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Buying Guide: Choose The Best Outdoor Rug For Your Patio

13/06/2012 4:08 AM AEST | Updated 12/10/2012 5:16 AM AEDT

You splurged on a new outdoor dining set and comfortable lounge chairs to entertain on the patio this summer, but something's lacking from your sitting area. We suggest adding a stylish outdoor rug to tie it all together and allow your outdoor living space to become an extension of your interior. And with the unlimited variety of outside rugs available to choose from, there is sure to be one that compliments your needs and tastes perfectly. Al fresco decor has become a priority for homeowners, and now more furnishings dedicated to the outside are available than ever before. Outdoor rugs are designed to reflect the same trends and styles found in interior floor coverings, but are made specifically for outdoor use. Whether you are decorating a porch, patio, veranda or solarium, our buying guide and slideshow below will help you choose the best one for your home.

Consider materials. The innovative use of both natural and synthetic woven materials allow outdoor rugs to be durable enough to handle all weather conditions. (For these reasons, outdoor rugs are commonly used in high-traffic interior areas too, such as entryways or mud rooms.) Natural fibers such as sisal, hemp, jute, and seagrass are very strong, sound-absorbent, sustainable, and add lots of texture to your space. Synthetic coverings, such as polypropylene or plastic rugs, often come in a wider range of bright colors, can be easily hosed down and dry quickly. Additionally, they are light-weight so you can easily roll them up to move them around. Synthetic rugs are often less expensive than natural materials as well.

Choose a size and shape. Carefully measure the outdoor area you would like to cover with a rug before you shop. Fortunately, outdoor rugs are available in many dimensions and shapes. You may want to use different rugs to define spaces, such as a sitting area, or under a dining set. If you are placing the rug under furniture, it is suggested to have either all of the furniture legs on the rug, or just the front legs.

Pick a pattern. Gone are the days of muted brown outdoor rugs. These floor coverings are now available in brightly-colored solids, stripes, geometrics and more. To determine which is right for your space, consider what will compliment your existing furnishings and how much of the rug will be visible. A bold pattern may be fun peeking out from under a dining table, but too overwhelming standing alone.

Flip through our slideshow to see some of our favorite outdoor rugs on sale now! Let us know your thoughts in comments below.

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