they also provide a soft surface for your feet to tread on. In this article, we will explore the top tips for using area rugs on hardwood floors to enhance your home's style.

An area rug with a sofa on light floor

Choosing the right area rug for your hardwood floors

When selecting an area rug for your hardwood floors, it's important to consider both aesthetics and functionality. Start by measuring the dimensions of the room and the space you want to cover with the rug. You don't want a rug that is too small or too large for the area. Next, consider the color and pattern of the rug. For light hardwood floors, opt for rugs with darker shades to create contrast and make a statement. Conversely, for dark hardwood floors, lighter shades or patterns can help brighten up the space. Additionally, consider the material of the rug. Wool rugs are durable and provide insulation, while natural fibers like jute or sisal add a rustic touch.

a living room with light hardwood floor and an area rug

How to Decorate with Rugs on Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors add a touch of elegance and warmth to any room. However, they can also feel cold and impersonal. That's where rugs on wooden floors come in. Rugs not only provide comfort underfoot but also add texture, color, and visual interest to a space. When it comes to decorating with rugs on hardwood floors, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you choose and arrange rugs for your hardwood floors:

Size and Placement:

  • The size of the rug is crucial. It should be large enough to define the area and create a visual anchor for the furniture.
  • In a living room, consider placing the front legs of the furniture on the rug. This helps to unify the seating area and creates a cozy gathering space.
  • In a dining room, ensure that the rug is large enough to accommodate the dining table and chairs, even when they are pulled out.
  • In a bedroom, place a large rug under the bed, extending it at least 2 feet beyond the sides and foot of the bed for a luxurious feel.

Color and Pattern:

  • Consider the existing color scheme and style of the room when choosing a rug. It should complement and enhance the overall aesthetic.
  • If the room has neutral or monochromatic tones, a colorful or patterned rug can act as a focal point and add visual interest.
  • Alternatively, if the room already has bold colors and patterns, opt for a more subdued rug to create balance and harmony.

Texture and Material:

  • Hardwood floors have a smooth and sleek surface, so choose a rug with a contrasting texture to add depth and dimension.
  • Consider the material of the rug. Wool rugs are soft, durable, and provide insulation, while natural fiber rugs like jute or sisal add a textural element and work well in casual settings.
  • If you have pets or young children, opt for rugs that are easy to clean and maintain, such as synthetic or stain-resistant materials.


  • For a more eclectic and layered look, consider layering multiple rugs. Start with a larger neutral rug as a base and then add a smaller, patterned rug on top for a pop of color and personality.
  • Make sure the rugs complement each other in terms of style, color, and texture. Experiment with different sizes and shapes to create a visually appealing arrangement.


  • Regularly vacuum and clean your rugs to prevent dirt and debris from scratching or damaging the hardwood floors.
  • Use rug pads underneath to provide cushioning, prevent slipping, and protect the hardwood floors from scratches and wear.

By following these tips, you can effectively decorate your hardwood floors with rugs, adding comfort, style, and personality to your space.

a living room with a hardwood floorand a large area rug covering most of it

Tips for decorating with area rugs on light hardwood floors

Light hardwood floors can create a sense of openness and airiness in a room. To enhance their beauty, choose area rugs that complement the light tones. Rugs with bold colors or intricate patterns can add visual interest and become a focal point in your space. If you prefer a more subtle look, opt for rugs in neutral tones like beige or light grey. Additionally, consider adding texture to your room by selecting a rug with a different pile height or a woven design. This will create depth and make your space feel cozy and inviting.

When placing the rug on your light hardwood floors, be mindful of the furniture arrangement. Ensure that the rug is large enough to accommodate all the furniture in the seating area. This will create a cohesive look and define the space. If you have a small room, consider using a round rug to visually expand the area. Lastly, remember to use a rug pad to prevent slipping and protect your hardwood floors from any potential damage.

Tips for decorating with area rugs on dark hardwood floors

Dark hardwood floors transmit elegance and sophistication. To enhance their beauty, choose area rugs that provide a striking contrast. Light-colored rugs, such as ivory or cream, can create a stunning visual impact. Alternatively, you can opt for rugs with vibrant colors or bold patterns to add a pop of personality to your space. Consider using a rug with a high pile, such as shag or plush, to create a luxurious and cozy atmosphere.

When placing the rug on your dark hardwood floors, consider the size and shape of the room. If you have a large room, a larger rug can help anchor the space and create a cohesive look. For smaller rooms, a smaller rug can add a touch of style without overwhelming the area. Additionally, consider the furniture placement. Ensure that at least the front legs of your furniture are on the rug to create a unified and harmonious design. This will also help prevent the rug from shifting or bunching up.

Tips for Decorating with Oriental Rugs

  1. Choose the right size: Consider the size of your room and the furniture arrangement when selecting an Oriental rug. Ideally, the rug should be large enough to anchor the space and accommodate all furniture legs on top of it.
  2. Consider the color scheme: Oriental rugs come in a variety of colors and patterns. Take into account the existing color palette of your room and choose a rug that complements or contrasts with it. This will create a harmonious and balanced look.
  3. Layering rugs: If you have a smaller Oriental rug, you can layer it on top of a larger neutral rug for added visual interest. This technique works well in living rooms or bedrooms where you want to create a cozy and layered look.
  4. Mix patterns and textures: Don't be afraid to mix different patterns and textures in your space. Oriental rugs can be paired with other patterns such as stripes or florals to create a dynamic and visually appealing room.
  5. Placement: Consider the placement of your Oriental rug. In living rooms, place the rug in the center of the seating area to create a focal point. In dining rooms, make sure the rug is large enough to accommodate the dining table and chairs.
  6. Care and maintenance: Oriental rugs are valuable investments, so it's important to take proper care of them. Regularly vacuum the rug to remove dirt and debris, and consider professional cleaning every few years to maintain its beauty and longevity.

By following these tips, you can successfully incorporate Oriental rugs into your home decor, adding warmth, character, and a touch of exotic elegance to your space.

medium tone hardwood floor with a persian red area rug

Understanding the different types of rug finishing - binding, serging, fringing

In addition to choosing the right rug for your hardwood floors, it's essential to understand the different types of rug finishing. Finishing refers to the edges of the rug and plays a significant role in its overall appearance and durability. There are three main types of rug finishing: binding, serging, and fringing.

Binding involves stitching a fabric edge onto the rug to create a clean and polished look. This type of finishing works well for modern and contemporary spaces.

Serging, on the other hand, involves wrapping yarn around the edges of the rug, resulting in a tightly woven and durable edge. This finishing is commonly found in traditional or oriental rugs.

Fringing refers to the tassels or threads that extend from the edges of the rug. Fringed rugs add a touch of elegance and are often seen in formal or classic interiors.

When choosing the type of finishing for your area rug, consider the overall style and aesthetic of your space. Each type of finishing has its own unique charm and can complement different decor styles.

How to care for and maintain your area rugs on hardwood floors

Proper care and maintenance are crucial to ensure the longevity and beauty of your area rugs on hardwood floors. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  • Regularly vacuum your rugs to remove dirt, dust, and debris. Be gentle and avoid using a beater bar, as it can damage the rug fibers.
  • Rotate your rugs periodically to prevent uneven wear. This is especially important in high-traffic areas.
  • Clean up spills immediately to prevent staining. Blot the spill gently with a clean cloth or paper towel, and avoid rubbing, as it can spread the stain.
  • Use rug pads underneath your area rugs to prevent slipping and protect your hardwood floors from scratches and friction.
  • Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause fading and discoloration. Use window treatments or UV-blocking films to protect your rugs from harmful UV rays.

By following these care and maintenance tips, you can ensure that your area rugs retain their beauty and durability for years to come.

Creative ways to use area rugs in different rooms of your home

Area rugs are incredibly versatile and can be used in various rooms of your home to enhance the overall style and functionality. Here are some creative ways to incorporate area rugs into different spaces:

Living Room:

Place a large area rug under your seating arrangement to define the space and create a cozy conversation area. Ensure that at least the front legs of your furniture are on the rug for a cohesive look.


Add a plush area rug at the foot of your bed to create a soft and luxurious landing spot when you wake up. Alternatively, you can place two smaller rugs on either side of the bed for a symmetrical look. Read more about how to choose the right size for each room here.

Dining Room:

Use an area rug under your dining table to anchor the space and protect your hardwood floors from scratches caused by chair movement. Ensure that the rug is large enough to accommodate the dining chairs when they are pulled out.


Place a small area rug near the entrance to welcome guests and provide a designated spot for wiping their shoes. This will help keep your hardwood floors clean and free from debris.

Home Office:

Add an area rug to your home office to create a defined workspace and add warmth to the room. Choose a rug with a low pile or flat weave to ensure that your office chair can easily roll over it.

By using area rugs creatively in different rooms, you can add personality, comfort, and style to your home.

living room with a red area rug covering most of it

Where to shop for high-quality area rugs for hardwood floors

When it comes to shopping for high-quality area rugs for your hardwood floors, there are several options to consider. Here are some popular choices:

Local Rug Stores:

  • Visit local rug stores in your area to explore a wide range of options and receive personalized assistance from knowledgeable staff. You can see and feel the rugs in person before making a purchase.

Online Retailers:

  • Online retailers offer convenience and a vast selection of area rugs. Browse through different websites, read customer reviews, and compare prices to find the perfect rug for your hardwood floors.

Home Decor Retailers:

  • Many home decor retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, offer a selection of area rugs that can complement your hardwood floors. Check out stores that specialize in home decor or interior design for unique and stylish options.

Auctions and Estate Sales:

  • Keep an eye out for local auctions and estate sales, as they often have hidden gems at affordable prices. You might find vintage or antique rugs that can add a touch of history and character to your home.

Before making a purchase, consider factors such as quality, material, and price. It's also important to check the return policy and warranty offered by the retailer to ensure a hassle-free buying experience.

DIY tips for customizing your area rugs to match your decor

If you can't find the perfect area rug that matches your decor, why not consider customizing one yourself? Here are some DIY tips to help you create a unique and personalized area rug:

  • Stenciling: Use stencils and fabric paint to create patterns or designs on a plain rug. This allows you to incorporate specific colors or motifs that complement your existing decor.
  • Dyeing: Transform a plain white or neutral-colored rug by using fabric dye. This technique allows you to achieve a custom color that matches your decor perfectly.
  • Adding Trim: Attach decorative trim, such as tassels or pom-poms, to the edges of your rug to give it a stylish and personalized touch.
  • Layering: Create a layered look by placing multiple rugs of different sizes and shapes on top of each other. This adds depth and texture to your space.

When customizing your area rug, let your creativity shine and experiment with different techniques to achieve the desired result. Remember to follow any necessary safety precautions and allow ample time for the DIY project to ensure a successful outcome.

Conclusion: Enhance your home's style with the perfect area rug

Area rugs are a powerful tool in home decorating, especially when it comes to hardwood floors. They not only protect your floors but also add warmth, comfort, and style to your living space. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can confidently choose the right area rug for your hardwood floors, understand the different types of rug finishing, care for and maintain your rugs, and even customize them to match your decor. Whether you have light or dark hardwood floors, there are endless possibilities to explore when it comes to using area rugs in your home. So go ahead, master the art of home decorating, and elevate your space with the perfect area rug.

dark wood flooring with an area rug covering most of the living room

Contact Workroom Ace for all your rug needs! Whether you need your rug cut, resized, bound, serged, or fringed, we've got you covered. From rugs on wood floors to rugs in the kitchen, bathroom, or family room, we can help. Our expert team specializes in working with textured rugs of any size and color. Experience the difference of a quality area rug with Workroom Ace. Contact us today for a free consultation!

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