Home décor is important, it affects our mood and can impact how guests feel when they come around. There are many factors such as furniture and color that go into making a room feel homely, though there is something which has sadly fallen out of fashion as of late which people seem to neglect — the rug.

Have you ever heard the phrase “a rug can tie a room together”? Well, it is true. A good rug can be the difference between a bland-looking living room and somewhere you genuinely want to relax and put your feet up.

Area rugs carry even more weight, acting more like a staple in your home than a minor accessory, but it is important to consider whether or not your area rug is compatible with your lifestyle and whether it is family friendly.

What Are Area Rugs?
Rugs can be useful whether you have a wooden floor or a carpeted one though they are especially common with the former. An area rug is larger than a standard rug and is built more for function than for aesthetics. While any rug can make your feet feel warm on an otherwise cold floor or give you a place to lie in front of the fireplace, area rugs go one step further.

Why Are Area Rugs Useful?
Area rugs are traditionally used to divide up a room into specific sections and can even make it look like the room is more spacious. They work best in open-plan rooms with a lot of space but not much furniture, as this allows them to act to full function by dividing the room up into different places for different purposes.

A good example is an area rug in the middle of the room which acts as a place where somebody, like a child for instance, can sit or lie down on the floor without being uncomfortable. This sets a very clear boundary of where somebody can be and what to do and not to do, such as a child knowing not to play with paint while on the rug.

Another example is in a larger room, having a table and chairs standing over an area rug can make the furniture look more like a set. It is fit for purpose in this instance and helps maintain balance and consistency as it will look obvious when a chair has been moved, making visitors more likely to leave your house the same way it was when they entered it.

What Makes a Rug Family-Friendly?
Like all furniture, rugs get messy. If you have children, pets or just a lot of people in the house, the rug is going to get far messier much more quickly. Additionally, some rugs may not be safe for everyone to be around for a variety of reasons. A rug which naturally combats the mess and keeps the occupants safe is considered to be family friendly.

There are several factors which affect the general family-friendliness of an area rug, all of which are important to consider while browsing.

This one is the most simple; light or dark. White rugs may look nice but muddy shoes and spilled food will quickly show, making them look filthy. On the contrary, if your home contains someone with health issues which require you to be more thorough with cleaning, then a white rug might be exactly what you need to tell you when it needs a wash.

Darker rugs such as black, brown and dark shades of gray are generally preferred, brown especially as it hides most other colors when dirt is involved. Additionally, the easiest source of dirt to track into the house is mud, so brown works well to keep your home looking cleaner for longer.

Keep in mind however that aesthetics still play a vital role, as darker shades can make the space feel more cozy and intimate while lighter colors make the room seem larger. If you have a large family who are unlikely to track in dirt, consider a lighter rug — it may be less resistant to mess but everyone will feel like they have more space.

The material of your rug plays a huge part in how family-friendly it is and you may not have even considered some of the reasons why. Wool and nylon are the most common materials used for rugs but fibers like sisal, seagrass, jute and polypropylene all have their benefits.

Wool rugs are most commonly used due to their durability and how comfortable they are, and are recommended for growing families, particularly with young children or pets who want to be comfortable on the floor. Wool is dirt resistant, so getting it cleaned is easy and efficient, even after your kids or your dog has tracked mud all over it.

With the ease with which wool can be dyed, there are limitless possibilities in terms of colors and pattern, though keep in mind that sun fading will affect your rug as much as it will your furniture and that darker shades may fade and become lighter with time.

The main downside to wool is the high price tag, so when considering how family friendly a rug is, think about how it will affect your household financially first.

Nylon is a synthetic material which is made to last and is incredibly versatile. For those area rugs sitting under furniture, nylon rugs are perfect as they are elastic and will not show permanent indentations of chair or table legs.

Nylon is waterproof and stain resistant, making it perfect for messy families, though it often costs more to compensate. Additionally, due to it being a synthetic fiber it can cause allergic reactions, so check to see if anyone in your family is allergic to it before buying, otherwise they may not be able to benefit from its comfort.

Sisal has a very specific place as an area rug and is not recommended for large families as it stains easily and is not waterproof. It is also coarse underfoot, making it only really suitable as an area rug in a room that does not receive much use when placed in a family home.

Jute rugs are phenomenal for families as they resist stains, clean easily and can make a room look elegant with a glorious design. They are thicker and a little less comfortable than wool rugs, so maybe not worth lying down on, but certainly fitting for older families.

The main downside of jute is that it has a limited range of color from beiges to browns which is perhaps the reason they have fallen out of popularity as more and more people have opted for more vibrant colored decor.

These make great outdoor rugs as they are durable and waterproof as well as being stain resistant and easy to hose down. They may not be as aesthetically pleasing or soft as other rugs, but they do not fade in sunlight and they are incredibly cheap.

Seagrass rugs are used much less commonly as area rugs than other materials are, as they are incredibly limited in color and can be rather coarse. However, they are waterproof and do not attract dirt, making them fantastic rugs to use in a bathroom.

The trim is something which often goes unconsidered when determining if a rug is family friendly but it is especially prevalent with small children. Having an area rugged trimmed in fringe or tassels may act as a choking hazard if pulled apart, not to mention that it also means having a damaged rug with bits and pieces missing.

Additionally, if the trim of the rug is a different material than the rest of the rug, there may be allergy implications as the trim is more likely to be made from synthetic materials.

How Do I Protect My Rug?
You should always consider location and the likelihood of use when protecting your rug — consider how many people pass through the room each day and if they keep their shoes on, then use that information to make an informed decision on where to put it and what material to buy.

Having a warranty on your rug also gives you a limited amount of protection, but for true coverage you should consider a rug protection plan.

Staying Covered
By implementing a protection plan from a company like ProtectAll, you ensure that your rug lasts longer as it is covered for any tough stains or damages. Do not take an unnecessary risk by spending money without covering your investment, look at protection plans today.