How to Pick the Right Area Rug

April 27, 2021

Posted in macstaff

How to Pick the Right Area Rug

If you’re in the process of renovating or decorating your home, an important factor in your design process will be selecting furnishings. From sofas to tables and lamps, everything will affect your space’s aesthetic in either a cohesive or (in worst cases) dysfunctional way. You want your furniture, especially your area rugs, to compliment some of the harder finishes in your home – hardwood flooring, wall texture, built-ins, etc. While everyone has their own sense of style, we’ve provided a couple of basic tools to help you maximize how to pick the right area rug for your space.

blue couch with area rugSource: Unsplash

Consider the Area Rug Style


Just like hardwood flooring, there’s an almost endless style of rugs you can choose from for your flooring. While cheesy, some describe rugs as artwork for your floors. Traditionally, you’d probably find either Persian or European style rugs lining the rooms of most people’s homes. While these types of rugs will always be classic, rug styles have become much more experimental in the last twenty years.

Styles like geometrics and bright florals are all popular in this current moment. Like hardwood flooring, the color of your area rug will also play a crucial role in the overall look of a room. You don’t necessarily have to match your rug to your wall and sofa colors. In fact, bright, complementary colors are popular right now. On the other hand, neutral rooms are also having a moment with beige sofas and cream-colored rugs. In this instance, if you’re going for a more subtle look, be sure to select a color that will match your finishes and hardwood floors. 


monochromatic room with beige area rug

Source: Unsplash

Experiment with Area Rug Sizes

If you choose hardwood flooring over carpet to begin with, chances are you appreciate the look and feel of hardwoods, so you don’t want to cover them all up with a massive rug. An area rug can vary in sizes from encompassing almost the entire room to framing a certain portion of a room. As a general rule, you never want your rug so large that it touches the baseboards or edges of the room. You still want to be able to see your oak, pine, or whatever hardwood flooring you chose. On the other hand, you don’t want your rug to be so small that parts of your furniture don’t touch the rug, leaving the appearance that they’re floating away. Most designers say that there should be around 10-20 inches of hardwood between the edges of the rug and the baseboards of the room. However, depending on the size of the room, some designers will bump this up to 24 inches or down to 8 inches. 

Rugs are also a great way to separate parts of the room. Say you have a huge, open concept room that you’re working with. Selecting two medium-size rugs – one for under the sofa and one for more of the dining area is an easy trick to making the room more manageable in size. 

chunky woven area rug

Source: Unsplash

Choosing a Rug Material

While appearance is an important factor in choosing an area rug, choosing a rug based on material and how it will work with your family is equally important. In rugs, there are different tiers of sturdiness, called piles. A high-pile rug will likely be softer and feel more expensive, but less sturdy, making it more susceptible to wear and tear. Low-pile rugs are generally more sturdy and easier to clean, which makes it a better option for high-traffic areas.

Lastly, think about how often you actually want to clean your area rug. Some rugs need to be vacuumed and rotated more often than others, so consider how much use this room will be getting and how likely you will be to clean it.