Area rugs can make a room feel finished; but choosing the right area rug for the space can be a challenge. In this short video, interior designer Kate Jackson offers expert tips on how to use an area rug as an interior design element in a multipurpose bedroom and play area, living room and foyer.

Tip 1: Use Area Rugs to Define the Space

Make the most of an open floor plan or a large multipurpose room by using rugs to define the space into separate living areas. Whether using rugs to delineate the living room from the adjacent dining room or the sleeping area from the living area of a master bedroom, a similar rug in different sizes can help separate the spaces while keeping the design and color palette cohesive.

Tip 2: Use Area Rugs to Play with Color

An area rug is a fun place to play with color in your home, but finding a rug that fits with your design can be tough. A simple neutral rug that incorporates one or two of the main colors used in the design won’t compete with the other patterns and colors in the room. In the beach house’s living room design, Kate used a large neutral rug trimmed with the same orange Sunbrella fabric used in the decorative pillows on the living room sofa.

Tip 3: Use Area Rugs to Tell a Story

While an entry area rug is often a workhorse, catching drips from rainy coats and serving as an unofficial dog bed for the four-legged family members, it can also be a great place to tell a unique story about the house, the family’s style or their personalities. A custom-designed rug with a compass motif is the perfect prelude to a beach house’s coastal chic design.

No one ever says, “You know what you don’t need? An area rug.” Follow these tips and you’ll have your floors covered in no time. To see how designer Kate Jackson uses Sunbrella Renaissance rugs from Colonial Mills in Perspective New England The Beach House, check out Episode Six: Don’t Fear the Rugs. Learn about the rugs Kate Jackson used in the beach house in the décor guide.

The Beach House video series is part of Perspective New England, a design journey exploring the versatility of Sunbrella fabrics for every aspect of your life—at home, on the water or on an adventure. Also check out The Rhode Yacht, a 1977 Airstream Argosy transformed by Sunbrella, and The Real Yacht, a Morris Yachts M36 brought to life with Sunbrella. Follow the entire project on Twitter and Instagram @Sunbrella and #PerspectiveNE.