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Area Rug Styles Buying Guide

by Staff Writer

Colorful wool area rug

Whether you have carpet, tile or wood flooring, adding an area rug or two to your home will protect your floors in high-traffic areas from furniture movement and daily use. Rugs are an instant update to the decor of your living room, dining room or bedroom. Area rugs come in many styles, sizes, materials and weaves so you can find the perfect rug, no matter what your style. At, we divide our rugs into seven styles for your convenience. Our styles are casual, contemporary, country, traditional, transitional, novelty and outdoor. If your home is mainly French country, for example , you'll probably be drawn toward traditional or country style and away from contemporary; keep reading for an explanation of area rug styles according to

Area Rug Styles:

  1. Casual-style area rugs: Casual rugs have either a basic pattern or no pattern at all. A simple monochromatic rug or a rug with a simple border will be in our "casual rug" category. Casual rugs are crafted of natural materials, including bamboo, simple wool, leather, jute and sisal.

  2. Contemporary-style area rugs: Contemporary rugs feature a geometric design; this can include geometric shapes, waves and squiggles, blocks, stripes and bold circles. Contemporary rugs also tend to showcase brighter colors than other styles of rugs. Compared to the subdued colors of casual rugs, contemporary rugs have bright, trendy colors throughout their designs, including bright, monochromatic shades.

  3. Country-style area rugs: Country-style rugs are categorized by having floral and garden patterns. Vines and flowers, in both bold and muted colors, can be seen on country area rugs. Country-style rugs might also feature farm animals and pictorial scenes of country or farm life. Food, like vegetables and fruit, mixed in with their other features like roosters and gardens, are common country-style motifs.

  4. Traditional-style area rugs: Traditional style area rugs are the easiest to identify. Their main features include Persian influences: intricate designs of vines, flowers and scrollwork in their borders and as their allover patterns. Traditional rugs are typically bordered, usually with inner borders, and filled with intricate designs.

  5. Transitional-style area rugs: Transitional rugs feature a combination of contemporary and traditional rug styles; transitional area rugs combine bold colors with Persian styles and borders.

  6. Novelty-style area rugs: The main features of novelty-style rugs are shapes, animal prints and specialty themes. Shaped floor rugs are often used in children's rooms (think cars, stars, hearts and crowns), but shaped novelty rugs can also be popular with adults in recreation rooms, dens and for sporting events. Animal print rugs also fall into the novelty rug category; zebra and tiger stripes or leopard and cheetah spots can be used almost as neutrals or to complement bright colors. Sports-themed rugs can feature logos, team names or team colors and are a great way to show your winning spirit and your support for your favorite team. Other novelty rugs include musical instruments or hobbies, animals that are not considered domestic or farm animals (like monkeys) and licensed characters from cartoons, movies and books.

  7. Outdoor-style area rugs: Outdoor rugs are the crossover category for rug styles. Outdoor rugs can come in any of the styles above, and they also have the ability to be outdoors and withstand the elements. Outdoor rugs will be resistant to mold and mildew. This is the rug style you should explore if you plan to leave your rug outdoors and unprotected for long periods of time.

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