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.