How Do I Choose the Right Size Rug?

The best rugs don’t just look great — they enhance and complement the entire look of your interior space. With that said, it’s interesting how the size of a rug, not just its appearance, can influence the dynamic of a room.

Tips

  • Get a measuring tape and measure your room.  Then, outline the area where you want your rug (try this with blue painter’s tape).  Don’t forget to check every door and see how it opens.  If you’re in between sizes, go for the larger rug.
  • Keep at least 18 inches of bare floor exposed around the rug. This is a classic rule that works for most rooms. If your room is smaller, you can leave less space. The key is to get the proportions right.
  • Legs on or off?  It can work both ways, but you should be consistent.  Ideally, all legs should be on the rug, but you may want to think carefully before buying a huge rug that will only fit in one space.  We like going with more standard sizes (8′ x 10′ and 9′ x 12′) as they will fit in most rooms.
  • Rugs can create an optical illusion — make this work in your favor. An undersized rug makes the room appear small and disconnected. When in doubt, go for a bigger size. It’ll unify the furniture and make the room appear bigger than it actually is.
  • If you have a small rug that you love, lay it as an accent on top of a more neutral sisal/jute rug that’s the right size for your seating area.  And as an added bonus, your room will look more collected that way.

Courtesy Surya Rugs

Hides work particularly well this way.

Courtesy Shelby Girard/Domaine

RUG SIZE

Living Room (common sizes: 5′ x 8′, 8′ x 10′, 9′ x 12′, 11′ x 14′)

In a living room, rugs help to pull a space together, add warmth and comfort, and muffle noise. Selecting a rug size for your living room depends on the size of your room as well as your furniture arrangement.

Tips:

  • Any rug you choose should be longer than your largest piece of furniture (like your sofa).
  • Whenever possible, choose a rug that is at least 8′ x 10′; your room will feel more pulled together.

Courtesy Loloi Rugs

Dining Room (common sizes: 5′ x 8′, 8′ x 10′, 7′ round, 8′ round)

In the dining room, make sure the rug you select is big enough for the legs of the chair to sit comfortably on the rug — even when they’re pulled out for people to sit at the table. To make this easy, look for a rug that extends at least 24 inches around the table. And remember to keep at least 18 inches of floor exposed around all sides between the rug’s edge and the wall.

Courtesy Loloi Rugs

Kitchen (common sizes: 2′ x 3′, runners)

Many people prefer a small 2′ x 3′ area rug in front of the sink, which looks fine.  But if you can, a longer runner will look even better, especially in larger kitchens.

 

Courtesy Venegas & Co.

Hallways (common sizes: runners)

Rugs are great for warming up hallways.  Used near console tables and beautiful artwork; they will create small resting areas and unify the space.

Bedroom (common sizes: 5′ x 8′, 8′ x 10′, 9′ x 12′)

In a bedroom, the size of your bed and the floor area that surrounds it will dictate what size you should select.  Place a large rug under two legs of the bed and make sure the floor is visible all around the bed.  The rug should extend at least 24″ in length and width from the edges of the bed.  That way, when you get up in the morning, your feet will be on the rug.

Courtesy Loloi Rugs

In nurseries, don’t worry if the bed is pushed up against the wall: if you use a rug that’s large enough to fit under the front legs of the bed, you’ll be left with a nice-sized play area for the kids on the floor.

Courtesy Jute Interior Design

 

Patio (common sizes: 2′ x 3′, 5′ x 8′, 8′ x 10′)

Just like selecting a rug for your living room, you must consider the scale of your patio furniture arrangement before selecting a rug. One of the most underrated benefits of indoor/outdoor rugs is their ability to unify an outdoor furniture arrangement, which allows us to create a cohesive look in an open space.

Courtesy Loloi Rugs

RUG SHAPE

The shape of a rug usually follows the architecture and the furniture arrangement in a room.

Rectangle – these are the most common shape, and they work in most rooms

Runners – great for hallways, kitchens, staircases, or next to beds

Round – these look great under round tables, either in the entryway or in the dining room

Square – generally work best in square rooms under square tables, either in the entryway or in the dining room

Half-circle or hearth – for entryways or fireplaces

Information courtesy Loloi, Safavieh, and Surya Rugs.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out our Rugs section here.

At Last: Supple, Beautiful, Stain-Resistant Cotton Tablecloths

Have you ever worried about serving your favorite wines with dinner because they could stain your tablecloths?  Or inviting your best friends’ children over for a sit-down meal because Joey is (ahem) a little messy?

Well, believe it or not, some genius scientists in Switzerland were listening, and they came up with a solution that did not involve vinyl.  And not a moment too soon.  Finally, we’ll have driverless cars on the road, so it’s high time we found a way to entertain well without worrying about stains.

What’s the big idea?  These scientists went outdoors, studied why certain plants are naturally water-repellent, and developed an invisible treatment that when applied to fabrics, made them stain-resistant but still kept them feeling exactly the same.

Courtesy Aatish Bhatia

This is a game-changer.  Because now it means that you can have friends over for lunch, family over for dinner, and all you’ll have to do is call uberEats twice.

Initially, this technology was applied to outdoor fabrics.  Then, in 2010, Garnier-Thiebaut, one of the best-known manufacturers of French linens (they supply Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, and Alain Ducasse with linens), became the first company to apply the treatment (which they call Green Sweet) to home linens, and now they offer the most extensive collection available.

If you’d like to learn more about Green Sweet, here are the ten most frequently asked questions:

1) Can you feel the difference between Garnier-Thiebaut’s regular linens and their Green Sweet tablecloths?

No, you can’t tell the difference.  The Green Sweet treatment does not affect either the look or the feel of the cloths.

Eugenie Candy Stain-Resistant Table Linens

2) What does Green Sweet mean?

In developing the treatment, Swiss scientists looked to nature to replicate the way some plants always stay clean by ingeniously repelling water and dirt.  Once they were able to come up with a solution, they called it “Green” as it was derived from their studies of these plants.

“Sweet” is an acronym that refers to several important benefits of this treatment:

  • S – Simple to clean
  • W – Waterproof
  • E – Economic: stain-free cloths mean fewer washes, so the cloths last longer
  • E – Environmentally friendly: less frequent washing means you’ll consume less water, energy, and detergent to keep the cloths clean
  • T – Textile Touch: the treatment does not affect the look and feel of the cloths, so they stay supple and breathable

3) How does Green Sweet work?

When water is applied to fabric, it generally penetrates the surface very quickly.  But scientists had noticed that there were plants whose leaves repelled water, so they replicated a treatment that did the same thing.

Water-repellent leaves may look smooth, but they are actually composed of numerous minute rough surfaces.  These keep water from breaking down into smaller drops and penetrating the surface.

Similarly, during the finishing process, fibers are coated with nanoparticles of the Green Sweet treatment which creates a hilly surface that prevents liquids and soils from penetrating the surface.  Instead, they remain on top, so they can be easily wiped off.

Red wine on Green Sweet stain-resistant tablecloths? No worries.

4) Can you show me what happens when there are spills?

Take a look at how these linens react to jam, fruit juice, water, and even red wine!

Marmalade, salt, wine, and water wipe right off Green-Sweet tablecloths

5) How is the Green Sweet treatment applied?

Each cotton fiber is individually coated with the Green Sweet treatment, so it is deeply embedded into the cloth.  The Green Sweet treatment is applied by Garnier-Thiebaut at their production facilities in Les Vosges, France.  This allows the company to tightly control the quality of the treatment and the finished cloths.

6) How do I clean spills on Green Sweet cloths?

After removing any solid particles on your cloths, simply wipe them with a damp sponge.  The rest of your cloth should remain clean and dry.

7) How do I wash Green Sweet linens?

Green Sweet linens can be laundered as usual in the washing machine, and they will maintain their protective qualities even after numerous washes.  Avoid using fabric softeners, dryer sheets, or abrasive sponges.

Mille Rubans Blanc Stain-Resistant Table Linens

8) Can I iron Green Sweet linens?

Yes!  Although you normally would not need to, you can certainly iron Green Sweet linens.  One benefit of ironing cloths is that ironing reactivates the functionality of the treatment.

9) Why don’t you offer Green Sweet napkins?

We want your napkins to be absorbent, so Garnier-Thiebaut only applies the Green Sweet treatment to their cloths, runners, and placemats.

10) Who invented Green Sweet?

The nanotechnology was developed by Clariant, one of world’s leading specialty chemical companies.  This technology had already been in use by manufacturers of outdoor products; Garnier-Thiebaut was the first manufacturer to use it on linens for the home.  Every Garnier-Thiebaut collection that is treated with Green Sweet has been tested and certified by Clariant and is packaged with a Green Sweet label.

Green Sweet logo

So happy that in between all these modern-day technological advances, something came along that truly made life easier for us.  To see all of Garnier-Thiebaut’s Green Sweet stain-resistant collections, click here.

Introducing NEST Fragrances

Some of the most beautiful memories we have are all the more magical because of smell.  It is the only one of the five senses that is fully developed at birth, so even newborns are sensitive to smell.

As a child, I remember visiting the Giacomin bakery in my neighborhood every day after swim class, enticed by all the aromas of their pastries and breads.  In the summer, the smell of hot, buttered popcorn at the movies always meant we were in for a treat.  During the holidays, the Christmas trees in our living room (and later, the smells of sausages and chestnuts roasting around Central Park) always marked the beginning of the season.  Even while travelling, the clean scents of the Hotel Costes in Paris and the warm smells of the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles are unforgettable parts of our trips.

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Are You Ready for the Vermont Lifestyle of Simon Pearce and Farmhouse Pottery?

Have you ever wanted to just leave the city?

You’re sick and tired of it all and can’t do another conference call.  So you drive, drive, drive.  All of a sudden, there are no more billboards.  No more big box stores.  No more fast food joints.

Vermont has no billboards or big box stores

Courtesy: OnlyInYourState.com, Flickr/Sean_Marshall

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Catherine the Great of Russia by Fedor Rokotov, Tretyakov Gallery

Flora Danica: The Amazing Story of the World’s Most Expensive Dinnerware

War.  Diplomacy.  Royal backstabbing.  A Russian Empress who loved art and beauty.  All that went into the making of the world’s most expensive dinnerware, Flora Danica by Royal Copenhagen.

Our story begins with Catherine the Great of Russia.  In 1788, she was at the height of her power and prestige, having come to power 26 years earlier by deposing her husband in a coup.  The formerly impoverished German princess was now the absolute ruler of the largest empire in the world, and she followed up one stunning achievement with another:  Expanded Russia into the Black Sea and Crimea.  Made Russia a major European power.  Annexed Alaska.  Reformed the government.  Ushered in the Enlightenment.  Check, check, check.

Catherine the Great of Russia by Fedor Rokotov, Tretyakov Gallery

Catherine the Great of Russia by Fedor Rokotov, Tretyakov Gallery

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