Area rugs are perhaps the best accessory in the interior design arena, since they are both functional and aesthetic.
For aesthetics of course, a cowhide rug is optimal since you can move them and change them out often - thus changing the entire look of your space with each decision.
For functionality, an area rug covers otherwise uninteresting flooring (which often is solid tile, laminate or wood) to provide comfort to those standing atop it's placement and sound cushioning as well. In fact, there are apartment buildings in big cities, such as New York, that require tenants to cover a certain percentage of their flooring with carpeting or rugs - to reduce unnecessary noise.
There are some 'laws' to consider when laying down your floor coverings.
1. Size - You must select a size appropriate rug. Getting one that's too big for your space will leave the area feeling oddly cramped. Depending on the size of the room - it's best to consider anywhere from 6-18 inches space allowance around the perimeter of the rug, with the space increasing with room size. Another thing to consider is your flooring itself. If you have beautiful
hardwoods, you don't want to cover them completely with a rug. Instead,
your goal might be to accent your design, and provide comfort for those
seated in a sitting area. The only exception to this, really is a rug in a dining room - in which
case, you must have ample space around the perimeter of the dining
table, for people to comfortably push and pull chairs away from the
table to be seated - and a solid 1-2 feet of extra rug space is recommended.
2. What shape? This depends on your personal style really, and the objects in the space you're working with. If you have very large pieces and a large room, as well as a traditional style, a large rectangular laser-cut cowhide area rug might work most efficiently. If your room is more minimal, the organic shape of a natural cowhide rug can add a pop of color and interest to your design.
3. So, where to place? The most common area is between the seating and under a coffee table. And that placement works well in most scenarios. But you could also place a rug behind a couch, in a kitchen, or hallway - and it is not uncommon to place a piece of furniture on your rug or have it tucking under a large furnishing. Having some furniture on and some off of the rug itself can actually be the 'glue' that holds the design together, and unifies the pieces into one cohesive design (if you're not in a dining space as mentioned above).
The most important thing to consider as to WHERE you place your rug - is your natural walkways and traffic areas - these should be covered, or left open - and never 'crossed' or bisected - as this could cause people to stumble and trip.