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RISMEDIA, February 16, 2010—We gathered the most common questions about decorating with rugs, and then sat down with Lowe’s Vice President of Trend, Design & Brand Melissa Birdsong to find solutions that will work for your space.

Q. Is it OK to use more than one rug in a space?
A. Absolutely! Larger rooms and open floor plans can present a challenge, but pairing patterned rugs with solids or bordered rugs allows you to create defined areas for sitting or dining within a space. Keep one element, such as color, as a common factor, and think of traffic flow when you’re planning placement.

Q. I like the look of a jute rug but love the soft feel of a carpet rug. Is there a way to have both?
A. Create a layered look by using a large natural jute, seagrass or sisal rug as the base (firmer, tighter weaves work best), and then add a smaller, plush pile on top. Think contrast in color, texture and pattern when choosing the smaller rug. An 8- x 10-foot rug or larger is best for the base. Overlay it with a 5- x 7-foot or 4- x 6-foot rug to define a conversation area, such as your sofa, chairs and coffee table.
Tip: Use a thin rug pad between the accent rug and the larger rug to prevent movement.

Q. How do I arrange my furniture on an area rug? Should all the pieces be completely on the rug or partially on it?
A. To achieve an inviting, comfortable space that functions well for its intended purpose, whether it’s relaxing or eating dinner, follow a few general rules of thumb. Use a rug that is 5 x 7 feet or larger to anchor a sofa and chairs. In dining areas, you should allow enough space for a person to sit comfortably at the table with all four legs of the chair on the rug—otherwise, the chair legs feel unbalanced.

Excerpted from November/December 2009 Lowe’s Creative Ideas for Home and Garden.

Melissa Birdsong is vice president for Trend, Design & Brand, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

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