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Shag Rugs: How to Choose

Once the outdated home-decorator’s nightmare, the 1970’s iconic shag rug has made a modern come-back. Previously limited to browns, olive greens and mustard golds, shag rugs now come in an amazing assortment of colors, patterns, piles, and materials. Choosing the right shag rug for your home might be a little intimidating, given all of these choices. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Prominence – Are you looking for a bold conversation piece for your room, or will your rug provide a neutral backdrop for other strong décor? Attention-grabbing patterns or dramatic fabrics and piles may be best paired with more subdued furniture, or limited to smaller rugs.

Décor – Do you want an entire “retro” look and feel to your room, or is a splash of 70’s in front of the fireplace all you need? Today’s popular hardwood and tile floorings provide a perfect contrast of texture next to the fluffy softness of a shag rug. Use rugs throughout your home (including the bathroom) to add texture and interest. Take advantage of the various shapes, sizes, and colors to complement your décor perfectly.

Budget – Consider cost when selecting your rug. Some materials, including leather, can run quite high, while the same-sized rug in cotton or acrylic might be half the price.

Care and Maintenance – If you prefer a quick and easy clean-up routine for your floors, you need to choose your shag rug very carefully. Consider that light-colored rugs in high-traffic areas may require special cleaning, and some rugs, such as flokati rugs, cannot be vacuumed with a standard rotating brush attachment and may need to be shaken out or professionally cleaned. Certain rugs shed more than others, too.

Lifestyle – Do you have kids? Pets? High-pile rugs may not be the best choice for your family living areas. Pets could catch their claws in the long strands of fabric, and cookie crumbs may settle in deeply, requiring special effort to remove. However, if you kick off your shoes to relax at home, you may appreciate the luxurious feel of a deep, 3-inch pile flokati, especially in the bathroom after a nice bath or shower.

Going Green – If you are one of the many who have consciously chosen to “green” your home, you can find shag rugs in organic materials such as bamboo and cotton. Make sure to choose hand-woven rugs or rugs that are not made with toxic glues or adhesives.

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