The open floor plan has been the norm in interior design for the past decade. However, this mentality is slowly changing. You don’t have to use the whole space for one purpose just because it has an open floorplan. Zones can naturally develop in smaller spaces as well, such as a reading corner or dining area.
“I think the key is that zones should feel unique yet integrated as part of a larger room,” explains interior designer Constanza Collarte. “It’s important to have defined functions when dividing large entertainment spaces. It can feel as if you are entering a hotel lobby when you walk into large rooms with similar seating areas. It’s important to have a variety of forms and ways that the space serves its inhabitants. Rugs are a great way to define zones. Rugs create a grounding force that the furniture can orbit around, and establish a focal point for each area.”
Manager Emily Mundwiller explains that rugs are commonly used to create zones. “Rugs can be used to distinguish between living spaces and dining areas, as well to highlight a foyer or hallway.” Keep scrolling for more tips and tricks from these two experts on creating zones using rugs.
Carve Out the Floor Plan
The most common use of rugs to separate living and dining spaces is to highlight a hallway or foyer. It is important to have a plan before you start decorating the space. Too many rugs can make it look chaotic. It’s important to leave some empty space so that the home doesn’t feel overwhelming. –Emily Mundwiller
It’s OK to Layer
Layering rugs is a great way to add texture and interest. For a pop of color, I prefer to layer a neutral weave with something vintage or bright. –Constanza Collarte
Consider Materials & Pile Height
Is it a high-traffic space? Choose a wool material that can withstand wear. A rug that is going under chairs will need to have an even pile height. This will ensure that they don’t move around. For hallway runners, it is important to have a uniform pile height so the rug does not pose a danger for pedestrians. Layering rugs requires that you ensure all rugs have the same pile height. Different pile heights can cause a trip hazard and make the rugs look odd. Layering is best with vintage rugs and more traditional patterns. –EM
Shape and materials need to be taken into consideration; if a rug sits under a round dining table, you could specify a circular rug and a sisal for easy cleanups. We might consider Turkish weaves or silks when choosing rugs for bedrooms.
CC Tufenkian recommends that you use a patterned rug for the living room and then bring something more subtle, in a matching colour, into the hallway or dining room. Do not use two rugs in the same space or zone. One should stand out and one should be subtler.
There is no set rule for color. I ask my clients about the contents of the space, such as fabrics, artwork, etc. Usually, I recommend that we use a neutral rug. I recommend adding color to the rug if the client doesn’t care about artwork or their furniture is all neutral. It’s all personal preference. –EM — You can avoid this by making sure that the sofas and chairs’ front legs are on the rug. You should also ensure that the furniture is placed in a way that highlights a specific area and does not distract from the rest. The size of a rug is determined on a case by case basis. A rectangle would be the best choice nine times out 10 In some cases, a square rug or a circular rug might be more effective in a small space. It all depends on what shape the furniture is. A round rug might be the best choice for a sofa with curved legs.
I think rectangular shapes lend themselves well to formal seating areas; however, I love a great circular rug under a round dining table. –CC
Consider the Flooring
It can be difficult to put rugs on top carpeting. The rug must match the carpet’s color. To keep a rug in place, you must use a rug pad. –EM
Rugs work well with any surface, but when choosing the type of rug for your flooring, I think it’s important to look at how smooth or irregular the surface of the flooring is. A cleft tile, for example, would read well under a heavy-pile rug. However, a Kilim could look fantastic over a smooth wooden floor. –CC
Utilize Other Elements in the Space
If you have a large rug in your living room and all of the furniture is on it, it can create a feeling that there is a separate space. It is important to consider the placement and angles of chairs and sofas in order to create a pathway into other rooms. A room with an open floorplan is important for lighting. You want to ensure that each zone of the room is properly lit. A light fixture above the dining table, and lamps in your living room are two examples. –EM
I love when all the furniture fits on the rug, so in my opinion, the bigger, the better. Rug vendors that can custom size rugs are a great option. They allow me to be more flexible and ensure a perfect fit. You can create zones in an open floor plan with console-backed sofas, center tables or buffets. –CC