How to Choose the Right Area Rug

How to Choose the Right Area Rug

The right area rug can make a powerful design statement, whether it is as an artwork for the floor or simply as a background for the other décor. Consider taking a room with a dark red Turkish rug and switching it out for a sisal version, or replacing a Moroccan print with a French Aubusson. One simple change can transform a room from traditional to modern, from classic to contemporary, or from plain to daring. There are several factors to consider when choosing an area rug.

Rug Styles

There are as many area rug styles as there are furniture styles, lighting styles, or room styles, so the choices are virtually endless. The traditional Persian rug or classic European style is no longer the only option for decorating. There are also modern and contemporary alternatives to these time-honored designs, such as florals, geometrics, and jutes and sisals.

Think about the kind of mood you want your room to have before choosing a style. You don't need an area rug to match everything in the room, but it should work with the textures and tones of your current furnishings.


When choosing an area rug, color is a natural starting point. Naturally, you have to determine what colors you like, as well as colors you'd like to live with on a daily basis. Rug color sets the tone for your entire living space, so it is very important to choose wisely.

Think about how different colors will work with your existing furniture. Rugs with neutral tones or a single color often complement rooms with a lot of color and pattern. Take a look at how different rug colors will complement the flooring, walls, and ceiling if you don't already have furnishings. When deciding on color, consider how you want to make your rug stand out or blend in.

Rug Patterns

Some people dislike patterns, but if your furniture and walls are all solid colors, a patterned rug can really make your room pop. Similarly, solid rugs can provide grounding and calming effects if you have patterned furniture. Balance is key; if your room is already furnished, take this into consideration before choosing a rug. When purchasing your first rug, however, consider what pattern will work for you. Should it be eye-catching or subtler? It is important to consider how patterns and colors will work together in a room.

Area Rug Sizes

One of the most common mistakes in decorating is buying a rug that is too small for the room. Between the edges of the rug and the walls of most average-sized rooms, there should be about 10 to 20 inches of bare floor. You can choose to go as low as eight inches or as high as 24 inches depending on the size of the room. Ensure that the rug is centered in the room and that the distance between the rug and the wall is the same on all four sides.

Rugs are also useful for defining spaces. You might have to follow different rules if you plan on layering rugs or have an open-concept space. Consider the area you want to highlight and choose a size that reflects that, but don't be afraid to go larger rather than smaller.

High Pile vs. Low Pile

Consider the type of pile you want when choosing a rug: low, medium, or high. Rugs with low piles tend to be stronger and easier to vacuum than those with high piles. Moreover, they are less expensive than high-pile rugs. The longer pile of a rug is softer and more luxurious underfoot and can make a room look cozier and more inviting. A thicker rug will last longer in a room that doesn't get much traffic than a low-pile rug, such as one of our dhurrie or kilim rugs.


The rug you choose should be based on your lifestyle. You should probably avoid white rugs with high pile if you have children or pets. Choosing a flat weave rug with a pattern that will mask stains is a good option if you anticipate a lot of wear and tear on your rug, as it will be easier to maintain and keep clean. However, if you want a sense of comfort and luxury, a flat weave rug will probably not cut it. Choose something more luxurious and softer. There is no doubt that it won't hold up to damage as well as something with a lower pile.


Considering the amount of work you will have to put into maintaining a rug is a key factor to choosing one. Vacuuming and rotating rugs are typical requirements. Rugs with flat weaves are easy to vacuum, but you can also beat them out the old-fashioned way. Rugs with high piles are more difficult to clean, and some require professional cleaning or to be sent out.

You should always use a rug pad that is compatible with the rug material and the flooring below. Avoid direct sunlight on rugs if you can, and don't allow stains to set. Regardless of the type of rug you choose, you may ruin it if you do any of these things.

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