We hope you joined us last week for Annie’s tips on decorating a dorm room. There she touched on how to warm up the look and feel of a cold, unfriendly dorm with an area rug, and the fact that woven cotton, indoor/outdoor, and even woven wool rugs can be a chic, affordable solution to dorm decorating. Today she’s taking a deeper dive into which rugs will work best for you (or your son’s or daughter’s) room and lifestyle, and showing off her top picks this season.
Woven Cotton Rugs
Annie has been singing the praises of woven cotton rugs for decades. They’re universally appealing and suitable for a variety of decorating styles, lightweight—so easy to rearrange in a room or roll up and take outside for a good shake—and add just the right amount of texture. Plus they’re easy to care for; a simple weekly vacuuming or shake should do the trick. Woven cotton rugs are among the most affordable of all area rugs, and now come in such a dazzling array of colors and patterns that even the pickiest college or boarding-school student will find something to love. Go for a 3’x 5’ rug, or a 4’ x 6’ if your room is a little bigger and your roommate shares your decorating tastes. (Conversely, if your tastes just don’t mesh, try a runner, which will break up your space from his or hers, without sacrificing style.) If you want even more pattern, choose a second woven cotton style in a 2’ x 3’ mat size for placing in front of your dorm-room door or by your desk.
There’s a reason why indoor/outdoor rugs are so popular with families and pet owners: they can take a beating, they’re UV-treated to resist fading, and they look practically new even after dozens of washes. (And speaking of washing, does it get any easier than rolling it up and giving it a scrub in the shower? No kidding; check out our small-space rug cleaning tutorial.) Indoor/outdoor is a great choice if your school is in a cold-weather climate, where you’ll likely be tromping over it in snow boots and wellies, or if you college is near the shore and you plan to visit the beach a lot (and, really, given that option, who wouldn’t?). Like woven cotton rugs, indoor/outdoor rugs are also affordable and come in more colors and patterns than ever before, so they’re an easy way to cheer up a space. Annie likes both 3’ x 5’ and 4’ x 6’ sizes for indoor/outdoor rugs, because they fill the space nicely and can be easily repurposed in other spaces once your dorm days are complete.
Woven Wool Rugs
Woven wool rugs have a rustic yet high-end look that practically screams “I’ve got class!” (Get it? Class??) They’re cozy and inviting, and available in tons of styles to complement the current boho trend in dorm-room decorating. Beyond the woven wool rug’s good looks, however, is a deceptively durable weave that will last for years. . . . Which is a bonus, because these rugs are more of an investment than woven cotton or indoor/outdoor. To keep your costs down, opt for a smaller size and skip the mats.