Area rugs are not just a key part of staging, but can make the difference between a cohesive welcoming look and a disjointed cold assemblage of furniture.
Not only do area rugs help ground and group furniture, but in large open concept floor plans they can help define spaces. When used in formal dining rooms they add warmth and friendliness.
Area rugs are also a great way to introduce a color scheme to an otherwise neutral palette, or an excellent tool to make an existing (challenging) color scheme more cohesive.
Bath mats are not area rugs! We typically avoid using any rugs smaller than 5 x 7 as they tend to look more like clutter than decor in your online photos.