If you live in a home with hard floor surfaces, you might be considering adding some area rugs. They can soften a room and add some dimension to the space, and they're a lot more affordable than wall-to-wall carpeting. What should you look for in a good area rug? Well, that depends on the room.
In the dining room, you want an area rug that is going to clean up easily in case someone spills on it. One made from nylon fibers is a good choice — make sure it has been coated in a stain-fighting agent, too. Comfort is not so important here since you won't be sitting or play on the carpet, so it's okay to go with a rug that has stiffer, shorter fibers. A dark color is preferable because stains are less likely. If you must go with a lighter color, look for a patterned rug — any stains will be less obvious.
In the living room, comfort should be your goal when purchasing an area rug. Look for a plush rug with long, soft fibers. Those made from natural cotton are a good choice, although they do tend to be stain-prone, so you'll want to avoid eating in the living room if you have one. You can also play with color in a living room rug — light colors are okay, especially if you don't have kids or pets. Make sure your living room rug has strong, sturdy backing so that it does not slide when you put furniture on top of it.
In the bedroom, a rug should be comfortable with soft fibers, but it should also be the center of attention. You want a rug that serves as the focal point, acting as a balance point between your bed and dressers. This is the place to play with bright colors and patterns, like blue stripes or orange splashes. You can also experiment with multiple smaller area rugs if you want. For instance, you can place a smaller runner along one side of the bed and another small rug at the foot of the bed.
In the entryway, you want a rug with short, water-resistant fibers. An indoor-outdoor carpet is a good choice. Look for one that is wide enough to cover the entire entryway so that you don't end up with mud and dirt to the side of the rug.