Hey Mom, here are six kids room rug styles which can work for any age.
Choosing a kids room rug can be a first step in decorating the room easily and sensibly. It also may help simplify the issue of wall and accessory colors since those can be chosen to coordinate or contrast with the carpet. I favor rug choices that can grow with kids and be used for many years or even moved to another room. Even a rug initially purchased for a nursery can have long life.
Two initial decisions about a kids room rug will help narrow down a search. First, should the rug be gender positive or neutral in terms of its style? And second, how large does it need to be to function well in the room? Answering those two questions should be helpful because kids room rugs don’t generally correspond with the usual search parameters for rugs that retailers provide. Fiber type and texture, country of origin, hand vs machine made, and traditional vs contemporary considerations might not even apply. Yet because kids sit and play on the floor so much, I feel it’s important to be aware of things like fibers, dye, glue and weaving when buying a child’s room rug.
I generally favor hand woven rugs rather than tufted rugs which are created by punching yarn into a pattern and gluing it to a backing. Tufted rugs are numerous, popular and generally have good price points. Their downside is chemical glues — which may or may not off-gas. Longterm durability is another issue since tufted rug fibers may shed for some time or eventually pull free should the glue dry out and the backing loosen.
Kids room rugs are pretty much a sub culture in the rug trade. While there are specialty retailers who offer kids’ looks, I put them into six general categories by type.
Geometrics – Surprisingly basic and even neutral, this grouping includes stripes (both wide and narrow), zig zags, lantern and star patterns, dots, crosses, hexagons, and other geometric shapes. Geometric patterns may have pile (usually wool) or be flat woven in cotton or in wool like Indian dhurries. A flat-woven striped rug is always a sure bet. Sites like Cottage and Bungalow has a selection of wool and cotton geometrics while Dash and Albert’s Catamaran stripe 100% polypropylene, hoseable and scrubbable Indian-made rugs [top], comes in 11 sizes and 22 color combinations. Another indoor-outdoor possibility is the charming plus-sign rug. 100% polyester it comes in three sizes and in blue (above) or red with white.
Critters and Animals – Adorable and whimsical rugs featuring critters and animals are wide ranging. The sweet color of the What A Hoot Rug, from Britain’s Harlequin Kids, features a fun owl perched in a tree with candy color leaves. It’s nothing if not a little girl’s dream — pinkly perfect!
But consider Croco, a hand knotted Tibetan wool rug by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby. The color is fabulous and a ‘tween boy might love it. And how scary must those sharp white teeth look in the middle of the night!
Color – If a conservative solid color rug feels right — and why not? — it would fall into a color group. Hue, size and texture/fiber are additional considerations whether you’re going for bright orange or light gray. Since a solid is less likely to go out of style than a pattern or specialty image rug, it might warrant more of an investment. But perhaps not. Under the general umbrella of color I would include rugs with abstract colors, splotches, blots and color blocks. A solid color rug, with a simple border like the gender-netural gray tufted Harper rug (above), could easily graduate from the nursery.
Play Themes – Maps, alphabets, robots, movie characters, and game images can give rugs visual punch. Among the most specialized, these rugs are guaranteed to be outgrown within a few years. Yet they can be among the most beloved since they tend to relate to a child’s special interest. The small Road Rug, made of machine woven acrylic, is one of the cutest though there is a huge variety of themes from alphabets to zodiac.
Florals – I wished I loved florals more. While popular for girls, they often have sugary color and overly bold designs though this dogwood blossom rug is cute. A similar rug must be special ordered so I suspect florals are not in great demand. And I think a great floral kid’s rug is one of the most difficult to find.
Traditional – When the color, design and weave are suitable, Orientals, traditional flat-woven kilims and popular Moroccan berber rugs are good options. My taste runs to Turkish kilims, which are flat-woven wool and often brightly colored. Berbers and their knock offs (West Elm specializes in those) tend to have deep pile, which can hide small items. Lovely as they are, Berbers and shag rugs aren’t my top choices. Persian rugs always seem a little dour for children though their intricate designs can be intriguing. A traditional ombre or variegated Tibetan carpet also could fall into the traditional category as a posh but plush pick for any kid’s room.
(Source: Land of Nod, Harlequin Kids, The Rug Company, Pottery Barn Kids, John Lewis, remontbp, soukshop)
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