How do I Choose a Room Rug?

How do I Choose a Room Rug?

Choosing the right area rug for your living room or any other room is necessary because it can transform the space, adding personality, comfort, and a touch of style. The right rug not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also brings in warmth, comfort, and safety. Now the question that might have come to your mind is, how do I choose a room rug? However, the answer is not complex anymore. There are several things that you can consider to opt for a rug that enhances the appeal of your room.  

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you select the perfect rug for your living room. 

Why Should You Choose an Area Rug Over Wall-to-Wall Carpeting? 

An area rug offers several advantages over wall-to-wall carpeting. Here are the reasons that you must choose an area rug over the carpet: 

  • Area rugs can be easily moved, cleaned, and replaced, offering flexibility in design and maintenance. 
  • Rugs allow you to display the beauty of your hardwood floors while adding comfort and style. 
  • Rugs can help define areas within a room, particularly in open floor plans. 
  • Area rugs are more affordable than installing wall-to-wall carpeting. 
  • Rugs provide a cushioned surface that can prevent slips and falls, making them ideal for households with young children or elderly members. 

Determine the Right Size for Your Room 

The size of your area rug is crucial to achieving a balanced and harmonious look. Here are some tips: 

  • All Legs on the Rug: Ideally, all legs of your furniture should sit on the rug. This approach makes the room look finished and well-proportioned. 
  • Front Legs Only: If it is not possible for all furniture legs to fit on the rug, ensure at least the front legs of large pieces are on the rug, which still helps to anchor the space. 

The standard rug sizes are as below, so you should measure your rug and choose from the below mentioned sizes: 

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  •  3 by 5 feet 
  • 4 by 6 feet 
  • 5 by 7 feet 
  • 6 by 9 feet 
  • 7 by 9 feet 
  • 8 by 10 feet 
  • 9 by 12 feet 
  • 10 by 14 feet 
  • 12 by 15 feet 

These are the custom sizes. For a cohesive look, maintain a 4 to 12-inch border between the rug and the walls. 

Choose the Right Shape 

Rugs come in different shapes. Rectangular and square rugs are common in living rooms, but round, oval, or octagonal rugs can add an interesting dynamic: 

  • Round Rugs: Ideal for accenting round furniture like a circular coffee table. Measure from the center of your room to the edge of the seating area, double that measurement for the rug’s diameter. 
  • Oval and Octagonal Rugs: These can add a unique touch, perfect for creating a focal point or complementing similarly shaped furniture. 

Selection of Rugs Colors and Patterns 

The color and pattern of your rug can significantly impact the room’s ambiance: 

  • Patterned Rugs: Great for adding color and interest to neutral spaces. Darker patterns can also help hide dirt and stains. 
  • Solid Colors: Choose neutral colors to blend with eclectic decor or select colors from your existing decor to create a cohesive look. 

Consider Materials and Textures 

The material of your rug affects its look, feel, and maintenance needs like: 

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  • Wool: Warm, soft, and durable. Wool rugs are often stain-resistant but can be expensive and require professional cleaning. 
  • Sisal and Jute: Made from natural fibers, these rugs are durable and neutral in color, but require spot cleaning. 
  • Cotton: Lightweight and casual, cotton rugs are easy to clean and ideal for low-traffic areas. 
  • Synthetics (Nylon and Polyester): Durable, easy to clean, and resistant to fading and staining. Ideal for homes with kids and pets. 
  • Viscose: Mimics the look and feel of silk or wool but is less durable and stain-resistant. 
  • Acrylic: Often used for faux fur or synthetic hides, these rugs are soft but require careful cleaning. 
  • Hides: Durable and low-maintenance, genuine hides add a rustic charm but come in limited sizes. 

Layering Rugs 

Layering rugs can add depth and texture to your living room: 

  • Seasonal Layers: Use different rugs for different seasons. For example, layer a fluffy faux fur rug over a sisal rug in winter and switch to a flatweave rug in summer. 
  • Style Variety: Layering is popular in eclectic and boho decor styles. Combine different textures, colors, and patterns for a unique look. 

Placement Tips for Different Rooms 

Each room in your home can benefit from different rug placements: 

  • Bedroom: A large rug should fit under the bed and nightstands. In smaller rooms, a rug under the lower third of the bed works too. 
  • Dining Room: Choose a rug that matches the table’s shape and extends two feet beyond the table edges. 
  • Entryway: Use a durable runner that fits the narrow space. 
  • Kitchen: Small rugs or runners work best in front of sinks or in galley kitchens. 
  • Patio: An outdoor rug should be slightly smaller than the space, allowing for a border around the edges. 

Practical Considerations 

You must keep in mind the practical considerations like foot traffic, the maintenance time, whether or not to use a rug pad beneath, etc. To better understand, read below: 

  • Choose low-pile rugs for high-traffic areas as they are easier to clean and maintain. 
  • Consider how easy the rug is to clean. Synthetic fibers are typically easier to clean than natural fibers. 
  • Use a rug pad to protect the rug and prevent it from sliding. 

Final Thoughts  

Selecting the perfect rug for your room involves considering size, shape, color, material, and placement. Whether you want to add a splash of color, a touch of elegance, or a cozy feel, the right rug can make all the difference. Take your time to measure your space, think about your existing decor, and choose a rug that fits both your aesthetic preferences and practical needs. With the right choice, your living room can be transformed into a comfortable, stylish, and inviting space. 


How do I measure for a round rug? 

Measure from the center of your living room to the outside edge of your seating area. Double this measurement to get the diameter of the rug you need. For example, if the distance is 4 feet, you will need an 8-foot diameter rug. 

How do I decide between a patterned and a solid-colored rug? 

Choose a patterned rug to add visual interest to a room with neutral furniture and walls. If your decor already has a lot of patterns or colors, a solid-colored rug can help balance the space. Darker patterns are also better at hiding dirt and stains. 

How far should a rug extend under furniture? 

Ideally, a rug should extend at least a foot beyond the edges of the furniture. If not all legs can be on the rug, ensure the front legs of larger pieces are on it, with a foot of rug extending to the sides. 

Can I use an area rug in a high-traffic area? 

Yes, but choose a low-pile rug for high-traffic areas as they are more durable and easier to clean. Synthetic materials like nylon and polyester are good choices for high-traffic spaces.


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