If you joined us for our posts on winter whites with a pastel pop and some seriously fab all-white bedrooms, you might be thinking, Great. Got the white bedding tips down. Now what about my floors? I have lots of questions about white rugs. This post, dear decorating fans, has been written with you in mind. Keep scrolling for our answers to some commonly asked questions about white area rugs.
White rugs are beautiful, but they’re so expensive! What’s the deal with that?
It’s true that some constructions, like hand-knotted wool and tufted wool, are more expensive. Generally speaking, these plush-textured rugs contain more fibers that have been hand-constructed by skilled artisans using complex techniques. Some of these rugs take several weeks, if not several months, to make, so the cost is directly related to both the materials and the time that goes into making them.
That said, there are several affordable options for white rugs. Look for ones made of indoor/outdoor fabrics like polypropylene and recycled polyester (PET), or woven cotton.
Are white rugs practical?
That depends on your lifestyle. If you have just one or two people in the house, don’t entertain all that often, and are careful about maintenance—including taking your shoes off before walking over the rug and keeping up with vacuuming—a white rug is as practical as any other color. If you have kids, pets, or accident-prone adults in the house, you can still make a white rug work—but you’re best off relegating it to a low-traffic room, like the guest room or the study.
Where should I use a white rug?
Plush white rugs—think hooked cotton and wool, hand-knotted wool, and tufted wool—look sophisticated and smart in the bedroom, guest room, home office, and bathroom. Flat weaves like woven wool and woven cotton also work in these spaces, but are even better in more casual rooms, like the living room or laundry room.
Are there any rooms where you don’t recommend white rugs?
We’d avoid using a white rug in areas where spills and dirty feet are likely to wreak havoc—the entryway, kitchen, dining room, and kids’ rooms. And make sure you choose an indoor/outdoor rug if you’re planning to put it on a covered porch.
How do you clean a white rug?
The construction and fiber of the rug will dictate how it’s cleaned, so always, always check with the company you bought the rug from before experimenting with cleaning methods. For spot removal on most cotton, wool, and indoor/outdoor rugs, drizzling or spraying a small amount of white vinegar over the spot and rubbing gently with a clean cloth will usually wipe out stains. Always test this method on an inconspicuous area before moving on to a larger one.
Larger-scale cleaning is best left to professionals, as is cleaning of more delicate fibers like silk and viscose. Trust us on this one: you don’t want to accidentally bleach or water-stain one of these fabrics.
White is a little stark for me. How can I get the blank-canvas feel that will help my furniture and accents pop without having my room look like it’s been covered by snow?
Try an area rug that has a white or ivory background with a neutral pattern on top. Going all-neutral will create an effortless foundation for the room while also helping to draw attention toward any colored décor or decorative objects you want to put in the spotlight.