Rugs can set the tone for a room. (Courtesy/PXHere) 

An area rug makes an amazing impact in a room. Pulling double duty as functional art, a rug provides visual delight and much-needed comfort under foot.

Try to imagine a cozy home library without a rug.

Whether you are redecorating your home to reflect your evolving tastes or building a home from scratch, selecting a rug is an important element of interior design. 

An area rug sets boundaries by serving as a guide for grouping furniture. The resulting "trim" around the rug’s edges becomes paths and well-defined perimeter.

We intuitively follow a rug’s unspoken instructions. If you’ve ever rented a beach cottage, you know the feeling of relaxation when you arrive. The front-door mat says "Welcome to the Beach," and the colorful flip-flop motif invites you to come in and kick off your shoes. And then you do exactly that!

Start the process of selecting a rug by considering what patterns attract you. Common patterns include medallion, floral and botanical motifs, geometric, abstract and stripes. 

Think about what the rug is made of and where it will be used. Silk, linen, cotton and wool are among natural fibers used to make rugs. Synthetic fibers resist stains and moisture without sacrificing beauty and style.

Use the colors in your area rug as a starting point for the color palette of the entire room. 

My husband and I bought several new rugs from ReStore, the Habitat for Humanity store in Tyler. The home-improvement outlet sells new rugs at a low cost. 

Enjoy the selection process! Ignite your passions, choose what you love and follow your heart. 

Here are six things to think about.


Persian, Aubusson and Navajo rugs are timeless treasures handmade from fine fibers. They add a rich layer of understated elegance that enhances styles ranging from modern minimalism to urban loft.

Rooted in tribal heritage and steeped in history, these wonderful weavings are art that is walked on. Consider hanging fragile, museum-quality rugs as tapestry to preserve and show their beauty.


Bright and colorful contemporary designs add excitement. Lots of movement within a design generates enthusiasm!

Imagine the impact of a larger-than-life floral design, energetic stripes, fun geometric shapes or even a butterfly or two.

Made of synthetic materials, family-friendly rugs look amazing on wood, tile or concrete and are stain-resistant and worry-free.


Retro shag rugs shout of modern playfulness.

Coordinating the rug with faux fur ottomans and throw pillows adds to the fun. While yesterday’s shags mixed well with Lucite and flower power, today’s white shags look sophisticated when paired with a dramatic velvet sofa and a pot of regal orchids.


Imagine having a soft, silver cloud under your feet. Whether made of silk or synthetic blends, luxurious rugs make you feel as if are walking on air.

A silvery-grey weaving in a subtle pattern or a sophisticated monochromatic pattern recedes into the background and allows you to draw attention to other objects, such as colorful art.

A luxurious rug turns any setting into a serene oasis. 


A rug displaying abstract art warms the chilliest of spaces.

Perfect on a polished concrete floor or ceramic tile, a rug in sumptuous colors and thick pile invites coziness. Muted tones add warmth. Bold splashes of color enthuse.

The wonderful thing about abstract design is that it speaks specifically to you. Similar to a Rorschach painting, an abstract print becomes what you wish it to be.


Bring the great outdoors inside with a rug featuring leafy botanicals, the look of moss or a flower garden bursting with color. Or perhaps you would prefer a floral in the palest of shades or waves of a seascape in cool blues.

Emulating nature’s power and softness, these motifs stand the test of time. 

If you need help to select a rug, a professional interior designer will show you size, shape and color options that fit your budget.

Patricia Wilson is a commercial interior designer registered with the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners. Visit her at

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