5 Tips for Decorating With Rugs on Hardwood Floors

5 Tips for Decorating With Rugs on Hardwood Floors

Decorating with rugs on hardwood
Looking for the perfect rug to complement your hardwood floors? It's important to choose a rug with the right tone and texture so your home design is cohesive and you bring out the best in your flooring. Read on for decorating tips and ideas to consider when shopping for a rug for hardwood floors.

Contrast Wood Tone With Rug Color

Contrast Wood Tone With Rug Color

Blonde hardwoods can make a space feel light and cheerful, while rich dark woods can lend a sense of maturity and depth. If you want to bring balance to either type of hardwood flooring, choose your rug color wisely.

A colorful, saturated rug can help weigh down the wide-open feeling in a stark room. Think deep greens, reds, and browns to give light woods cozier vibes. You can also lift the heaviness of a moody room by layering dark hardwoods with muted tones. Stick to rug colors in neutrals like white and grey for buoyancy.

Think you know which rug will look best with your hardwood floor? Check out our guide on How to Choose the Perfect Area Rug Color for Your Space.

Soften the Look With a Surprising Texture

Soften the Look With Surprising Texture

It’s important to feel relaxed in your own home, and part of that is knowing you can unwind at the end of a day with maximum comfort underfoot. So when you’re decorating with rugs on hardwood floors, try to find a nice textural contrast that makes your space feel more snug and cozy.

A woolly Moroccan rug or classic shag is perfect for adding softness and visual interest to polished hardwood. Natural fiber rugs have a coarse look and feel for an all-natural design, but they might come with a latex backing that sticks to hardwood. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the trend – simply look for a natural rubber rug pad to slide underneath your rug.

For more on choosing the right rug pad material, read our Guide to Rug Pads.

Leave a Beautiful Border of Wood Grain

Leave a Beautiful Border of Wood Grain

When you’re decorating with area rugs on hardwood floors, you’re not trying to hide the flooring completely. Hardwood’s gorgeous, fibrous finish is super unique and sought-after, especially as people try to bring nature back into their homes. To fully appreciate the organic texture, leave a border of wood grain around your new rug.

By centering your rug over your hardwood floor, you’re defining the space, establishing the room’s focus and flow all at once. Leaving just enough hardwood exposed allows you to admire it while keeping it protected.

Enliven Planks With a Patterned Pop

Enliven Planks With a Pop of Pattern

Hardwood floors are neutral, so they go with almost anything and make an excellent base for rugs with exciting designs. The age of your hardwood can help you choose a rug pattern. Warmer-toned boards with more wear will seem dramatic and storied, so you’ll want to choose an antique rug to emphasize their character. For newer hardwoods, consider an abstract rug to keep things feeling current.

Since matte hardwoods have a softer, quieter look, try to brighten them with bold colors and dazzling patterns. Southwestern and Oriental rugs, for example, combine both qualities and look great with any wood tone. If you prefer a sleek appearance, use a striped rug as a simple, stylish complement to hardwood’s orderly lines.

Explore the 5 Best Area Rug Patterns to find the best one for your hardwood floor.

Avoid Scratches and Stains With a Large Rug

Use a Large Rug to Avoid Wood Scratches and Stains

Rug size and placement over a hardwood floor is everything. If your rug isn’t big enough to ground your space, it will not only diminish the effect of the entire room and put your decor to shame, but you’ll also put your hardwood at risk of scratches and stains.

Get a floor covering that’s big enough to have all four legs of your furniture resting on the rug. This ensures that as seating moves back and forth, or you decide to change your layout later on, it won’t damage your wooden floorboards. There should still be at least 6 to 18 inches between your rug and wall to maintain a border.

Before you even think about laying down a stich of rug fabric you’ll want to sweep and mop your hardwood floors. Any dirt and oil trapped underneath a rug can scratch and stain the wood. Check out How to Protect Wood Floors With Area Rugs to cover your bases.


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