Whatever the size or shape of a room, a rug can bring it to life – or result in a decorating disaster. You can change the furniture, paint the walls, and re-accessorize each season, but a rug seems to be the one thing that endures – which is why we roll them up once a year and start from scratch (the wine stains have nothing to do with it). So, before you make your decision, make sure it’s just right with this fail-safe size guide and a few helpful tips. Then, get shopping.

Assess your space
Furniture, floor, walls, room size – these are all things to consider before choosing a rug. For instance, bold, patterned rugs reduce the appearance of space, giving large rooms a cozy, inviting feel, while solid, light-color rugs make smaller rooms look brighter and more spacious.

Visualize the rug
With masking tape, create a border on the floor where you would like the rug to lie. Make sure the amount of bare floor between the rug and the furniture/walls is even to ensure balance.

Be realistic when it comes to your lifestyle
“Going green,” allergies, or small children? These are all things to consider. Additionally, a plush white carpet may look pristine and feel cozy underfoot, but when it comes to upkeep, it’s a bear. Find a middle point between aesthetics and easy maintenance. You’ll thank yourself later.

The Rug Tent Sale opens Friday, December 28, at 3PM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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December 28, 2012