Kids’ room area rugs are often used instead of carpet to cover damaged (usually ugly) floor that is beyond repair, add a design accent or focal point, act as a sound buffer, divide territory in shared rooms, or create activity zones, like reading, sleeping, or playing.
Not talking here about accent or “throw” rugs that you can throw on the floor or throw in the washer when soiled. Area rugs can be room size, are too big for the washer, and must be rolled or folded to take in and out of the room. So, what do you look for and where do you start? How do you choose a kids’ room area rug?
Start with these five steps….in this order: use and purpose, size and shape, material and construction, care and maintenance, and design and style.
Step 1: Use and Purpose
Before looking for an area rug for your kid’s room, know the specific reason for the rug. Do you need to cover the entire room or only part? Are you adding an accent color, pattern, or focal point? Are you dividing a room between sleep and play, between siblings, or between activity zones? Determine the purpose then go to step two.
Step 2: Size and Shape
How big does the area rug need to be? Generally room size area rugs are 2 feet shorter than each the width and length of a room leaving a 1-foot border on all sides. Otherwise, determine size based on space you want to cover….half room, play area, reading area, etc.
Luckily, area rugs can be round, square, rectangle, octagonal, oval, or one of many other shapes, with or without fringe. Determine the shape you need or want then on to step three.
Step 3: Material and Construction
Material and construction will determine how long you keep area rugs. The most common fibers are nylon, wool, and olefin. Nylon is the most durable for younger kids’ rooms, resisting soil, stain, and fading.
Wool, appropriate for older kids’ rooms or baby nurseries, has an elegant and luxurious look and feel, holds up to foot traffic but has moderate soil and stain resistance. (No soccer shoes in here!) Olefin is used where resistance to sunlight and chemicals is more important than durability.
Hand-made or machine-made? Hand-made will last longer and prices vary greatly between types. Braided rugs can be made by hand or machine and are the most suitable hand-made rug for kids’ rooms. Machine-made are most common and are generally stronger than most hand-made area rugs (except hand-knotted).
Step 4: Care and Maintenance
If you want carefree with little maintenance, choose an area rug with a busy pattern made from nylon. Plan on regular vacuuming and occasional professional cleaning. Rotate your rug 180 degrees to equalize traffic pattern and light exposure.
Step 5: Design and Style
We tend to start with design but it should be the last step. Once you know the use, size, material, and level of maintenance, look for a style complimentary to your room design, unless you are building a room from scratch around a particular rug as the focal point.
Area rugs can compliment other focal points (like bedding or wall covering), adding accent colors, pattern, and texture, or become a subtle background in a kids’ room. Design possibilities are unlimited. When you know how to choose a kid’s room rug, the process is fun and exciting!
(To keep this post from being too long, more information on care and maintenance, materials and construction of area rugs will be covered in separate posts.)