A rug should be the invitation to the dance, all the participants (the furniture in the room ) should be invited to the dance (the rug!) When designing a room from scratch some people start with
the area rug first, others choose it last. Either way the characteristics should reflect the rooms intended style (i.e. traditional vs. modern) as well as your personal taste. Once the rug is chosen, pick out several of the colors and carry them through into your wall coverings (paint and wallpaper), fabrics for furniture, drapes and throw pillows and accessories to complete the decor. If you choose the rug last you will do this conversely, that is, make sure the rug has some of the important colors from your walls, furniture and accents in the design. These colors do not have to match exactly but should be complimentary.
As a general rule of thumb the area rug should be a minimum of six inches and no more than two feet away from the wall. When you take into consideration the different uses, shapes and design preferences, other factors weigh in as well, such as size of furniture and traffic patterns. A carefully placed rug will anchor your space and define an area, especially in an open floor plan where furniture can appear to be floating. Create a cohesive look between rooms with rugs that complement rather than match exactly.
Placing a colorful rug beneath dining furniture creates a dramatic space for entertaining. In general, you want to choose a rug that's large enough so guests can push back their chairs without sliding off about 2-3" from the table.
For a cozy bedroom consider a rug with a deep soft plush pile in soothing colors for a calming effect. Create a perimeter around the lower two-thirds of your bed leaving 18-24" on the outside.
For the Living Room choose a rug that fills most of the space leaving the front legs resting on the rug.
In the world of rugs there are so many new fibers being introduced that have better longevity and wear. Most of the indoor/outdoor rugs with polypropelene or nylon are virtually stain and wear resistant. While they are not as plush as wool, they offer smart looking designs, for less money and better wear for active families, especially those with pets!
Your area rug sets the tone for the entire room so whether you choose something neutral, geometric, a sisal, stripes or Persian make sure you spend the time to pick out just the right rug for your space and that it is something that you truly love.