How to Choose a Rug

The right rug in a room will do wonders for creating a warm, welcoming space that feels complete. Be it a plush wool design for the living room or a durable design for high-traffic rooms, rugs are a great way to anchor each area. Consider these five questions to learn how to choose a rug for your space.

Colorful area rugs in red, green, and blue


How often is the room used, and by whom?

For areas that experience a lot of traffic, a flat weave or low-pile, tighter weave is the best bet. For rooms where kids and pets are the main occupants, choose a low- maintenance indoor/outdoor polypropylene rug. Spills won’t penetrate the synthetic fibers and cleanup is a swipe with a sponge. These rugs are great for mudrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, patios and entryways.


Is there an existing color palette in the space?

They say the most impressive rugs are like the finest works of art—for the floor. But if your upholstered pieces are in bold colors and prints, consider a more neutral hue to allow those fun patterns to take center stage. If the sofas and chairs are in quieter colors, feel free to have fun with the rug! We have vibrant, more modern options and traditional rugs. Go bold in hallways and entryways where furniture matching isn’t required. Always make sure to request rug swatches from the store so you can match colors in the lighting of your room. You should check the color in daylight and night time lamp light.


Where is the main seating area?

Let the rug be the footprint that defines that space. This allows you to create units of intimate space within a larger area or adjoining rooms. A wall-to-wall area rug always works, but if traffic patterns suggest otherwise (especially if you want the rug to last for a while between cleanings), simply take the dimensions of the sofa, coffee table and chairs and figure out which size rug works for that main seating area. Avoid a postage stamp look that only occupies space under the coffee table. In a living room, the rug should surround the entire seating area. For the dining room, the dining chairs should be able to be pushed back from the table without touching the edge of the rug.


What are your biggest priorities for the rug?

Is it price? Synthetic, machine-made rugs are often the most affordable, while hand-knotted and wool-blend rugs are a higher price point. Design? If you’re looking for a real statement piece, we have many interesting styles—from contemporary swirls and cowhide, to geometric patterns and multi-colored Asian motifs. Comfort? Usually, the higher the pile, the softer the rug. Soft rugs are great for bedrooms and those cozy, shoes-off areas.

Jewel tone area rugs


Is the room casual or formal?

For four-season rooms and kitchens, natural fiber rugs like jute, sisal and hemp add a fun, textural element while keeping things casual. For family rooms and dens, which usually encourage comfort and relaxation, a thicker, softer style is a better choice. For formal living and dining rooms, a thin but more luxurious look and feel for rugs are appropriate. This could mean a shimmery material, creamy colors and jewel tones, or an authentic Oriental rug with fringe.

TIP: Always go the extra step to include a rug pad. It will keep your rug anchored, protect your flooring, add luxurious cushioning and reduce impressions from furniture legs. All this will add years onto the life of your rug.

Need more tips on how to choose a rug? Check out our resource guide for information on rug materials and care.

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