Are Dining Areas With Rugs Over-Designed, or Functional?

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I love the look of a beautiful, casual rug in a dining area. Rugs warm a space in ways most decor doesn't, but I can't seem to get past the issue of spills and crumbs. Just last night as I was sweeping our dining room (for what seemed like the tenth time this holiday weekend), I began to wonder...

Pin it button big putting an area rug in a dining area an example of over-design? Or are rugs in dining areas truly functional?

There are two sides to this story: on the one hand, rugs underneath the dining room table immediately add warmth and color and personality to the dining room. They also help protect the floor from scratches. Years of dragging chairs in and out can wreak havoc on a wood floor, so that's something to consider if you have floors you want to keep in good standing!

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On the other hand, a rug underneath the dining table is subject to crumbs, spills, and stains. This may not be an issue if you vacuum regularly, but a toppled glass of red wine is much trickier to clean up on a carpet than it is on a bare floor.

So where do you stand: do you have a rug underneath your dining room table, or does that sound like too much upkeep?

(Image credits: AB Chao; Jessie Webster; Home Life)

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Landis is a ceramic artist who hand-makes heirloom-quality pottery for the kitchen, table, and home. She writes about tabletop design and entertaining for The Kitchn and lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband and toddler.