Rugs are great to have in a home with hardwood or vinyl floors as they protect them from wear. The trick, however, is knowing where the best places are in your home to warrant an area rug runner.
Area Rugs vs Rug Runners
An area rug is simply a carpet, often much smaller than the dimensions of the room, and come in a variety of sizes. They're not used as wall-to-wall carpeting, which stretches across the entire room.
Rug runners are rugs that are much longer than they are wide. They have the appearance of being narrow and long as if to fit a hallway.
Different Styles of Rugs
Over the years the idea of what a rug's purpose is has changed. They used to be small pieces of carpet you tossed somewhere to cover an ugly patch of floor or used under the dining room table. They've now evolved to designer rugs that serve as accent pieces that pull a room together. They come in many designs and color schemes with the most common being solid in warm color tones. There are also funky designs such as geometric shapes, animal prints, and bright colors that are available to purchase.
Attention to the Bathroom
The bathroom is often a neglected room for an area rug because it's rarely seen. The area rug here is more for function than style. Bathroom floors are often made out of ceramic tiles or vinyl so they tend to get a lot of wear. An area rug from the door leading inside the bathroom or one placed in front of the sink is a good choice.
The master bedroom represents your kingdom and so an area rug here should match your style and taste. If you have bright colors in your room, an area rug that is brown or somewhat darker could make the room appear larger. The area rug runner in the master bedroom is only useful if leading to the door if you have hardwood floors or laminate. Generally speaking, the best rug type to use in a bedroom is an oval that is placed on the floor at the foot of the bed.
Placing an area rug runner in a hallway is for both design and function. Your hallways are the most traveled areas of the home and the most seen. If you have hardwood floors you want to protect them as much as possible without having to cover them up. Area rug runners in the hallways can be as basic or as verbose as you want them to be. If you have a long hallway your choice may be limited but there is no reason why you couldn't use more than one rug in the area. The primary rug to purchase for the hallway is a long rectangular one several inches smaller in width than the hallway.
This area tends to be the most used and so the area rug is typically more for the design than for function with some exceptions. An oval or square rug that matches the tone of the room is most appropriate and usually placed under a coffee table. Many doors to the home open to the living room. Placing an area rug runner that has been treated to protect from spills and stains at the door will protect your floor and other rugs from the elements. A long hallway style area rug runner would do the trick nicely.