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9 Tips for Spec-ing the Perfect Rug

A beautiful rug has the power to subtly pull a room together, or make a bold statement. Long after installation, a rug becomes an integral part of the space that the owners will live with, walk on, and touch for years to come. The quality of the materials matter, and so does color, texture, construction, and how the yarns interact and deepen with age. Here are a few expert tips for choosing a rug that will transform your project, wow your clients, and grow more beautiful over time.

1. Color. While the color scheme of your project will inform your choice of rug colors, it’s also important to take into account the color of the surrounding floor. If an area rug will live on hardwood, the tone of the wood stain will create a natural border that will impact how the rug will read.

2. Texture & Light. What is the light source? If placed in a room flooded with natural light, a highly textural rug can change dramatically over the course of a day. The dynamic play of light and texture will showcase the rug’s construction and bring out the natural sheen of the yarns.

3. Heathering & Colorfastness. Over time, dyes in textiles will fade when exposed to direct sunlight, but not all in the same way. By blending dyed and undyed wools in a process called “heathering,” the finished rug will gradually fade in a subtle, gradated manner that appears natural, not jarring. 

4. Pattern. Consider how the direction of the pattern will interact with furniture and lead the eye. Linear patterns can make a short room look longer and when run in the width of the room can make a narrower room look wider much like clothing does. 

5. Stunning Stairways. Speaking of patterns, a stair runner with a coordinated pattern makes a dramatic impact and visually links steps and landings. To account for angles and turns, our design team customizes stair runners by measuring and templating each step individually, so that on installation the pattern connects seamlessly.

6. Size & Scale. Larger rugs in smaller rooms can make the room feel more cramped and smaller than it is. Likewise, an oversized rug in a very large room can make furniture seem small and scarce. A good rule of thumb is to leave a 6-12” margin around the rug (and be sure to account for HVAC floor registers).

7. Shoes or Bare Feet? How will the owners use the room where the rug will live? A tufted rug adds texture that feels cozy underfoot, perfect for bedrooms or sitting rooms. A flatwoven wool rug, like Merida’s Portfolio collection, is ideal for stairs, runners, or entries. 

8. Consider Traffic Patterns. Fabricating a rug for a large room sometimes requires seaming, and a skillfully stitched seam should be all but invisible. For the best results, plan seams to run under furniture or in low-traffic areas.

9. Measure twice. Of course getting the details right the first time is key to managing your project on time. When ordering a custom rug, be sure to measure the space carefully. Merida can provide onsite measurement and installation for your project. Why settle for less than a perfect fit?

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