Which Area Rug Is Right for Your Space?

Rugs do a lot for a room. They can brighten the mood, set the vibe and keep your feet warm on tile or wood floors. Rugs are an easy way to make an artistic statement and, if used correctly, they can add balance to a space. Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for a new rug.

Research Your Options

Rugs are no longer limited to Persian or European styles. You can go wild: jutes and sisals, edgy geometrics, novelty rugs, modern and contemporary alternatives. The list goes on and on. Before you commit to a style, educate yourself on what’s available and what overall vibe you want to go for in your home.

The natural colors in this rug will bring out the colors in your furniture and decor.

Size Matters

Tossing a tiny rug in a large space is a common interior-design faux pas. Decorators refer to this as the postage-stamp size. The measurements you want for area rugs are 6 feet by 9 feet, 8 feet by 10 feet or 9 feet by 12 feet. Center the rug in your room so the distance between the rug and the wall is the same on all four sides. If you’re unsure of the proper size for your room, err on the larger side. It’s better to go too big than too small.

You can also play around with shapes, such as this circular silver option.


Consider Your Colors

Is your room neutral, with light-toned walls and minimal decor? You may wish to try a patterned rug as a way to bring color into the space. On the flip side, solid- or neutral-colored rugs can tone down a busier room. Even if you opt to go extra on the color, make sure the colors aren’t too complicated—otherwise you’ll wind up with a complicated and visually cluttered space.

Spend time imagining different options that will work with your furniture colors. A monochromatic rug like this one looks great with patterned furniture, especially when matched to the furniture’s secondary color.


Rugs are a fun way to bring new textures into a room. Silk rugs, although pricey and challenging to clean, are elegant and beautiful. If you opt for natural materials, such as sisal and jute, you can add warmth to a space.

This handwoven neutral-toned area rug plays with texture in a fun way.

Lifestyle and Upkeep

Do you have pets or children? You may wish to go for a patterned rug instead of a white rug, because patterned rugs hide stains better. High-pile or shag rugs also do not fit this type of lifestyle. Switch to a flat-weave or extremely low-pile rug to reduce the look of wear.

How much work are you willing to put into keeping your rug in great shape? Most require regular vacuuming. High-pile rugs are more challenging to clean; you’ll have to send them out or have them professionally cleaned in your home. As a general rule, they should be cleaned once a year. Low-pile and flat-weave rugs are easier to spot clean, and require twice-yearly old-fashioned rug beating to remove accumulated dust.


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