Design School Case Study: How We Chose Ashley's Living Room Rugs

Design School Case Study: How We Chose Ashley's Living Room Rugs

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Dabney Frake
Oct 15, 2015
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Hello naked floor. You are real pretty, that's for sure, but sometimes our lil' piggies like to touch down on something plush and soft that's comfortable to walk on. Which means a rug is in order. Rugs are one of the main pillars of a room - they add pattern, texture and comfort. They are also one of the most expensive elements, so you want to make a good, informed choice here.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

If you've got your official Design School thinking cap on, you know how large your room is. You can't shop blind, so size and budget will all come into play here. Ashley's little living room is roughly 13' x 15'.

(Image credit: Dabney Frake)

Here's the layout from above, so you can understand the scope of the room. It's a little wider (15') than it is long (13'), which makes it easier to find rugs, which are mostly rectangular.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

OPTION #1: One Large Rug

The first option is to choose a rug that really covers the space and makes it feel full and complete. The benefits are many, the main one being that it feels luxurious — it's just one long soft continuous plane of amazing foot feeling. The downside is that really large rugs can be spend-y so they aren't always an option for mere mortals.

Large Pink Rug: Savafieh Rug from Wayfair

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

OPTION #2: One Smaller Rug

You can still get a similar effect with a smaller rug in the same configuration — it just doesn't cover the real estate that a large one covers. It will also be a lot less expensive, so it's also the more common approach. If this is the route you take, keep each piece of furniture in the same place on the rug. For example, if the sofa has two legs on, two legs off, then make sure any chairs have two legs on, two legs off.

Medium Moroccan Style Rug: Taza Wool Shag Rug from West Elm

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

OPTION #3: Two Medium Size Rugs Side By Side

You can also create one large rug out of two smaller rugs laying side by side. Depending on the rug, this might be cheaper and easier to achieve. If you have two identical rugs, you can almost get the feeling of one large rug. The downside is the seam in the middle. If you choose two different rugs, then any contrasting color and patterns add interest to the room. (And yes, I know that the rugs aren't perfectly positioned under the sofa. This is for demonstration purposes only.)

Medium Moroccan Style Rug: Taza Wool Shag Rug from West Elm
Medium Black & White Rug: Dhurrie Rug from World Market
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

OPTION #4: Small Rug Layered On Top of Larger Rug

This is a nice way to get the best of both worlds. Place a plainer large rug below, then layer a smaller patterned rug directly on top. This set up has the texture and interest, but it also has the area coverage that's really nice too. It also means you can buy an inexpensive larger rug down below (like cheaper natural fiber ones) then spend a little bit more on the smaller, more impactful rug.

Large Pink Rug: Savafieh Rug from Wayfair
Medium Moroccan Style Rug: Taza Wool Shag Rug from West Elm
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

OPTION #5: One Diagonal Rug Layered On Top of A Larger Rug

And then there's this option: layer a rug at a diagonal. This isn't easy folks and, in my opinion, it's hard to make this look natural. But if you do, it adds nice movement that breaks up all the hard angles in the room.

Large Pink Rug: Savafieh Rug from Wayfair
Medium Moroccan Style Rug: Taza Wool Shag Rug from West Elm
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

By now you know we went with the two layered rugs. To see the rest of the room, check out the original makeover post and create your own unique room with a little help from our Design School.

MAKEOVER RESOURCES:

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