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This may sound like a pretty simple thing: buying a rug. You go to the store, pick one out, and take it home. You can even go to stores like Lowes or even Home Depot or you you could go to a carpet retailer and buy a rug. Heck, even Walmart sells them. Buying a rug, though, is a lot harder than you think. Sure, you could buy any old area rug for your home. And I bet if you look in your local newspaper there’s got to be a garage sale this weekend somewhere close by where you could pick up one up pretty cheap.

So, why all the fuss about buying a rug? If you ask anyone who has a sense of style and design (not me, of course, I’m the typical guy who will just get any old rug for the floor), there is a method for buying a rug. There are many steps to go through when you purchase the perfect rug or area rug for your home. And once you’ve done your homework so to speak, there are literally thousands upon thousands of rugs out there to choose from. Just ask our buddies over at Home Carpet One about carpet. There are rugs and then there are rugs. And there are expensive rugs. Here is how to buy a rug.

1. Decide How Much to Spend. The first and foremost question that you have to ask yourself is, “how much do I really want to spend on a rug?”. Believe me, you could spend a LOT of money on a rug. In fact, what about the world’s most expensive rugs? Someone actually paid $4.45 million dollars for a persian rug (pictured below):

most expensive rug

Christie‚Äôs in New York reported sold the rug pictured above at an auction. This silk Persian rug, dating from the 16th or 17th century, sold for $4.45 million at a Christie’s auction. Can you believe that that’s about $729.87 per square inch? Alright, so you don’t want to spend a million bucks for something you’re going to walk all over. But you do certainly need a budget for your rug. Decide what you need to spend and how much you can afford to spend before you even go rug shopping.

2. Decide on the Size. Go get a tape measure and measure the room where the rug is going to go. Then, if it’s going to cover most of the room, then decide how many feet around the rug you want: how much space between the edge of the run and the wall. In my mother’s house, for example, in her dining room, she has a hardwood floor but has a great looking area rug under the dining room table: and it extends to about 2-3 feet from the walls.

3. Decide on the style. Most likely the room where you’re going to put the rug already has some sort of style or theme: old fashioned, contemporary, western, modern, the 70s look (as in 1970s), whatever. You probably already have decided on the furniture in the room, the color of the walls, and the color of the floor (if it’s a hardwood floor). You might see if you can “match” the style of the rug you’re looking for and decide on possible colors.

4. Take a Picture. Take a photo of the room where you are going to put the rug. If you carry a cell phone (most of us do nowadays), it might be easier to take a picture on your cell phone of your room. That way, when you’re in the store looking at rugs you can compare the colors, furniture, and see if it will fit. I know you can remember what the room looks like, but if you have a photo that’s going to make it a lot easier on you and possibly on the salesman or saleswoman you’re dealing with.

5. Shop Around. Shop around for your rug. Don’t just buy the first one you see and like, consider that there are always going to be other rugs that you can compare it to. And if you’re in a store and see a rug that you’re interested in, take a picture of it with your cell phone. Compare that one with others that you might see at other retailers. Save some photos on your cell phone of rugs that you might have seen on the internet. Jot down prices and sizes.

6. Don’t fall for Deals. If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before. But, in the rug business, there are dealers and then there are “dealers”. Some may have “going out of business sales” (most ‘going out of business’ sales are regulated now by city, or local government entities), and you might even see promotions in your local newspaper, on television, or even local signs at intersections near a shopping mall. Don’t fall for those deals, deal with a reputable rug retailer.

Rug buying certainly can be an interesting experience and it doesn’t have to be that expensive to find the perfect rug for you home. Follow these pretty simple steps then you may be able to find that perfect rug for your living room.