How to Choose a Rug
Picking the right rug is easy with these simple steps.
1. Start with a floor plan.
What is your arrangement? Choose a layout and measure for your rug based on the space you’d like to fill.
2. Make the material work for you.
How much traffic and use does the room/area get?
Dhurries & Kilims: These rugs are flat-woven wool or cotton and are usually reversible.
Natural: These rugs are woven from fibers extracted from plants including sisal, jute, seagrass and hemp. Because of their durability, affordable price and neutral color palette, natural rugs are especially good for high traffic areas.
Tufted: Tufting, a technique that involves inserting yarn through a woven base to create a pile, is a common way to achieve precise patterns. The pile can be looped or cut, creating subtle texture in different combinations. Tufted rugs last longer in lower-traffic areas.
Overdyed & Distressed: Overdyed and distressed rugs use a cycle of dyeing, washing or distressing to achieve a one-of-a-kind finish. During this artisanal process, colors blend and textures soften for a vintage feel that’s good for moderate foot traffic.
3. Pick your size.
Choose a rug that is two feet shorter than the smallest wall in the room. (So, for a 10 x 12 foot office, the rug should be no more than 8 feet wide. For a bare, front hallway, swing open the front door, and then measure the floor from that point so the first three feet or so remain clear. Hall rugs should have at least 6 inches of floor showing on all sides).
Dining room rugs should extend at least 18-24 inches beyond the edge of the table so that the rug accommodates the dining chairs. In bedrooms, try runners at each side and even the foot of the bed, or place a rug one-third of the way under the bed so the rest of the rug creates a nice mat at the bottom of the bed.
In large rooms, rugs should fit the configuration of the room and furniture. If you have a big room that is set with two smaller conversation areas, try two separate rugs, as long as they are linked by color or material (they don’t have to match exactly).
4. Pick your pattern and texture.
What color is your furniture? If your bed’s got a lot going on, try a solid color or neutral rug to bring things down to earth, or make a basic sofa pop with a patterned rug.
The more pattern, the lower the maintenance.
Versatile Neutrals: A neutral rug forms a solid foundation when you want to layer on rich textures, patterns or colors. Think of it as the canvas for the rest of your room.
Playful Patterns: If your furniture is a solid color or neutral, try a patterned rug. For foolproof color coordination, match the secondary color in the rug to your sofa or key furniture.
Solid Colors: A monochromatic rug complements patterned furniture by grounding it in a primary palette. In a living room, try matching the rug to the secondary color in a patterned sofa.
5. Keep it in place.
Why use a rug pad? Along with preventing your rug from slipping all over the place, a pad will add another layer of comfort and help protect your rug for years. Rug pads come in all materials, types, thicknesses and sizes. Are you looking to add another layer of comfort or just want to provide a non-slip backing? Choose the pad that will best fit your needs and budget.
Felt pads are best for rugs placed on carpets.
Felt and rubber pads or Rubber pads are best for rugs on hardwood floors or on concrete.
Felt and rubber pads or Felt pads are best for rugs on floors with radiant heating.
Felt and rubber pads or Felt jute pads are best for rugs on laminate floors.
Felt and rubber pads, Rubber pads, or Felt pads are all good for rugs on tile floors.
Things to consider when shopping for area rugs:
What type of lifestyle do you lead?
Do you have small children or pets?
Where will the rug be placed? Is it for focal point only or will people be sitting on it?
How easily can it be cleaned?
Will you be moving and will it be able translate to other environments?
Remember that a raised pile or shag rug can be a tripping hazard and would not be the best choice for those with limited mobility or elderly people.