3 Things to Consider When Shopping for an Area Rug– Bradford's Rug Gallery

3 Things to Consider When Shopping for an Area Rug

We know that shopping for a rug can be over whelming - especially if you've never shopped for one before. Here is a list of 3 things to think about before buying an area rug that will get you off on the right foot.


1.) What size are you looking for?

When shopping for an area rug determining the size you are looking for is an excellent place to start. Most rugs come in a range of standard sizes - meaning the manufacturer will have these sizes on-hand, ready to ship as soon as we place an order. Standard sizes are generally: 2x3, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 6x9, 8x10, 9x12, and 10x14. If you are able to work with a standard size, you have almost free rein and can look at an unlimited number of products.

Not all rugs come in all the standard sizes listed above and not all standard sizes conform to this list. For that reason it is helpful to know, not only your ideal rug size, but also your minimum and maximum measurements in either direction. Additionally there are one-of-a-kind rugs (typically antique and vintage rugs) that are what they are, with no other size option. Knowing your size range will help greatly when looking at one-of-a-kinds. 

If you find there is no standard size that will work for you, you will most likely be looking at products that are custom made for you. While there are still a vast number of products available in custom sizes, your options will be somewhat limited and you will have to be patient. A custom made rug can take anywhere from 12 weeks to 6 months to be made.

If you are unsure how to determine what size area rug is best for you, visit our Size Guides page, it will give you some tips on how to know what will work best for you. Once you've determined your size drop by our show room and we can point you in the right direction to make sure you find the perfect fit.

2.) What style are you looking for?

Whether it is knot count, pile height, jewel tone, neutral, or geometric, the rug world has a whole vocabulary all it's own. You don't have to know all the terminology to find the perfect rug, but knowing a little will certainly help you along the way. Some of the most useful terms include those describing a rug's overall style. The terms we most frequently use are Traditional, Transitional, Contemporary, and Classic. Knowing which one you are looking for will help us point you in the right direction.

 A traditional rug would be what most people think of as a "Persian" or "Oriental" style rug. It will have a pattern with multiple borders and will usually contain varying shades of reds and/or blues. They have been made for centuries, the patterns and colors with-stand the test of time. A traditional rug always has relevance.

A transitional rug will contain elements of both traditional and contemporary rugs. Often times a transitional rug will have the pattern of a traditional rug but the colors will be updated to those currently in vogue. You can also find transitional rugs that have some aspect of a traditional rug pattern that has been altered in some way - enlarged, border removed, or "erased" (meaning the pattern appears to have been rubbed away in areas). Transitional rugs work well in most spaces, but especially well in those areas that are blending both the old and the new.

A contemporary rug can be many things, but it will not have a traditional pattern and usually will not have a border. Typically contemporary rugs will be following the current trends, so they will have patterns and colors that fashion and design leaders are currently favoring. A contemporary rug can be bright and colorful or it can be muted and subdued, it can be abstract or it can clearly depict an image or pattern. Contemporary rugs are similar to fashion, they may be all the rage one moment and then completely out of style the next. But as time shows us - every style has a way of coming back around to be popular again.

A classic rug is something that never goes out of style and has a way of working in any situation. Classics include: animal prints, stripes, plaids, and other small scale, repeating patterns. These are the rugs that everyone looks to in order to blend different styles together. Hallways and stairs are great places for classics, as they make excellent transition pieces.

3.) Are you looking for something that will blend in or are you looking for something that will make a statement?

Sometimes this question can be the most difficult to answer. If you are starting from scratch and are looking at fabrics, wall colors, and floor finishes, on top of looking for a rug, knowing if you are looking for a statement piece can be unclear. We generally recommend choosing one element you want to base your room around, then you can work from there. If you already have existing elements in the room this question can be a little easier to answer. Whether you start with the area rug or the upholstery fabric, it's helpful to know what will be the feature in your room. Choosing a rug that blends in to let other elements stand out, or featuring a bold statement rug are both excellent design strategies. You just need to find your starting place. 

When looking for a rug, inspiration photos can be a big help. Using photos of room scenes you like, or having a photo of a friend's rug you like can help give you that starting point. Websites like Pinterest and Houzz.com are great places to find some inspiration.

We highly encourage you to come to our showroom and browse around, we have a huge range of styles and colors in stock, just seeing what is available can be immensely helpful. We're also happy to help if you have any questions, whether regarding size, style, color, or price, we are here to help you find the rug you love!