Thank goodness the wall-to-wall carpet trend is out and hardwood floors are in! Hardwood floors are beautiful but usually feel 'cold' without a rug, or rugs! Shopping for a rug is definitely easier to do in person rather than online so you can see the colors and feel the textures. When starting a new project, a rug is a great way to start designing a room. First find a rug that inspires you (don't be afraid of bold colors or patterns, remember a rug isn't permanent), and one that is the right size and right scale pattern for your space. Take advantage of stores that sell swatches, so you can envision how the colors would look in your space. Measure out a 5x8, an 8x10.. ect. on your floor to find the best size. I like to try to find rugs that have a more unique pattern, something that may be harder to find but will make more of a statement and look less like every other room you see on Pinterest. Although more traditional, I do love persian rugs and they are showing up everywhere, not just living rooms people; kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and more. They are a great way to anchor a space with a lot of color and pattern. If you do want a rug in the kitchen I would recommend choosing an indoor/outdoor rug as they are going to be more durable and water resistant.
My boyfriend is a musician and records songs right in our apartment so he loves rugs because they are great at soundproofing. Our large living room was quite echo-y before we had any rugs. So we now have rugs everywhere, even some rug swatches (18'' squares) hanging on a smaller wall in a grid pattern.
Don't be afraid to layer rugs, this creates a visually larger space while adding more interest to a room. If you are layering a small rug right on top of a larger rug I would recommend the bottom rug to be a solid color with lots of texture and variation, such as a natural fiber rug. Or if you are doing multiple rugs in the same room, not layered, be sure to have at least one of the same color tones in each rug to tie them together, but maybe choose a different pattern or at least different sized pattern to avoid looking 'cookie-cutter'. In my living room I just got a second rug, that is a small 3x5 which I thought about for a while before purchasing one because I wanted it to go with my existing 5x8 rug that is centered in the living room (that I love and will never get rid of). My rug has many different colors in it and a large diamond pattern, so I considered getting a neutral tan/ivory rug but then decided that wouldn't really add any interest to the room. The 5x8 is mainly ivory but has some green as one of the colors and green is my main color in my living room, so I was so excited to find a light green textured rug with a small diamond pattern on it! I originally saw the rug swatch at my local Pottery Barn, as they don't have every rug in the store/online and I then had to hunt down the 3x5 from a different Pottery Barn. But it was so worth it as it really pulls the room together and compliments my other rug very well. I put this rug in the corner of the room so I angled it towards the larger rug, to help pull them together and to add more interest with shapes. Ideally I would like to layer a large natural fiber (maybe 10x14) under my patterned 5x8 rug, but right now I am on a budget, and this is something I could do once we move to a permanent home and choose a large that fits the style of that space.
My rug really did set the tone/style for the whole living room. The colors are ivory, muted blues, greens and browns with a pop of orange, and is somewhat of a 'southwest' or 'bohemian' design. So I've used the rug as my color pallet, with a muted brown sofa, pale green throw pillows, muted colored art, a brownish glass lamp with a textured shade that pulls in the brown/ivory textured pattern in the rug, and other accessories in the same color tones. Then the pop of orange is my accent color, it is a very bold color so there is not too much of it, a little bit of orange in the wall art and a bright orange pouf in the front of the room. The style of the room is pretty eclectic, so the rug being a mixture of styles ties that aspect together.
In my kitchen I used a runner I already had, that I had purchased for my previous apartment to go in a long hallway. But it works great in my kitchen in front of the cabinets. It isn't to hard to clean as it is a natural fiber rug and doesn't show much dirt because it has a black pattern on it! A runner is great for a small kitchen or even a galley-style kitchen as it visually elongates the room. Then I have a small doormat with a colorful stripe pattern (not pictured because it's pretty dirty) just to add more color to the kitchen, and wipe your feet on as the front door leads right into the kitchen.
In our bedroom I decided to go with a warmer colored rug to keep it calm and relaxing. The colors we already had in the room were dark browns, ivory and a little bit of yellow. So I went with a mainly tan rug, but is has muted greens and and warm yellows and then a fun pop of pink as an accent color. I also choose this rug because I really liked the pattern, it's somewhat of a southwest style (I guess that's what I am drawn to) with a pretty medallion in the center and a bold pattern on the corners as well, which is what I was looking for as most of the rug is under the bed and you mainly see the corners. I decided to get a large 8x10 and center it in the bedroom. Our apartment is above a garage so it does get quite cold in the winter, which the rug and an added rug pad has really helped keep the heat in and the room insulated!