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Natural vs synthetic rugs

What You Need to Know About Natural Versus Synthetic Rugs

There are a lot of rug materials out there—and when you’re rug shopping, it can be difficult to know the difference between all these different materials, and what materials are best for your particular home. We know how overwhelming it can be!

Post Summary:

  • What are natural/synthetic rugs?
  • The pros and cons of natural and synthetic rugs
  • Common natural and synthetic rug materials

When it comes to choosing a rug, there are two main categories that rug materials fit into: natural and synthetic fibers. What’s the difference between synthetic and natural fiber rugs? We’re giving you a breakdown of natural vs synthetic rugs, what specific materials are included in each category and the pros and cons of each kind!

Natural vs synthetic rugs

What are natural fiber rugs?

Area rugs made of natural fibers range from wool, silk, and cotton to jute, sisal, and seagrass. All of these materials come from the natural world—whether through plants or animals—and are harvested, processed into fibers, and woven into rugs.

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Pros of Natural Fiber Rugs

As a whole, natural fiber rugs tend to be more durable than their synthetic counterparts. This is a major reason why so many people love them; they have a much longer lifespan than the average synthetic rug.

And, since they’re made of natural materials, they tend to be more eco-friendly (due to their smaller carbon footprint) and most are naturally non-toxic. If you have pets or babies crawling around, this is an important consideration, as some synthetic area rugs contain chemical dyes and can off-gas potentially toxic VOCs.

Cons of Natural Fiber Rugs

Ever wondered why are rugs so expensive? More effort goes into getting these fibers ready to be woven into rugs, and that laborious process means they tend to be more expensive. Wool and silk, especially, will be on the high end of the price spectrum.

If you’re on a tight budget, this may steer you away from natural fiber rugs. However, jute, seagrass, and sisal rugs tend to sell at lower price points, more on par with synthetic rugs.

The Most-Common Types of Natural-Fiber Rug Materials

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Wool: Wool is one of our favorite rug materials! There are so many things to love about wool rugs—they’re durable, stain-resistant, naturally antimicrobial, soft, and oh-so-versatile. And as we mentioned, they’re also naturally non-toxic (as long as the wool is certified organic). On the flip side, wool is one of the most expensive rug materials on the market. But if you can stretch your budget for one of these babies, it will more than pay for itself over the years you have it, since wool area rugs are so durable and long-lasting. You’re welcome, great-grandkids.Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Cotton: Your favorite t-shirt material is also used for rugs! Cotton is soft and fluffy—making it an ultra-cozy option for your floors. Like with clothing, cotton rugs are easy to clean, which makes them great for homes with kids and pets. However, cotton isn’t as durable as other natural fibers, so these rugs aren’t great for high-traffic areas and you likely won’t be able to pass them down to your grandkids as an heirloom. Similar to wool, if you want a truly non-toxic rug, you’ll want to double-check that the cotton is certified organic.

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Jute: Jute rug designs are big on texture—and jute is one of the softer options for natural fiber rugs. The way jute rugs are woven gives them a chunkier texture, which adds a lot of visual appeal to any room. Their natural color is a light brown (think: burlap), but jute can also be dyed in an array of colors. But beware: jute does shed, so skip the roller brush when vacuuming these puppies!

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Sisal: Sisal rugs are seriously durable. We’re talking about a material that is used to make ropes! Translation: it can handle some major wear and tear. However, sisal rugs aren’t the softest underfoot, and they’re more absorbent than other natural fibers (hello hard-to-remove stains)—so keep those factors in mind when shopping for sisal rugs!

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Seagrass: Seagrass rugs are also very durable, and are softer underfoot than sisal—and, as an added bonus, they’re water-resistant because the fibers of seagrass are non-porous. So, these are great for dining rooms or family rooms where spills are more likely to occur! However, since they’re non-absorbent, they don’t take dyes well-meaning, they tend to be in a more limited color range of natural hues. Natural vs synthetic rugs

Synthetic Fiber Rugs

Synthetic fiber rugs are—you guessed it—made of synthetic fibers. These fibers are machine-made from various petroleum-based chemical compounds. In other words: these are not fibers that occur naturally. But that doesn’t mean they’re inherently bad! Below are some of the pros and cons of synthetic fiber rugs.

Natural vs synthetic rugs

Pros of Synthetic Fiber Rugs

One of the best features of synthetic fiber area rugs is their affordability. You can get a lot of rug for not a lot of price tag. Many synthetic fiber rugs are also manufactured in a way that makes them resistant to mold and mildew, as well as stains. This makes them a bit more low-maintenance, and who couldn’t use more of that in their life?

Cons of Synthetic Fiber Rugs

Synthetic fiber rugs simply aren’t as durable as their natural fiber counterparts. So, while they’re more affordable, you might end up shelling out more money replacing your rug in the long run.

Some synthetic fiber rugs also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which release potentially harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. If you opt for a polyester rug, which is the material that’s most likely to contain VOCs, consider letting it sit out, unrolled for a day or two before bringing it into your home. This will give it the opportunity to “off-gas” some of the chemicals (and the potent smell) before you welcome it into your home.

The Most-Common Types of Synthetic-Fiber Rug Materials

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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PET/Polyester: Polyethylene Terephthalate (say that 5 times fast!), or PET, is the same thing as polyester—but you may see either of these names listed when you look at the rug material.

PET is made from plastic bottles, making it a bit more eco-friendly than other synthetic fiber rugs since it helps take plastic bottles out of landfills. We like PET because it’s the easiest synthetic fiber to clean (a little diluted bleach and elbow grease usually do the trick), and it’s the material that a lot of indoor-outdoor rugs are made of. The way that PET is woven also gives it a similar appearance to wool, and it’s very soft underfoot.

In general, polyester rugs are the most likely to contain VOCs, and they also fade easily and are more difficult to clean than other synthetic fibers. That’s because they’re made of petroleum-based materials, which causes the fibers to reject water and hold onto dirt.

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Polypropylene: Polypropylene rugs are one of the best synthetic dupes for wool, due to the way the fibers are woven. These rugs are soft and sturdy, as well as affordable. However, some polypropylene rugs are treated with chemicals that make them stain-resistant, which can be a concern for those wanting to cut down on chemicals in their home.

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Nylon: Nylon is durable, stain-resistant, and affordable—all great qualities for a rug! With this material’s durability, it’s a great choice for high-traffic areas. However, some nylon rugs have a chemical smell when they first arrive, because of how they’re made, so make sure your room is well-ventilated.

Natural vs Synthetic Rugs: How Do You Choose?

The rug material you choose is all about your lifestyle and budget. So, the choice you make is based on your personal needs! Thinking through where you want to place the rug; what style, color, and pattern you’d like; how much you’d like to spend; and if you’re concerned about sustainable, eco-friendly materials. All of these factors will help guide what material to choose.

  • Want a rug that’s great for high-traffic areas? Opt for a low-pile wool rug or a durable sisal or seagrass rug.
  • Looking for bright colors and intricate patterns? Try out PET, polypropylene, or silk.
  • On a tight budget? Go for any synthetic-fiber rug. You can also find some great affordable seagrass, sisal, and jute options.
  • Want a rug that will last a lifetime? Wool is the way to go.
  • Looking for a kid or pet-friendly rug? Try wool, seagrass, or PET.

And remember—if you’re totally lost, our Modsy designers are here to help! When you start a Modsy design project, we’ll design your space in 3D, decorating it with real products you can shop on the spot. Plus, you can see how different rugs look in your space, with your other furniture and decor.

Ready to find your perfect rug?

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Dining Room Rug

Rug in the Dining Room? Our Guide to the Do’s and Dont’s

Rug or no rug in the dining room? It’s a hot debate in the design world! Some say it’s a non-negotiable, while others believe a rugless dining space is the only way to go. Let’s quickly consider the pros and cons.

On the one hand, adding a rug can help define and ground the room as a distinct space. It can also help “zone” your dining area if it’s part of open-concept living space. Not to mention, a dining room rug is a great way to bring a bit of personality, color, and texture to a function-focused space. In contrast, some feel that a rug in the dining space can easily get ruined from spills and lots of foot (and chair) traffic. Depending on your lifestyle and how you use your dining room, a rug might be the right choice for you.

Here, we’ve rounded up a few tips and considerations from our Modsy designers for choosing a dining room rug that works with your space and lifestyle. Read on for their foolproof advice!

Need help choosing the right rug? Check out our Buying Guide: How Much to Spend on a Rug

and our deep-dive into Why are Rugs so Expensive? Guide to Rugs. Then find all the furniture to match with our Dining Room Checklist

Dining Room Rug

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Always Start With Size

The first rule with any dining room rug is that it shouldn’t be too small. You want to make sure you can scoot chairs in and out from the dining table without the legs getting caught on the rug.

The trick is to match your rug size to that of your dining table, then add approximately a foot of clearance on all sides—aka. the rug should be at least 6” larger than the dimensions of your table all around. Just be sure your rug doesn’t look so large in you room that it dominates and overwhelms your dining space, which will throw off the balance of the room.

See more on how to choose a rug size to find the best fit for your dining space.

Dining Room Rug

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Think About Shape

Decide if you want the shape of your dining room rug to mirror your table. Rectangular tables look best paired with rectangular rugs, but if you have a round table you have plenty of options since it looks great pairs with any shape rug—rectangular, round, or even organic-shaped.

Round and organic style rugs work particularly well if your table is in an awkward location or area in the home. For instance, if you have a round table floating in an open living space or corner, a round or organic-shape rug will help anchor it without blocking the flow of your space. This is key if you’re dealing with a small dining space.

Check out our dining table size and shape guide for more easy tips from our designers.

Dining Room Rug

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Consider Colors & Patterns

If you’re going with a dining room rug, you’ll want to consider choosing colors and patterns that can help you hide any accidental stains and conceal wear and tear over time.

Try a more elaborate or visually dense pattern to start—it’s an easy way to draw attention to the rug’s design without magnifying blemishes in the long run. You also don’t want an all-white rug in the dining room—dark colors or a mix of colors are way more forgiving!

Dining Room Rug

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Materials are Key

With any dining room rug, it’s all about keeping it easy to clean. Skip rugs made with precious materials, like silk or fur, which are extremely delicate and difficult to clean. There are many ways you can go, but remember that durability is the number one factor to consider.

One option is to look for indoor outdoor rugs that are made to be weather-, stain-, and mildew-resistant. You can also try other non-fiber rugs, such as PET designs, which are made from recycled plastic but have the look and feel of wool. These rugs are also simple to clean—you can just spot clean or wipe them down with diluted bleach.

For a foolproof durable option, you can’t go wrong with a natural fiber rug. They’re generally affordable, and ones made with seagrass are naturally stain-resistant and can stand up to lots of foot traffic.

If you’re after a durable fabric rug, wool is a good choice because it’s naturally antimicrobial, easy to clean, and will last for decades if you take care of them. Just be sure to opt for a low pile option (see next tip!)

Dining Room Rug

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Opt For Low Pile

While we love high pile rugs, they’re better suited for spaces where you want to cozy up with major plush vibes. In dining rooms, high-pile rugs can instead end up hiding dirt and crumbs!

So a low pile rug (which basically means a rug that’s not very shaggy or fluffy) is a much better option for the dining room. Consider a flatweave or even a looped-weave rug. These tightly packed woven rugs are also great if your dining room is in a high-traffic area not just because they’re durable but because they’re also thinner and won’t pose as much of a tripping hazard.

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Ask Yourself If You Need A Rug

Finally, not all dining rooms need a rug! If you’re happy with the flow of your space and the relationship between your dining table and flooring, then you might not require a rug.

One of the main things a rug does is help center and ground your dining space. However, this can also be achieved in other ways, such as centering a chandelier or surrounding your dining table with high-contrast seating.

If you don’t think a rug is right for you, that’s OK—there’s no hard and fast rule that says you absolutely need one! But if you do, you’ll want to make sure it’s always well-suited to your style and lifestyle and that it’s made to last you for years to come.

Find more rug inspo from our dining room design ideas!

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how do i choose the right rug size

How to Choose the Right Rug Size for Any Room

“What size rug should I get?” It’s one of the most common design questions we get and it can be difficult finding the right one. It’s understandable since rugs can be expensive, so it’s natural to want to go with a smaller rug to spend less and figure out how to make it fit into a room.

However, one of the most common design mistakes is buying a rug that’s too small for your room. A rug that’s too small (or too large) can completely undermine a great room design, so it’s important to consider size first and foremost in relation to your space.

For guidance, here’s our guide to the most common rug sizes for your home. Plus, get our tips for how to choose the right rug size for different rooms along the way!

Need inspiration for rug designs and colors? Check our gallery for interior design ideas!

Best Uses for 3’ x 5’ Rugs

This is a standard rug size and a great jumping-off point. It’s on the smaller side, and you can scale up or down from this size for a rug that’s proportional to your space.

Best For: Hallways, kitchens, entryways, and smaller rooms or areas

how do i choose the right rug size

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You can layer one in the bedroom

3’ x 5’ rugs are great accent rugs for smaller areas. So they’re perfect rugs to layer at end of the bed. Here, the blue-and-white striped rug is just the right size for accentuating the leather stools.

 

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You can anchor hallways with one

3’ x 5’ rugs are small and rectangular in size, which means they’re often perfectly scaled for hallways. Use one to anchor your entryway, making sure to leave enough room on all sides (6” minimum from the wall) for a stylish and durable landing.

Best Uses for 5’ x 7’ Rugs

Slightly larger and more rectangular in size, a 5’ x7’ foot rug is great for filling out a boxier space or a small room with a square or rectangular shape.

Best For: Offices, smaller bedrooms, large entryways

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Use one to fill out an entryway

5’ x 7’ rugs are ideal foundations in spacious entryways and mudrooms. Whereas an 8’ x 10’ rug is often too big and a 3’ x 5’ rug is too tiny, a 5’ x 7’ rug offers perfect-size coverage here.

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Use one to accent a work area

A 5’ x 7’ rug is also great for delineating zones in open spaces. Here, a 5’ x 7’ accent rug under the floating desk adds visual contrast and color but also anchors the workspace. It works because the rug is proportional to the desk size and the chair is able to fully sit on top of the rug.

Best Uses for 5’ x 8’ Rugs

This is a slightly larger, in-between rug size. It’s sometimes too small to use alone in a large living room, but they’re perfect when layered over larger rugs, like an 8’ x 10’ one.

Best For: Offices, kids bedrooms, and dens or studio apartments

how do i choose the right rug size

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Center one in a small kids bedroom

5’ x 8’ rugs are made for tighter quarters, like a small kid’s bedroom. It works best when it’s centered in a space, with furniture lining the walls. In a bedroom, you can get away with more pattern on a 5’ x 8’ rug because it’s still smaller in size and won’t overwhelm the room.

 

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Pair one with an 8’ x 10’ rug

5’ x 8’ rugs are ideal for layering with an 8’ x 10’ rug. The two are perfectly proportional in size. Here, the 5’ x 8’ rug alone would be dwarfed by the bed and stools. But placed over an 8’ x 10’ jute rug, they fill out the space beautifully, adding depth and contrasting colors from the floor up.

Best Uses for 8’ x 10’ Rugs

Think of these as standard large size rugs. If you’re looking to fill a large room or an open-concept space, this is a good size to start with and scale up from.

Best For: Living rooms, dining rooms, and primary bedrooms

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Ground your living room with one

An 8’ x 10’ layered over an even larger  9’ x 12’ rug is a foolproof combo for any large living room. They can unify furniture pieces by visually pulling all the pieces together on top. With a very large room, an 8’ x 10’ rug would likely not be big enough alone, so it’s good to layer it on top of a larger rug to extend its reach and coverage so that furniture legs can all sit on top.

Read This Next: The Best Living Room Rug Placements

 

how do i choose the right rug size

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Use one to frame a dining room

Just like in a living room, an 8’ x 10’ rug will fit underneath most standard size dining tables. You want to make sure the dining chair legs fit entirely on top of the rug, and that it extends all around so as to accommodate end chairs when they’re added as well.

Best Uses for 9’ x 12’ Rugs

These large rugs are meant to be statement pieces that fill out spacious rooms. Think of them as artworks for your floors, because they’re captivating focal points all on their own.

Best For: Living rooms and primary bedrooms

how do i choose the right rug size

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Connect floating living room furniture with one

A bold 9’ x 12’ rug alone can be a stylish foundation that brings together floating furniture in a living room. Here, the furniture is still spaced out enough without feeling cramped together because the rug covers a large area the reaches the front legs of all the pieces. This is one of our favorite rug sizes for living rooms.

 

how do i choose the right rug size

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Bring symmetry to a large dining space with one

With a large 9’ x 12’ rug, it’s good to take advantage of its size to bring balance and symmetry to a larger dining room set. A large dining table, especially one with glass, will appear more anchored over a large rug. Choose a rug pattern that plays up lines to add instant symmetry.

 

how do i choose the right rug size

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Cozy up a whole bedroom with one

A 9’ x 12’ rug will ground a large kind bed beautifully in a spacious bedroom. The large rug will feel proportional, providing space on all sides and the end of the bed for wide nightstands and a long bench. At the same time, the rug still feels cozy because it fills out the room. With a bedroom, it’s better to keep to a solid rug versus one that has busy patterns and colors.

Best Uses for 12’ x 15’ Rugs

Simply put, these grand rugs are made for the grandest of spaces. So if you’re working with an open floor plan, this is a great rug size option.

Best For: Grand living rooms and bedrooms

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Warm-up a cavernous living space

A 12’ x 15’ rug is reserved for large and open living rooms that can feel cold and cavernous without it. Here, the rug helps zone the seating area while anchoring the whole room with a sense of warmth, color, and texture.

 

how do i choose the right rug size

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Use one in place of carpet in a bedroom

A 12’ x 15’ rug is large enough that, in a bedroom, it can look and feel almost like a carpet that runs wall-to-wall. A solid color one, like jute, makes for a cozy and neutral foundation that offers amazing coverage with wood floors, and it’s great for layering underneath a patterned rug.

Read This Next: Our Guide to Bedroom Rug Sizes

Best Uses for Runner Rugs

Long and narrow, runners are chic and versatile rug options if you’re looking to add a bit of color, texture, and padding to smaller areas.

Best For: Hallways, entryways, kitchens, and in front of fireplaces

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Roll one out in your foyer

Try 2.5’ x 7.5’ runners, which are perfect for entry halls, especially narrow foyers. A 2.5’ x 7.5’ is the perfect size to add a bit of color and softness to define the zone in the front door area. It’s also a great practical choice for catching dirt before people enter your home.

 

how do i choose the right rug size

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Add one in front of a fireplace

A colorful or textured runner is a great way to bring focus to your fireplace. Lay one down so that it runs horizontally in front of the fireplace to set off the area and bring a bit of texture and softness to your mantel spot.

 

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how to choose a dining table

Buying Guide: How to Choose a Dining Table for Your Needs

When shopping for a dining room table, there are many things to consider—from dining table styles to dining table shapes and sizes. But sometimes, before you can consider those things, you first need to assess how you use your dining room to begin with.

how to choose a dining table

Before You Shop for a Dining Table

When thinking about dining room design ideas, a couple different factors can help you make design, style, and layout decisions based on your own personal use cases. First, consider how much space you have to work with and how your dining room flows and connects with the rest of your home. The size of your dining room will have a lot of bearing on what goes inside of it—so this is a good place to start when choosing the right dining table for your home.

You also want to think about how you use the space and even who in your home uses it the most. Does your dining room double as a home office or homeschooling zone? Do you entertain a lot or have pets? Who uses the dining room table, how it’s used, and even how often you host dinner guests are all big factors that will influence what you need in a dining table.

Wondering how to choose a dining table for your needs? Keep reading for our complete buying guide on choosing the right dining table for the size and layout of your space, as well as your lifestyle needs. This guide will help you find the perfect dining table for your home!

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how to choose a dining table

If You Have a Small Dining Room

Look for a smaller or expandable table: In a small dining room, you want to choose a table that is proportional to the size of your space. As a result, you’ll obviously want to go for a smaller-sized table in a small dining room. If you like entertaining, consider an expandable table that can be at its smallest size day-to-day but expand when needed to accommodate extra seats.

Get creative in extra-small spaces: For an extra small dining room—or if you only have a breakfast nook, or no dining space at all—you can still create a dining area. You could put a small cafe table and two chairs in the corner of your living room, or even use a console table with stools against a longer wall. We also love the idea of having a desk that can double as a dining table.

Eliminate sharp corners: Oval or round tablesare best in small dining rooms. They don’t have sharp corners you could bump into when navigating between chairs and the wall, which makes them easier to move around in a small space. They’re also better for squeezing more people around in a pinch, since there are no corners that limit the number of people you can fit.

Reduce tripping hazards: In a small dining room, you’ll also want to make sure your chairs can comfortably slide under your table. If they don’t, they’ll stick out into the room and create less walking space and can easily become a tripping hazard. So, choose a table style that allows you to push your chairs in.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Want to Fill Out a Large Space

Choose a table table that commands the space: In a large dining room, you can go for a standard-size dining table, or even a large, oversized table. Like in a small dining room, you still want your table to be in proportion to the space. So, if you have a particularly large space, opt for a table that has some heft and visually commands the space, like a farmhouse-style table. You could also opt for an extra-long table for a communal eating feel. Regardless, with a large dining room, you have the space to have a large dining table set up year-round rather than needing to expand a table or set up extra eating spaces when hosting guests.

Try a rectangular table: Rectangular tables are the most common dining table shape, and they work well in large dining rooms. They’re best for formal dining, where you want someone to sit at the head of the table, and they’re also great for filling out a dining room. However, there are some larger oval-shaped tables that can give your dining room a softer, more organic look.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Have an Open Living Room/Dining Room

When your dining room is open or connected to your living room, you not only want to consider the size, but also how the elements within each room interact with each other. So, consider proportion to properly fill out (but not overfill) the space, and choose furniture that mixes well with the style and proportion of your living room furniture. Rectangular tables are best for open living room/dining rooms, as you can use the table to help partition the two rooms and create a sense of organization within the open space.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Have Young Kids

Pick the right material: When you have young children, a big thing to consider is the material of your dining table. Glass tables are hard to keep clean and are easier to break—so avoid that if you have kids. Instead, choose something more durable, like a solid or composite wood. Veneer can also be good, but it chips and scratches more easily. Another super durable option? Sealed stone, like ceramic or concrete. However, avoid marble in lighter shades, as it can easily stain. Rustic surfaces like weathered wood or metal are best for rambunctious kids. They develop a natural patina, so nicks and scuffs easily blend in. Darker finishes help hide accidents, like spills and stains, but they can sometimes show more scratches.

Avoid sharp edges: We also recommend avoiding sharp edges. While some rectangular tables have more rounded corners, certain styles and materials have very sharp corners, so we’d veer away from those. Sometimes tables with metal legs have decorative elements that could also pose a risk to small children.

Consider the base of the table: You’ll also want to think about the leg style of a dining room table—specifically, if you want a table with four legs or more of a pedestal style. Both can work with kids, but it’s good to consider if you can fit a high-chair and dining chair side-by-side between the legs of a table, or even how the base of the table will affect clipping a child’s seat to the table.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Live Alone

If you live alone or just don’t eat much at your table, go for a smaller table and fill out the rest of your dining space for accent furniture. It’s nice to have the option to use a dining table if you have people over, but you can get something smaller so you don’t have a large table going unused when it’s just you. This also allows you to choose a table that can work for the size of your space if you’re in a smaller apartment.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Need to Seat a Lot of People

Large dining tables can seat 6-8 people, so they’re great for larger families, allowing your whole family to sit around it at once. Sometimes you can seat even more with large tables that are extendable. This is not only great for large families but also for those who entertain a lot.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Have Pets

If you have pets who like to chew on your furniture legs, consider a table with a pedestal base or with metal legs. This way they won’t be able to get their mouths around the base to gnaw on it. If you like the look of a table with slender legs, simply consider metal legs rather than wooden ones, which your pet won’t want to chew on.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Love to Host

If you host often, you’ll want to consider that when choosing a dining room table. Like we mentioned earlier, if you have a large dining room, you can have a large dining table set up year-round.

Try an extendable table for extra seating options: But in a more average-sized dining room, extendable tables are great for hosting. For everyday use, you can keep the table smaller and fit just your family around the table. But when you have guests over, you can add a leaf or two to increase the number of people you can fit around the table.

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how to choose a dining table

Go for a drop-leaf table in small spaces: If you love to host but only have a small dining room, you could consider a drop-leaf table. This allows the table to get pretty compact, and you can push it up against the wall when not in use. But, when having friends over for dinner, you can pull it out from the wall, put up the leaves, and fit a few extra people around the table.

Squeeze in more people with a round or oval pedestal table: When hosting, do you tend to try to squeeze a lot of people around your table? You may want to opt for a pedestal table rather than one with four legs so extra chairs can squeeze in without interference. You could also go for a round or oval table rather than a rectangular one, as a rectangular table will limit the number of people you’re able to seat around it due to the corners.

how to choose a dining table

If Your Dining Room Doubles As Your Home Office

If your dining room doubles as your home office, and you use your dining table as a desk, make sure your table is large enough for your work supplies and at a comfortable height for you to work at. If you’re going to sit somewhere for eight hours, you want to make sure it’s ergonomic! In a small space, consider a bar-height table, which can double as a standing desk and gives you room to sneak in some storage underneath.

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coffee table buying guide

How to Pick a Coffee Table Shape to Go With Your Sofa

After landing on a sofa (or a sectional), a coffee table is one of the next most important pieces of furniture in your living room. It helps tie together your seating area, and offers the practicality of a surface for placing a drink, kicking up your feet, and displaying your favorite coffee table books.

But with so many different coffee table sizes, shapes, and materials to choose from, it can be overwhelming to land on the right coffee table for your living room. So, today we’re going to help you out with a coffee table buying guide! We’ll walk you through the different coffee table shapes, show you how they work with different sofa shapes (think sectional or sofa chaise), and ultimately help you find the right coffee table for your space!

coffee table buying guide

The Basics of Choosing a Coffee Table

But before all that, you’ll want to consider a few general rules of thumb when it comes to choosing the right coffee table.

Coffee Table Height

First up: coffee table height. You want your coffee table to be no more than 2-3 inches above or below your sofa’s seat height. (Though, the closer to the same height, the better.) If it’s too tall or too short, it won’t be as practical to use and frankly just won’t look as good.

Coffee Table Length

And, in terms of length, consider the space you need to walk and navigate around your coffee table within the rest of the room. A good rule of thumb is leaving about 17 inches from each end of your coffee table to the edge of your sofa for walkability. With that, in general you’ll want your coffee table to sit on the center of your area rug, no matter what sofa style you have or what shape of coffee table you choose.

Explore more coffee table do’s and don’ts here! Ready to dig in? Read on for our ultimate guide to choosing a coffee table to go with your sofa.

coffee table buying guideBest Coffee Table Shapes for Standard Sofas

If you have a standard sofa, you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to picking a coffee table. You can safely go with just about any shape, and it’s just easier to know where to place it. (Simply center the coffee table on your sofa, and make sure it’s about two-thirds the length of your sofa.) So, really, it just comes down to preference. Below, you’ll see how different coffee table shapes work with a standard sofa.

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coffee table buying guide

coffee table buying guide

Rectangular Coffee Tables

A rectangular coffee table fits well with a traditional, standard-size sofa. It offers a lot of surface area—providing a surface not only for people sitting on the sofa but also on the side chair. And, the coffee table pictured is a perfect example of the right height in comparison to your sofa. We’d say that, for a standard sofa, a rectangular coffee table is your best all-around choice. This is a no-brainer shape that you really can’t go wrong with.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideSquare Coffee Tables

When it comes to a square coffee table with a traditional sofa, our stylists recommend doing two squares side-by-side rather than just one. A single square coffee table would feel small and awkward on it’s own with a long rectangular sofa—leaving your seating area feeling unbalanced. So, doubling up on the squares gives your living room a more balanced, cohesive look. Plus, with two squares, you get double the surface area! It gives you the concept of a rectangular coffee table, but with more visual intrigue.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideRound Coffee Tables

If you want to add visual interest to your living room, along with creating a bit of a statement in your space, go for a round coffee table. Just make sure it has a large enough circumference to balance out the length of your sofa! You don’t get as much surface space in comparison to a rectangular coffee table, so we recommend supplementing your seating area with some side tables for extra surface area. You could also consider doing two round tables, and either replacing them side-by-side like the squares, or staggering them, with one closer to the sofa and one further away. Staggering a set creates varied walking space around your tables and sofa and more visual interest to your set-up.

A round coffee table—whether you go for one larger table or a pair of smaller ones—is the most versatile shape and our pick for best all-around coffee table shape for any sofa style. Whether you have a standard sofa, a sectional, or a sofa with a chaise, a round coffee table will tuck into any shape, as long as the size proportions are correct. Round coffee tables are also the most kid-friendly shape, since there are no hard edges or corners.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideOval Coffee Tables

An oval-shaped coffee table is another great shape for a standard sofa. It’s obviously a bit longer than a round coffee table, so it gives you as much surface area as possible while still offering a softer, more organic shape. And choosing an oval style with a more unique base, like this one, adds some visual interest. Like a round coffee table, and oval is also great if you have kids, because of the round edges—no sharp corners here!

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideAbstract/Organic Coffee Tables

An abstract or organic-shaped coffee table is great for inspiring movement in your living room, adding a functional statement to your space. There’s a sense of fluidity when you opt for a more organic shape—though, depending on the specific style you choose, it can give a totally different vibe to the space. Here, we have both a table that’s a soft triangle shape with three legs, and a more heavy, organic style, which each create completely different looks to the seating arrangement. With the second one, you’ll want to make sure you figure out the balance—since it’s such a heavy, solid piece, you wouldn’t want to pair it with a delicate or small sofa. With all coffee tables, consider the size and scale of your sofa and pair a coffee table accordingly.

Regardless, abstract and organic shapes in coffee tables work well with a regular-sized sofa, offering a more dynamic look. We love that, whatever vantage point you have in the room, you’re going to see it differently. This gives your coffee table the feeling of being an evolving object within your space that adds dimension and a sculptural quality.

coffee table buying guideBest Coffee Table Shapes for Sectionals

While all of the same shapes are available to you when you have a sofa with a chaise or a sectional, different shapes and sizes work differently within this context. While we’re just showing you how these shapes work with a sofa with a chaise, the same principles apply to a sectional with a full L-shape.

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coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideRectangle Coffee Tables

If you opt for a rectangular coffee table with a sectional or chaise, you’ll just want to make sure the length of the coffee table fits with a safe amount of space between the edge of the sofa and the chaise, without the end of the coffee table going past the other end of the sofa! A rectangular coffee table gives you more space relative to the rest of your seating arrangement though (in this case, in the foreground of the image) since the shape means it’s not protruding into the side of the seating area that’s opposite your sofa.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideSquare Coffee Tables

A single square coffee table works really well for a sofa with a chaise or a sectional. It tucks perfectly into the angle of the chaise while still giving you enough breathing room. It’s also great for those who love a more traditional take on a seating arrangement, since the lines of the coffee table align with the lines of the sofa, with edges meeting edges and the square shape echoing the angle of the sofa. This is our pick for a no-brainer coffee table shape that you really can’t go wrong with when you have a chaise or sectional.

Like the look of a square but want softer edges? An ottomoan is a great coffee table alternative, which also provides a comfortable, makeshift seat or footrest!

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideRound Coffee Tables

A round coffee table with this sofa shape has a grounding element and is easier to navigate around than other shapes. It offers more room to play around with the chair placement within your living room, and overall is easier to design around since you don’t have hard lines or edges. As with a traditional sofa, you can also opt for two smaller round tables versus one larger round coffee table. This creates a more playful look that’s very flexible and forgiving. You can stagger them and even swing one around to be a side table when you want to. It breaks up the angle of the L-shape on the sofa and adds an organic element that brings some breathing room to your layout.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideOval Coffee Tables

An oval coffee table works really nicely to balance out the edge of the sofa. The table pictured is a smaller model; we’d recommend sizing up if you’re going to do an oval with this type of sofa. But just make sure you have enough room for walking on all sides of the table.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideAbstract/Organic Coffee Tables

An abstract or organic coffee table would also give you that ability to break up the angle of the L-shape of the sofa. The soft triangle table fits really nicely in this setting and adds a bit of a statement to the center of the room. This is a bigger table, but it doesn’t feel too large for the space. That’s because, since its legs lift it off the floor, there’s a sense of airiness to this look. (One of our favorite tricks to help a space feel larger.)

The more solid, geometric coffee table also works in this set-up, but it’s definitely a heavier approach. It anchors the center of the room and visually balances out the weight of the chaise versus the chair that’s diagonal from the chaise. However, since it’s a solid, heavy table, it’s not very moveable.

Explore Coffee Table Styles

Choosing the best coffee table to go with your sofa also means finding one with the right style. As evidenced by the variety of coffee tables featured in this post, there are so many styles to consider! If you’re uncertain about what style or shape of coffee table to choose, take our style quiz, or work with one of our designers to find the best furniture pieces and layout for your whole living room!

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stylish floor lamps

Stylist Picks: 10 Stylish Floor Lamps That Are Also Works of Art

Proper lighting is one necessity in every room in the house. Even your brightly lit spaces need lights to flip on once the sun goes down. When it comes to lighting choices, we love stylish floor lamps! They are great if you need to save surface space in your living room, bedroom or other areas of the house. Whether you opt for a tripod floor lamp, a floor lamp that arcs over the room, a small reading floor lamp or a big statement piece, your lighting is an element that can instantly upgrade the look and feel of any room design. Layered lighting like desk lamps and floor lamps are essential in a small space—but they also work well in any size home.

Floor lamps are a big hit right now because we are spending so much time at home these days and need our spaces well-lit morning, noon, and night! If you need help coming up with floor lamp ideas for your home, check out some of our stylist’s favorite picks!

stylish floor lampsThe Namura Edison Globe Floor Lamp, Uttermost

We adore this Namura Edison Globe Floor Lamp! It is totally unique and the bright gold color lends itself to a lot of different styles. It’s a definite statement piece and will make a splash in any room. But it’s also a super functional floor lamp, adding tons of bright light to a space. This is one of the best floor lamps for glam, eclectic, and contemporary styles.

“I love the Namura lamp from Uttermost because even though it feels so distinctive and even a bit out-of-the-box in shape and form, it’s still the perfect addition to so many aesthetics—traditional, eclectic, bohemian, and even contemporary.” – Lauren M.

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stylish floor lampsThe Riano Floor Lamp, Uttermost

Classic floor lamps work well in a variety of rooms. This one features a mix of traditional elements like bronze and brass with cream lampshades, but putting it all together into a fun new structure. It only takes up a minimal amount of space in the corner and also provides double the light! This is one of the best floor lamps for a living room or office space. The neutral colors are pleasing to the eye and go with a lot of styles and decor palettes. We love the look of this lamp as extra reading and working light for a desk—especially since so many of us are working from home these days!

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stylish floor lampsBeton Floor Lamp White, Nuevo

This light arched floor lamp comes in both black and white so you can use it as a dramatic accent in a variety of designs. It’s sleek and simple, but very cool with its slight lean and narrow structure. It doesn’t take up much room so it works well as a floor lamp in smaller spaces as well as minimalist, contemporary and modern style spaces.

“This lamp is such a statement piece and can give you light in rooms where there isn’t a ceiling light” – Modsy Stylist Autumn H.

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stylish floor lampsThe Big Dipper Arc Lamp, CB2

This tall lamp is another beautiful statement piece that makes a splash in any living area. It comes in brass and silver so you can choose the right color floor lamps for your decor scheme. It’s super versatile in style and works well with modern, mid-century modern, minimal, and eclectic styles. It’s also great for spaces with no ceiling light as the lamp arcs over the center of the room.

“I love the Big Dipper Arc Lamp from CB2 in small spaces that don’t have overhead lighting—it arcs perfectly towards the center of any room.” – Modsy Stylist Mackenzie R.

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stylish floor lampsAtlas Wood Floor Lamp, CB2

This wood floor lamp by Mermelada Estudio calls to mind French-Moroccan style in illuminating fashion. Inspired by the curvy shapes of Moroccan lamps with a touch of refined French taste, it’s one of the best floor lamps with a sophisticated silhouette. The gorgeous design is topped off with a white cotton shade to add extra brightness and style to any room. Wooden floor lamps like this work well in boho, eclectic, rustic and transitional spaces—it’s a unique look with warm and neutral colors.

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stylish floor lampsDome Floor Lamp, Global Views

This handsome brass floor lamp has a glamorous, sculptural appeal with a mushroom cap top. It casts a warm glow with a brass lined interior so you can have brightness and warmth in any space. This is one of the best floor lamps for glam and modern spaces—it feels classic and iconic while also remaining simple and elegant. Plus, the base is so tiny that it barely takes up any floor space—perfect for a reading nook or work area.

“Any lamp from Global Views has my heart! Excellent quality and craftsmanship!” – Modsy Stylist Tais K.

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stylish floor lampsCayden Nickel Brushed Floor Lamp, Tanjore

We adore this Cayden Nickel Brushed Floor Lamp with a functional edge. The modern form goes with any decor space. The floor lamp can be easily moved up or down with the handy lever, so it’s great for nooks or smaller spaces that need a reading lamp. Use it with traditional or rustic decor—it makes a great addition to both styles! Plus, the small size makes it unobtrusive so it doesn’t take attention away from artwork and other decor in the room.

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stylish floor lampsMid-Century Modern Floor Lamp, Jamie Young

For those of you who love a mid-century look, this two-toned, sleek floor lamp might be just the right thing. It feels a bit industrial with the exposed bulb, but also has a modern edge with sleek brass and black elements. It’s a great floor lamp for small spaces because of the narrow structure. The light is focused downward, so it’s ideal for reading in bed or on the sofa or as a desk lamp.

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stylish floor lampsAllora Floor Lamp, Ciro Modern

This is one of the hippest floor lamps we’ve seen, with its modern triangular top and round base. Materials like matte black metal, shiny brass and marble even feel a bit art deco! It’s truly a statement piece and almost looks like it’s own sculpture. It’s a great addition to Mid-Century Modern, minimalist, and strictly modern styles—and it could even work well in industrial-chic spaces!

“The Allora floor lamp black form Ciro Modern—I love the modern shape/finishes of it, it’s adjustable and the price point is really great!” – Shannon M.

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stylish floor lampsLongshan Floor Lamp White, Jamie Young

Last but not least is one of the most gorgeous, classic looking floor lamps on the market. It has a sculptural look, and the bright, white color makes it look striking against a dark interior. This floor lamp is also very versatile because of the neutrality and shape. It’s one of the best floor lamps for any space, including the living room, dining room, bedroom, and more. It can also be a great look for a nursery or kids’ room design! 

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Stylist Picks: The Best Budget-Friendly Home Office Chairs

So, you’ve been working from home for months now—with no change in sight. Hopefully by now you’ve invested in a real desk instead of just working from your dining room table and sofa! (If not, check out our stylist’s picks of best home office desks.) But now it might be time to get some other home office furniture—like a real office chair to go with your desk.

A dedicated office chair is actually one of our top working from home tips, since it helps your workspace be more ergonomic and aids in creating a distinct workspace within your home.

However, a quick internet search will show you that desk chairs can be astronomically expensive! But when looking for home office design ideas, just remember that a good-looking and comfortable desk chair doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, our stylists rounded up their favorite budget-friendly desk chairs.

Keep reading for the best home office chairs in the Modsy catalogue for those on a budget!

Adjustable Desk Chair, Cooper Furniture

This desk chair is comfortable and practical in style. It’s more of the traditional corporate office chair style, and it definitely values comfort and ergonomics over style. But, with that, it’s great for anyone who sits at a desk for long bouts of time. Its multi-channel seat back and gently molded seat offer lower back lumbar support, and cushioned arm rests mean comfort while typing all day long!

Why We Love It:

We love how this brown leather chair feels timeless and traditional—but that it’s also super comfortable. Plus, it’s on wheels for easy mobility around your office and offers adjustable seat height for customization.

The Price: $269

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Lewiston Office Chair, Ciro Modern

This modern office chair is lightweight and stylish. With a cushioned seat, adjustable seat height, and cater wheels, it has everything you need in budget desk chairs. And with its simple and streamlined style, it’s great for industrial and modern spaces.

Why We Love It:

This is a great style of chair for small home offices, since it has a smaller frame and is visually less heavy than other styles. Plus, though it has a fairly simple design, it’s definitely still on-trend—a reminder that practicality and style aren’t mutually exclusive!

The Price: $259

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Tufted Office Chair, Ciro Modern

Want to add a bit of personality to your home office, while still focusing on comfort? Try this fun and comfy office chair with pinkish-red tufted upholstery. With adjustable seat height and caster wheels, it also has that element of practicality. This is a fun style for those who have a glam home office—the best office chair in our catalogue for a glam look on a budget!

Why We Love It:

When thinking through the best color schemes for home offices, this chair is a great way to add a pop of color to your home office while maintaining a sophisticated vibe. And we love that it’s so plush and comfortable for long work days!

The Price: $209

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Barry Armchair, Ciro Modern

For a more sophisticated look, opt for a stationary desk chair (aka no wheels). This doesn’t mean you have to settle for a dining room chair though. This cheap desk chair has a deep and cozy frame that allows you to really sink into it and focus on work.

Why We Love It:

We love the light brown faux leather upholstery paired with sculptural legs. It creates a sleek and modern look that would fit into many different office styles.

The Price: $199

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Channel Desk Chair, Ciro Modern

The ribbed, cushioned seat and back of this office chair create a very sleek and modern look, indeed. As does the white faux leather finish. But this chair isn’t just about the good looks. With adjustable seat height and caster wheels, it also offers customization for optimal comfort.

Why We Love It:

This is one of the classiest and best office chairs in the bunch. We love the shape of this chair, with its sloped arm rests. It has a modern but neutral look, that would be at home in any transitional, modern, or minimalist office.

The Price: $229

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Pinecrest Office Chair, Skylr

This office chair offers a unique take on the traditional caster wheel desk chair. Inspired by Scandinavian style, with an industrial flair, its sleek form—with a low back and deep seat—make all-day sitting more comfortable.

Why We Love It:

The creamy upholstery in faux leather is so easy to clean—so no need to worry about coffee spills! And we love the brass base and cladding on the side, which gives this chair a trendy look with a touch of glam!

The Price: $339

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Alanya Bungie Office Chair, Luna Modern

This funky modern desk chair feels lightweight with its bungie seating and backing—and offers natural ventilation for hot summer days! Adjustable seat height and caster wheels allow for customization and mobility. And, since it doesn’t have arms, you can push it fully under the desk when not in use—a great space-saver for small home office designs!

Why We Love It:

We love the simple but comfy design of this office chair. And it comes in four mod colors so you can personalize the style to your space.

The Price: $249

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Venice Studio Task Chair, CB2

This elegant and minimal stationary task chair is shaped somewhat like a dining chair, but offers significantly more cushion and lower back lumbar support. The low, sloping arms also give support and comfort while working, and the tapered legs give it that mid-century modern vibe.

Why We Love It:

This is one of the best office chairs out there if you have an eye for style and for your budget. Because of its style, this faux leather chair is both chic and super versatile. It’s perfect for a desk, but can also be pulled into your living room or dining room when you need extra seating.

The Price: $299

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Homestead Office Chair, Skylr

Black and gold are a classic combo. But that’s only one of the reasons this sleek desk chair is so great. With a compact design, caster wheels, and a black faux leather finish, it’s a statement piece while still being functional.

Why We Love It:

This chair has a sense of glamour to it. We love its streamlined frame that gives a sleek look to any modern or glam home office.

The Price: $319

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New Home Furniture Buying Guide: Where to Skimp vs. Splurge When Furnishing Your New Space

So you just bought a new home. Congratulations! A new home, whether it’s your first home or you’re simply moving somewhere new, is a big and exciting venture. And it’s also an opportunity to design a home you love, from scratch!

But you also just bought a house—so you may not have a ton of cash to spend on filling your whole home with fancy new furniture. Though you also don’t want to wait to purchase everything and end up living out of boxes for months with no place to sit! Trust us, there’s a middle road, and it involves making some purchases now and holding off on others until you’re more settled in and have time to save up more money.

Since buying furniture can be quite the endeavor, we polled our designers to get their take on what to invest in right away, where you can skimp, and what to buy over time. Without further ado, here’s our new home furniture buying guide!

The Furniture to Buy Right Away

There are certain pieces of furniture that our designers recommend buying right away, so you have them from the get-go in your new home. These pieces will help make your home more comfortable and give you some interior design ideas to help define the style of the space.

Sofa

A sofa is a piece of furniture that gets heavy use. As the central object in your living room, it’s a piece around which you can build your entire room. Because of that, it’s a great piece to buy right away—and don’t be afraid to splurge. A sofa isn’t just a trendy style piece; it’s a versatile piece of furniture, and an investment that will last for years. So, make sure you buy one that you really love! Wondering what type of sofa you should buy? Check out our guide on the benefits of a sofa vs. sectional.

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Media Cabinet

The other big piece of furniture you’ll want to invest in right away is a media cabinet. Having a place to safely house your TV and electronics is a must! This is another piece that can last for years—perhaps even longer than a sofa, since it doesn’t endure as much daily wear and tear. As a possible focal point in your living room, give plenty of thought into the style of the cabinet you choose—and make sure it’s the right size for your TV. With its longevity and style status in your living room, think of a media cabinet as an investment and be willing to spend a little extra money on it.

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Window Coverings

Unless you don’t mind your neighbors seeing right into your house at night, be sure to buy window treatments right away! This is one thing you can buy cheap right away and upgrade later. But, if you’re ready, you can also just go for the splurge! If you’re ready to buy a long-term solution, opt for drapes and shades. Otherwise, you could always just buy some Ikea curtains or even tape up some butcher paper for an immediate solution!

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The Furniture to Hold on Purchasing

With any home, regardless of budget, there are a few things you probably want to hold off on purchasing until you’re more settled in and have a good grasp on the style and feel of your home. Here’s what our designers suggest holding off on for a while.

Art

Art can make or break a space. That’s why we’re big believers in waiting to fill your new home with art, and take your time finding the perfect pieces for your space. Original artwork, or even large-scale prints, tend to be pricier. But quality art is an investment worth making, especially when it can directly support the artist who made it! And the great thing about art is that, if you already have a piece in mind, you can build your whole room around it. But you can also do the opposite and find artwork that suits the space that you’ve already created.

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Rugs

Rugs can be tricky—not only is it important to find one in the colors and style that will best suit your space, but you also want to find the best size for your space! With all that in mind, it’s best to wait until you’ve been in your home for a bit before you buy a rug. That way, you’ll get a feel for how you’ll use the space (which will influence the material and pile of rug you choose) and will help you determine the size you need. Rugs can be expensive—so this can feel like a splurge regardless. But waiting also gives you time to save up for the rug of your dreams!

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Small Decor

Want some tips on how to decorate a room? We’ll start here: Don’t clutter up your new space with cheap knick knacks and random decor! Instead, buy small decor over time, and take on a curator’s mindset. Find decorative objects you truly love, and thoughtfully create collections on your shelves and surfaces rather than just filling your space with cheap stuff for the sake of filling out shelves.

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The Furniture to Buy Cheap and Replace Later

There are some things you’ll need right away to keep yourself from living out of suitcases and boxes and make your home more comfortable. But that doesn’t mean you have to blow a bunch of money to fill your space. Below, we’re covering the pieces of furniture that you can buy on the cheap now and upgrade later.

Clothing Storage

Clothing storage is absolutely essential. But dressers and closet systems can be quite expensive! So, either use something you already have for the time being, or buy some inexpensive clothing storage right away. Then, over time, save money and give yourself time to find the perfect dresser later on! A quality dresser is something that will last a long time, so it’s worth the wait and the eventual investment.

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Side Tables

You need side tables as a surface for books, drinks, lamps, and more—but finding the perfect pair takes time. For now, buy some inexpensive side tables that are simple and practical, then splurge on a set that perfectly embodies your style later on!

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Bookcases

Bookcases—whether in a living room, office, or children’s room—are important pieces to house books, toys, office supplies, and decorative objects. So, you may need one or two right away to help with organization throughout your home. So, buy an inexpensive bookcase at first, then upgrade to something more substantial once you find the right piece and have the budget for it. This will also give you time to gauge where you want to place your bookcases, which will help you determine the size and style you want!

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rug buying guide

Why Are Rugs So Expensive? A Guide to Buying Your Next Rug

rug buying guideIf you’ve done any internet browsing for rugs, you might have stumbled across the fact rugs are, more often than not, really freaking expensive.

Even if we exclude the handmade oriental rugs, which can easily fetch upwards of several thousands of dollars, a standard 8’x10’ rug from a popular furniture retailer can still cost you a month’s rent.

Need help finding the perfect rug for your space? Start a Modsy design project and get expert design plans in an exact version of your room in 3D! Our designers will show you rugs that meet your style + budget and how they fit in your space. Already have a design project? Shop our 5 favorite rugs under $500!

To help shed some light on the subject, we’re taking a look at all the reasons why rugs are so expensive. We’re hashing out what factors make up a rug’s price so you can decide which are important for you.

What the rug is made of:

What a rug is made of matters. The material a rug is made of will determine the quality of the rug and effect how long it lasts. The main difference between materials often lies in their durability and clean-ability.

Rugs are most commonly made of either natural fibers – like wool or silk – or synthetic materials – like nylon or polyester. Here is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of each material.

Wool:

A sturdy natural fiber, wool rugs are generally a more expensive option. This is because wool rugs last for decades, are highly durable, and keep their color and pattern over time. As a material, a rug made of wool will have a more soft and plush texture than its synthetic counterparts.

Silk:

Second to wool in its durability, silk rugs are coveted for their high-shine and luscious texture. Silk rugs tend to be extremely expensive and they require professional cleaning, making them not the best fit for homes with kids, pets, or heavy foot-traffic.

Nylon:

A less expensive, synthetic alternative, nylon is known for its durability. This makes it a good choice for high-traffic areas. Conversely, the material is highly absorbent, meaning a nylon rug can be easily ruined by spills.

Polyester:

Another inexpensive and synthetic option, polyester is a less absorbent material, rendering it is more stain-resistant. That said, polyester is a less durable material, and rugs made from it tend to fall apart more easily and quickly.

rug buying guide

What the rug is dyed with:

Rugs are generally given their color with either natural, usually vegetable-based, dyes or chemical dyes.

Natural dyes tend to be more lightfast, meaning they will not fade over time. Rugs dyed with natural options take more labor to produce, making them more expensive.

Chemical dyes are a much cheaper alternative. Depending on the dye and method of the dying process, these options tend to fade much quicker (even after a few months of foot traffic).

rug buying guide

How the rug is made:

The method by which a rug is made also is an important factor in determining its price.

The more expensive options tend to be loomed by hand and can take days of labor to complete. These rugs contain a high knot-count, which results in that amazing plush texture and their rich colors. They are more durable and can last decades if cared for properly.

The alternative to costly hand-made rugs, are machine made rugs. These options have a lower density of knots and a looser weave, causing them to be less durable in the long run.

rug buying guideOther things to consider:

The ethics behind rugs

Another component behind the cost of rugs is the ethics behind their production. Rugs made in factories with child labor are able to be sold at an extremely cheap price point. Before you purchase a rug, consider doing a bit of research on its production methods.

Value over time

While not so much a factor in the cost of a rug, another point to consider before you make a purchase is that rugs keep their value over time.

Like investing in a piece of art, quality rugs can be resold later and retain much of their original value. If cared for properly they can last decades and be passed down as a family heirloom.

So, why are rugs so expensive?

The materials, the dyes, method of production are the main points that make up a rug’s price.

Still unsure how much you should spend on a rug? These four questions will help you decide if you should splurge or skimp on your next rug.

 

Need help finding a your perfect rug?

Modsy designers are standing by to help you find the perfect rug – or sofa, or bed frame – for your style and budget. They’ll show how different options look and fit in your exact space, so you can shop with confidence and skip the stress.