Rug Buying Guide: Size Matters

Does the thought of buying a rug excite or stress you out?  

Rugs are an investment much like jewelry, a car or a house so the same type care should be taken when considering your next rug purchase.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you begin.

  • Do I want to enclose the space with an expansive rug?
  • Do I want to define the space by creating different zones within the same room?
  • Do I want to draw attention to the space with a smaller area rug?  This can be achieved through size, pattern or layering. 
  • Does my space connect to other spaces?  What existing rugs or patterns will share the same visual space with a new rug?
  • Is the area high traffic or a quiet retreat? 

The Living Room: 

Whether entertaining or relaxing at home this is one of the high traffic zones in your house.  It is necessary to take into consideration your budget as this could be your most valuable rug.   The right rug will finish your space: if the rug is too small the space will feel choppy and cramped or if the rug is too large it will overwhelm the space. 

Measure the seating area: consider whether legs will be all on or half off the rug.  If your space is limited a small rug in front of a sofa and chairs (5x8) makes a statement in a small space.  If you have a floating furniture plan, buy a rug large enough for all furniture to rest within the rug (typically a 9x12) to unify the room.  Another common option when furniture is along the wall is to have the back legs of furniture off the rug (8x10).  Rule of thumb: there should be at least a 12” border of bare floor around the rug and 6” on either side of the sofa. 

The Dining Room: 

Do you entertain formally a few times a year or have daily meals in your dining area?  No matter how you dine the same rules apply.  Measure the length and width of your table and add 2’ on all sides (don’t forget the leaf if you table has one).  This will allow chairs to be pulled out without falling off the rug (5x8, 8x10, 9x12). No one likes to eat while in motion unless of course you are on a cruise ship.  Quick Tip: Don’t forget the other furniture in the room, china cabinets & buffets; it is best if they stay off the rug. 

The Bedroom: 

Think about whether you want to frame the bed or have a soft place for your feet when you wake up.  For a larger rug that will surround the bed, measure the bed and add 24”-36” to each side (bottom 2/3 of the bed).  A queen bed typically requires a 5x 8 or 8 x 10 lengthwise under the bed.  If you have a seating area at the end of the bed or a king size bed an 8 x 10 or 9x12 is a good choice.  Accent rugs draw attention to a small space which makes the bedside a perfect spot (3 x 5).  Try Something New: use a runner (2.6 x 8) at the foot of the bed for an inviting look. 

Here are a few things to remember as you begin your search:

  1. Not all spaces are created equal therefore these are guidelines, not strict rules.
  2. After you have an idea of the rug size(s) you are looking for bring in your measurements, a rough sketch of your floor plan, photos, and/or fabric swatches to help narrow your choices while shopping. 
  3. We offer free approvals and delivery so the pressure is off to make the decision in the showroom.  We are happy to help you with a complimentary in house consultation as well because on big decisions it is always good to get a second opinion. 

17 Things to Love : CHRISTMAS

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  A time to spend with family and friends.  Amid the joy and merriment we tend to get quite busy.  Instead of another wish list for Christmas I am sharing my favorite things of the season, a short-cut to buying local and living well.   

Paige's Favorite Things

1. Our favorite family activity is finding a Christmas Tree each year.  The day is filled with laughter and love, something we all need. For the best selection try the Carolina Christmas Tree Lot next to The Birmingham Zoo.  

2. The Homewood Star Lighting is a great way to kick off the Christmas season.  We have so many great family memories from this event because it is also my daughter's birthday.  Head to 18th Street on December 2 at 5:30 for the annual lighting of The Star.   

3. We love Christmas music at the shop and Sara Evans' At Christmas album puts us in a festive mood.  She will be performing at the Alabama Theatre on December 2 at 7pm for a special holiday concert!

4. For an instant Christmas feeling I light the Fresh Balsam Candle from Bath & Body Works.  A great gift item for friends and neighbors.

5. Colder temperatures means its time to get cozy and UGG slippers are a stylish staple.

 6.  Our home fills up at the holidays so I love to have easy meals ready to go.  Chicken enchiladas from What's 4 Supper at Edgewood Catering Company is a crowd pleaser.  

7. My go to winter arrangement is anything with Ilex berry branches.  Mix with peonies or tulips to add a soft touch. 

 8. My fitness regime is nothing without the motivation I find at Studio G Pilates by Genevieve. Try the Piloxing class, Pilates & Boxing, you will love it!

9. I like to savor the season by having brunch with old friends at Over Easy.  Some quality girl time can ease most holiday stress.    

  10. The holidays should also be know as picture season so I like to get photo ready by booking an appointment at Click Salon with Karen Free.  This year I am channeling Charlize Theron's look.  

11. There is nothing like getting a pedicure from Genesis Nail Spa to relax after a long week.  I am currently loving all things red.  

12.  A great gift for every girl is a little box of something sparkly under the tree.  Try The Hill Collection at Hen House Antiques for European Vintage Jewelry, Wallace-Burke, or Steeds Jewelers for unique finds to cherish.  

13. It doesn't feel like the holidays without dinner with the family at Chez Fonfon.  It is the perfect spot for a friendly game of boule in the beautiful courtyard and fantastic food courtesy of award winning chef Frank Stitt.  

14. December is not complete without a new pair of boots and I love the unique styles I find on  

15. During the holidays we are especially motivated by sales and my favorite spot for designer deals is The Runway at TJ Maxx

16. I love to shop for friends and family to find them something special but it can feel like a race at times to get it all done.  While I am out shopping I like to grab a plain cheeseburger at Hamburger Heaven for a quick recharge; a happy shopper is a smart shopper!  

17. We are in the season of giving and outside of our church we like to give back to two other local charities.  While you are out shopping remember to bring some change along to support The Salvation Army by looking for Bell Ringers or consider donating to First Light Shelter for homeless women and children.    

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!  Stop by and see us this month, we would love to help make your home holiday ready.  

Check out my favorite things on our Pinterest page along with much more about 18th Street Orientals.