Choosing the Right Outdoor Rugs

Posted On: 10-01-2016
By: Thad Hales, Outdoor Living Consultant

You’ve finally decided on the perfect furniture and umbrella for your outdoor space. Everything is in place, but it just doesn’t look “complete”.

Just as rugs and flooring selections can quickly change the look inside your home, those same items make your patio polished, interesting, and inviting! They add a new design element, while softening hard surfaces…and they are wonderful on bare feet. Texas summers can heat up concrete and stone surfaces; rugs protect you, your family, and your friends from that hot surface.

Size. In focusing on rugs, outdoor rugs come in a wonderful variety of styles and sizes. You can choose a large rug for your entire area, or go with smaller rugs to create separate conversation areas. For a dining group, a single rug is suggested with either all four legs or just the front legs resting on the rug. For other areas, the rug should at least go under the front legs of the furniture. Either way, be sure to measure your space, and the area to be covered, and the size of your furniture (if it is already in place) before the process begins.

Design. When you make your selection, choose a design that complements your furniture rather than competing with it. While a busy and vibrant design will be wonderful beneath a large dining table, it can take over an open conversation area. Keep in mind what areas of the design will be visible once the furniture is in place. Choose a  color palette that works well with your outdoor decor.

Material. Know how you want the rug to perform. Natural fibers add a lot of texture and interest to the area and are perfect for covered areas protected from weather extremes. Synthetic fibers come in a wider range of colors and designs. They are easier clean with a garden hose and dry, and they are typically lighter in weight.

Care. With proper care, outdoor rugs can last for years. Basic care instructions include preventing large amount of dirt and soil from accumulating on the rug. One of the easiest things to do is vacuum the rug on a regular basis. If your rug needs a more thorough cleaning, a solution of mild dish soap and water can be used to clean before rinsing with a garden hose. Allow both sides to dry before putting the rug back in place. If heavy rains are forecast, just roll the rug up and set it aside. Leaving a rug down with moisture underneath can create mold on the rug and on your patio surface. As you prepare for winter each year, make rug care part of the process by cleaning, thoroughly drying, and rolling up for storage for the season.

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