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Guide to Choosing Rugs

The perfect rug will pull your room together, so many designers start rooms by choosing the rug.  To get you on your way, here are a few practical tips:

Choosing the Right Size and Shape

– Start by making a floorplan.  Measure your room and add all the furniture you’re planning to put in it.

If you’d like a smaller rug, center it under the dining table, coffee table, or main lighting fixture in the room.

If you’d like a larger rug, block out any areas that you know will get a lot of floor traffic and place it in the middle of the space that’s left over.  Sofas and chairs can be placed either completely on top of the rug,  just with the two front legs on the rug, or a mix of both.

Courtesy Safavieh
Courtesy Safavieh

– Allow one to two feet between the edges of the rug and the perimeter of the room. For example, if your room is 12 x 14 ft, and you want a large rug to cover the room, go with a 9 x 12 ft rug.  Let the floor frame your rug.

Courtesy Maria Killam
Courtesy Maria Killam

– Larger rugs will make rooms feel larger. They visually embrace the space better.

Courtesy Emily Henderson
Courtesy Emily Henderson

– Rugs typically come in the following standard sizes: 3 x 5 ft, 4 x 6 ft, 5 x 8 ft, 6 x 9 ft, 8 x 10 ft, 9 x 12 ft, 12 x 14 ft.

– Rectangular rugs look best in rectangular rooms, square rugs look best in square rooms, and round rugs look best in foyers and kids’ rooms.

– In bedrooms, place rugs either completely under the bed or have them cover the bottom 2/3 of the bed. Choose a rug that’s at least two feet wider than your bed so that you can step onto something soft when you get up.

Courtesy Phoebe Howard
Courtesy Phoebe Howard

– In kitchens, use 2′ x 3′ rugs in front of the sink.  In larger spaces, a runner can instantly warm up a room.

– In dining rooms, rugs, should always be centered under the dining table.

Courtesy Annie Selke
Courtesy Annie Selke

Choose the Right Material

– Entryways: in high-traffic entryways, choose a flat-weave rug that can easily be cleaned.  For more formal settings, a wool rug sets an elegant tone for the rest of the house.

– Hallways: synthetics and flat-weave rugs

– Living rooms and dining rooms: cotton or wool rugs

– Kitchens and outdoor: synthetics and flat-weave rugs

Dash and Albert Samode Coral Indoor/Outdoor Rug
Dash and Albert Samode Coral Indoor/Outdoor Rug

– Bedrooms: soft textures like wool and chenille

Choose the Right Design

– Solid rugs are more calming, and they work with either solid or patterned furniture.  Choose a color that complements other accessories in the room, like your artwork or your pillows.

– Patterned designs energize a space, and they look stunning with solid furniture.

– In colder climates, go with rich, saturated colors to create a cozy and intimate mood.  Warm colors like yellow, orange, and red add warmth to rooms with indirect light.

Ralph Lauren's Bedford Living Room, Courtesy Architectural Digest
Ralph Lauren’s Bedford Living Room, Courtesy Architectural Digest

– Lighter colors open up smaller spaces and make them feel larger.  In warmer climates, use ivories, blues, and greens to create a soothing atmosphere.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design
Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Caring for your Rug

– Use a rug pad.  This will extend the life of your rug and make sure it does not slip around.

– Vacuum regularly.

– Rotate rug periodically to even out the wear.

– Trim any loose threads with scissors.

– Clean spills immediately by blotting with a clean cloth or paper towel.  Test rug cleaners on an inconspicuous spot before using.

– Professional cleaning recommended on wool rugs.

Looking for a rug?  To view our entire selection of rugs, click here.





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