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In high-traf­fic ar­eas and homes with kids and/or pets, area rugs can take a

se­ri­ous beat­ing. Sound like your house? Here’s what you need.

Places like en­tries, stair­cases, and hall­ways call for a tight weave or high knot count (100 to 150 per square inch). Hand-tufted or hand-knot­ted rugs can han­dle the pres­sure. Or try ny­lon or mi­cro­hooked wool. Avoid plant


fibers ( jute, hemp, sisal, bam­boo) and silk be­cause they break down eas­ily.


“Out­door rugs look great, and you can take them out­side and hose them off,” says L.A.-based in­te­rior de­signer Betsy Burn­ham. Look for one made from

re­cy­cled polyester or polypropy­lene.

If you pre­fer nat­u­ral fibers, a wool rug with a busy pat­tern works, too. “I love us­ing the Stark An­te­lope se­ries. It’s to­tally neu­tral, and you can never find a stain,” says NYC de­signer Lilly Bunn.

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