Adding the right rug to a room is one of the easiest ways to elevate the style of your space. With this one piece, you can add color, texture and pattern that complements your furniture and other décor in a snap – but how do you know which rug is the right choice? Here are a few factors to consider.
Typically, the most common rug sizes are 5' x 8', 8' x 10' and 9' x 12'. People often make the mistake of choosing a rug that is too small for their space and miss out on maximizing the style impact.
A good rule of thumb is to choose a rug that is two feet shorter than the smallest wall in the room. For living spaces, you want to frame the entire area, so be sure that at least the front third of the furniture sits on the rug. In dining areas, you’ll want at least two feet of rug to stretch past your chairs, so they can be slid in and out from under the table with ease. Hall rugs, meanwhile, should have at least six inches of floor space showing on each side.
In regard to shape, most rugs are round or rectangular, and your best bet is to choose one that mimics the overall shape of your space or furniture – for instance, a round rug works best under a round dining set. Don’t be afraid to get creative, though – irregular shaped pieces, like a cowhide rug, can add a lot of style.
When it comes to color, complementing your space with a rug is about creating harmony. Have a neutral-colored sofa and walls? The rug is the perfect opportunity to add a pop of your favorite color. Loud wallpaper and bold accent pieces? A subtle hue won’t compete with your existing décor.
Different colors can set different tones for your space. Blues and greens provide a sense of calm and comfort, while reds, oranges and yellows can stimulate, energize and excite. To learn more about which rug color might be best for your room, check out our Crash Course in Color Theory.
It’s important to also consider the typical use of the space before selecting colors and patterns. If your children often play in the room, making spills and stains inevitable, darker hues and stronger patterns will serve you better in hiding those mishaps.
Selecting the right material will depend on how durable, stain-resistant or soft you’d like your rug to be. Synthetic fibers like polyester are often the most affordable, resilient and easy to clean. Wool rugs will give you more softness and texture, but may shed. If you like the look of luxury and luster, viscose is a good option.
If you’d like to add visual interest to your space without picking a bright color or pattern, a noticeable texture may be the way to go. High piles of woven, tufted or braided styles can bring warmth and softness to a room without disrupting your current color palette.
Placing your rug in an entryway, mud room or hallway? An indoor/outdoor, performance rug may be the way to go, as it will withstand dirt and high traffic better than traditional rugs.