How do I choose a rug?
1. The Room
Have a think about how a rug would need to cater to your space. Kitchens and hallways often receive much more foot traffic than bedrooms, so for these areas it’s best to choose a durable rug that’s easy to clean (bonus points if it features a pattern or darker shade – these are less likely to show footprints and stains!).
It’s nice to be able to dig your toes into a soft rug when you’re in a more relaxed space, so a cosier rug could be preferred for bedrooms and other living areas.
2. The Size
Before beginning the search for your new rug, measure the size of your space and consider what dimensions would be most suitable. As well as adding colour, texture or pattern, your rug can also help to create a section that brings all your furniture together. To achieve this look, it’s good to aim for a rug that is big enough to touch or lay underneath your furniture. Try to avoid the ‘floating rug’, which occurs when you have a small rug in the middle of a space, touching no furniture.
A good tip for deciding on the size of your rug is to use painter’s tape or newspaper to block out the area you’d like the rug to take up. It’s also helpful to remember that the larger the rug is, the more dominating it will be in the room.
Below are some examples of recommended rug sizing for different settings:
Selecting a rug for the living room usually comes down to three looks. Some size guides recommend that either all the furniture rests on the rug, or all the furniture – except for the coffee table – is placed completely off the rug. This will look fine, but one exception is the placement of the sofa. In our opinion, the front legs of a sofa can rest on the rug while the rest of the sofa is off the rug.
Choosing a rug size for the dining room is pretty straight forward - the legs of the chairs should sit comfortably on the rug, even when pulled out for people to sit down. It’s also recommended to keep approximately 45cm of bare floor exposed on the edges of the rug. Below are some examples of sizing for a dining room rug:
For bedrooms, there are generally two different approaches. Rugs can be placed around the bed, with runners anchoring each side and a larger rug by the foot of the bed, or a rug can be placed horizontally under the bed with part of the rug exposed on each side.
3. The Shape
While a lot of the rugs we see are standard rectangular rugs, there are more shapes on offer that may suit your space better. For example, a circular dining table works well with a larger circular rug to sit underneath the table and chairs.
4. The Colour, Pattern, Material, Texture & Style
What would you like the purpose of your rug to be? Would you prefer it to blend into its surroundings, or make a bolder statement? A rug is one of the easiest ways to add a dominant pop of colour to a room, and patterns can add personality without being too ‘loud’. Texture can also help to draw the eye, and similarly, material can influence its appearance too.
The colour of your rug can establish the mood of your space. Dark, rich colours help define a more intimate space, while lighter colours can make a smaller space appear larger. Warm hues like yellow, orange or red add warm, whereas cooler tones help to bring calmness to a room.
We recommend keeping these tips in mind when choosing the colour/pattern of your rug:
- If your main furniture, such as a couch, is a solid colour, a patterned rug can help to break up the heavier colour blocks in the room
- In extension, match the secondary colour in a patterned rug to your sofa, and the third colour in the rug to your cushions, curtains, wall colour or other accents in the room.
- If your primary furniture is upholstered in a pattern or elaborate design, a solid-coloured rug would work really well.
- To create a cohesive look, ensure that your solid-coloured rug complements the colours in the patterned furniture, and match it to the accent colours in the room too, to create a cohesive look.
Bonus tip: When shopping for your new rug, make sure to take in your colour scheme, and even take samples of colours in your space (e.g. a curtain sample or cushion) with you on your rug search, if you aren’t shopping online.