Decor

How To Choose The Perfect Rug For Your Space

Having just the right rug in your space can really make or break the look and feel of a room.  It can effortlessly be that “one thing” that ties the room together.  But determining how to choose the perfect rug can be overwhelming given there are so many options, styles, and price points.  I wanted to share some useful tips that will make the decision-making process much less daunting.  Let’s dive in!

How To Choose The Perfect Rug For Your Space showcasing Neutral room with rug placed partially under legs of furniture

#1 | Purpose

First, you’ll want to determine the primary purpose and function of the rug. Do you want a statement piece to bring a room to life, or do you need something functional to help with sound buffering and prevent slips from your two-legged and/or four-legged family members? Identifying the purpose is critical to then choosing the right size, color, and texture.

How To Choose The Perfect Rug For Your Space featuring large blue patterned rug for a large room

#2 | Size

Generally, I tend to think bigger is better when it comes to rugs.  A small rug in a large room can actually dwarf the room.

Living Room & Dining Room

If your furniture is up against a wall (couch or chairs) you’ll want to make sure at least the front legs are on the rug. If you have a floating seating area such as a dining room table or sitting area, the rug should contain all furniture even when the chair legs are pushed out, with ample space around.

Bedroom

For a spacious bedroom, you can opt for a large rug that fits entirely under the bed, but for smaller spaces, it should fit under at least 1/3 of the bed. Alternatively, you could place area rugs on either side of the bed or under your bedside tables.

Kitchen & Entryway

For kitchens and entryways, smaller rugs or runners work best. These are typically high-traffic areas so make sure your rug is secure! For more on how to find the perfect kitchen runner you can checkout this post.

How To Choose The Perfect Rug For Your Space with colorful blue rug placed partially under bed

#3 | Colors & Patterns

This is the fun part!  If you already have a neutral palette in the room and you are looking to spice it up, a colorful or patterned rug can add interest the same way jewelry or a scarf would accessorize a basic outfit. BUT, if you already have a colorful room with various patterns and hues, choosing a neutral rug can anchor the room and bring it warmth and texture without overwhelming it. You’ll want to consider things like pet hair color and foot traffic when choosing the right color rug. Patterned rugs are more useful for hiding stains in high-traffic areas. Persian and vintage-inspired rugs are timeless. This rug in turquoise is definitely one of my favorites for adding some color and camouflaging stains.

How To Choose The Perfect Rug For Your Space featuring neutral rug with lots of texture

#4 | Texture

Read the material details for the rug you are considering. This will save you some heartache later! Natural fibers like wool and jute are most durable but typically require professional cleaning. Synthetic fibers are more affordable and often stain-resistant but may need replacing sooner than natural fiber rugs due to wear and tear. If you are placing a rug under a dining room or kitchen table, finding a stain-resistant fabric is essential. When the inevitable spill occurs, have a great carpet cleaner on hand. I love this one and it has saved me in a pinch more than just a couple of times.  The key is to spray the stain immediately, and then just BLOT with a white or light-colored cloth…don’t rub!

How to choose the perfect rug for your space featuring a pelt rug draped over a chair that could also be used a rug over carpet

Bonus Tips

I’ve Got You Covered

 Have you ever wondered, “Can you put a rug over carpet?”  Well, in my opinion, absolutely, if it is done right! Rugs work best over low pile carpet. Make sure the color of the carpet and rug complement each other and the rug is heavy or anchored by heavy furniture. Layering rugs can look very chic. There’s no need for a floor pad either; the carpet under the rug serves as padding. With a layered rug, you can also conceal damage, such as small holes or stains that could not be adequately cleaned. I love this pelt rug for just that purpose…and how cute is it draped over a chair?

Rug Pads A Must

While not the sexiest or most exciting purchase ever, rug pads not only protect your floors from heavy furniture dents but can also help stabilize the rug and keep it in place. For high traffic areas like an entryway or bathroom, opt for a rug pad that comes with gripping. For rugs placed in the living room or bedroom, a cushioned rug pad adds an extra-plush layer which is sweet for your feet.

Do you have a favorite retailer for rug purchases? Free shipping both ways would be ideal! Please share in the comments below.
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Thanks for stopping by!

Susan Harold
Susan has been in the magazine publishing industry for just over 25 years focusing on marketing, circulation, and editorial and is currently the Managing Editor for the Where Women Create series of magazines. Susan resides in sunny San Diego, CA with her husband, teen boys, and pathetically perfect pup, Rusty. With a passion for pretty things, witty words, travel, and all things family, writing HOME content comes naturally because, truth be told, her homebody game is strong! There’s no place like home!
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8 thoughts on “How To Choose The Perfect Rug For Your Space

  1. This post comes at the perfect time!!! I’m on the hunt for rugs in two different spaces. Would love to know where ladies like to buy rugs from online. Free returns are a bonus. Anyone tried Ruggable?

    1. Hi Stacy-I haven’t tried Ruggable, but I’ve had great experiences with both Pottery Barn and Anthropologie. Anthro will even send a carpet swatch for some styles and both offer free returns on most options. Good luck!

  2. The rug in the bedroom shot? Who is it by? I noticed it in another post and loved it and then here is a post about rugs…..

  3. Thanks for this article! My challenge is finding a rug online that represents the colors I need. These rugs can look very different in person than on line. Any tips around this are greatly appreciated!

    1. That is very true! My only thought is to check for reviews to see if others are stating any inconsistencies between the image color and actual color–that and making sure the retailer offers free returns. I guess you could also try calling or emailing customer service if you have a particular item in mind! Good luck and thanks for sharing your great question!

  4. The care and upkeep are important, as well. It’s vital that I can vacuum my rugs and not worry about any extra wear and tear on them. Plus, I have cats!

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