Placing oriental rugs properly in your your room is important to establish stability among the room configurations and the furnishings it contains. As a general guideline, area rugs help to ground a room and anchor a furniture grouping. They can be a focal point, blend in with other colors and/or textures, and become a source to build your room from, though this is not a rule. Sometimes the right elements already exist in a room and can guide you.
RAI - The Library - 2019 HEC Decorator Show House Mamluk wool and silk rug courtesy of Main Street Oriental Rugs
If the hardwood flooring is plank, perhaps with a simple border around the perimeter, I like to see space away from the rug. How much space should you leave? It depends on the size of the room and be sure it is not too small for the space. If a floor is heavy on pattern (herringbone/true parquet), or varied in floor boards, I will carefully specify the rug size and pattern to avoid a clash. In the libary above, my guide for rug placement is the fireplace hearth on the north wall.
Spaces such as the dining room need special attention to avoid rug damage. If you entertain on a grand scale, I would not recommend rug placement under the sideboard or buffet. If you don't have a choice, then be sure to use rug pads especially if using mid-century or traditional antiques with pointed legs.
Inspect your rug frequently for spills missed during a dinner party, and send it out for professional cleaning if needed.
Main Street Oriental rugs in Historic Ellicott City, MD offers an excellent cleaning system to ensure long life and continued enjoyment of your hand-made rug. Finally, the rug must have logical placement according to the furnishings selected, their placement, and how you will use the room. I can assist you on placement of an existing rug, and/or purchasing and placement of your new area rug. Main Street Oriental Rugs also has a wonderful selection that will fit any design scheme that we are working on.
In addition, I have two important recommendations. First, do not place your rug where there is constant foot traffic (entryways and hallways) along the edge; especially if the construction includes silk fibers. Second, I prefer not to place area rugs over stone flooring, with two exceptions; porcelain tiles and terrazzo.
Regarding the latter, I have seen one terrazzo tile in a room in New York City, a dull terraccotta color, rather plain in design, and with a honed finish that looked amazing topped with an oriental rug with green in the yarns. The tile was unlike any I have seen before and the colors were unusual, yet perfectly balanced. When I find something like it I will post a scenario.
The former is porcelain tile that resembles a wood species. All of them are not created equal. I like this example from Artistic Tile. It has rich tones that resemble white oak wood flooring through its grain pattern.
However, if I were to specify this tile, I would have the grout colored exactly to the tile color, or slightly darker (see below). I prefer the former because genuine floor boards butt together across the floor area. Many rugs would look great on top of this floor.
Bosco Beige Field Tile courtesy of Artistic Tile
Indo-Serapi hand-knotted rug; Main Street Oriental Rugs; Thebes Lounge Chair, Knightsbridge Charleston
In the above image, I have paired Bosco field tile with an Indo Serapi hand knotted wool rug, and this is all I need to build out the rest of this room. I like the blue and orange in the field and how surrounds the medallion. It could be the focal point of a great room design. The flooring is a perfect backdrop for the rug colors, and the ebonized chair frame and upholstery pops against the medium toned flooring.
What is the benefit of the stone? It is durability in very high traffic areas such as family rooms that see a lot of entertaining, a multitude of children and pets, or a room situated just inside of an exposed patio or terrace.
No matter what you choose, genuine hardwood flooring or wood-like porcelain tile and area rugs are both a “match made in heaven.” Let us look at the practical side first. Area rugs protect hardwood flooring, muffle noise, and add a layer of softness to a room, especially those with tall windows and doors, and the “open plan” floor plan.
Rugs also add warmth, in the case of the tile unless radiant floor heating is part of the installation. In both cases, as mentioned in another post, beware of the direct sunlight, as it will fade your rug over time, especially those containing silk fibers, so consider window/glass treatments that will protect it.