Good Questions: To Rug or Not To Rug?

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Hello AT,

Long time reader, first time emailer.

So, I moved into a 1BR loft in Boerum hill about 6 months ago and things are slowly coming together.

One of the many issues I'm struggling with is whether or not to put down a carpet in the living/dining space. Right now the couch faces the stereo/plasma and I have arranged a couple chairs around it to create the living space, with the dining space just to the left of the couch and nearer to the passthrough kitchen...

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Part of what drew me to the apartment in the first place is its open feeling, which is bolstered by the tall windows and floors. The only problem is that I feel the living part of the living/dining space isn't perhaps all it should be: it lacks separation from the dining area and is feeling a bit too spaced out.

I was thinking of putting an area rug (the space is 17 x 23, so maybe 10 x 10ish?) just in front of the couch, under the coffee table, extending till just before my speakers and ending a few feet shy of the dining table on the left, and a few feet shy of the window wall on the right.

My questions are, is this a good way to go about creating some separation and intimacy for the living space without breaking up the openness of the entire room?

Is there a cleverer way to do this or arrange things to make the room both integrated by distinct, space-wise? Is covering up the nice wood floors a mistake and should I think of rearranging and adding different furniture instead?

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In terms of carpets, I was thinking of something vaguely persian since I have a mixture of mid-century and antique, but would a solid color or sisal rug with a border work better? I work in the decorative arts, so I know the major vendors, but anyone special I should be looking at?

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Anyways, I know this is a doozy so I'll understand if you can't get through it, but thought the readers may know if and which rug to use to create a little separation.

Thanks in advance for even tolerating this, and keep up the amazing work on the site!

Best, Matthew

Dear Matthew,

We'll start this off by saying that you should DEF put in a rug in the living room area and just keep it calm and not to busy of pattern so that it still keeps the room feeling open.

And don't worry about covering up your wood floors! You've got plenty of it.

Anyone else?

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.