Do I Really Need an Outdoor Rug?
No. You don't. But once you get one, you will wonder why you waited. Rugs in our outdoor spaces serve the same purpose as rugs in our indoor spaces – they define areas, they warm up the atmosphere, they add a touch of color, they enhance your décor, they protect surfaces and they show off your decorating skills.
Choose the right material. When you are shopping for an outdoor rug, make sure you avoid natural materials like cotton or wool. They will soak in moisture and will mildew; even eventually rot. Jute, bamboo and sisal are appropriate for the outside, but they won't last as long as synthetic materials; they are also harder to keep clean. If you like that natural look, search for a synthetic version of it.
Synthetic is the operative word here; poly rugs are made to withstand the elements, as well as dripping bathing suits and wet dogs.
Not only are synthetic rugs durable, they are also easy to clean. Mild soap (such as dishwashing soap) and a garden hose should do the trick.
A perfect example is the line of outdoor rugs by Treasure Garden – these rugs are constructed of polypropylene and are 100% UV stable; in fact they come with a one year warranty against fading.
Depending on how much you want to spend and the look you are hoping to achieve, outdoor rugs can come woven or hooked. Hooked rugs tend to be softer than woven rugs but they are also generally more expensive.
One thing that you should keep in mind; while it's not a good idea to use indoor rugs outside, there is no reason why you can't use outdoor rugs inside. Because they are so durable and easy to clean, outdoor rugs are great options for kitchen areas, play rooms, and dining rooms.
Where to Use an Outdoor Rug:
Think about where you have rugs inside your house; those same spots can be utilized outside. Under the dining table, in front of the sofa, under a chaise lounge, outside of a door. If you are fortunate enough to have an outdoor kitchen, put a rug in front of the work space to stand on. Anywhere you want to pull a look together or enhance an outdoor area is the right spot for a rug. Anywhere you want to increase the comfort level and up the coziness quotient is the right spot for a rug. Anywhere you want to protect a surface from scraping chairs and heavy use is the right spot for a rug.
There are only two rules of thumb for adding rugs; if you are placing one under a dining table, allow for the chairs to be pulled out. An extra two feet all around the table will allow for this. Rectangular or oval tables look best over rectangular rugs; square or round tables are better suited for square or round rugs. In fact, a round rug under a square table, or a square table under a round rug makes an interesting and pleasing combination.
The second rule applies to seating areas; ideally, your rug will be large enough to accommodate all the furniture. But rugs that large are expensive and aren't easy to find. So a second option is to have all of the seating pieces resting on the edge of the rug or have none of them touching the rug. The idea is to achieve a nice balance; if you have the sofa on the rug but not the chairs, it creates an unbalanced look. Every time you use that area you will become dizzy and depressed. Kidding! The truth is, these are just guidelines; you can do whatever makes you happy.