Rugs have the power to transform a room. They can introduce luxury and personality to a space, warmth where there is cold and reduce noise where chaos has become the norm. Most importantly, rugs can bring comfort and a sense of peace and serenity. But this is only possible if you choose the right rug for your rooms and that means considering colour, size, texture, layering and zoning. Our easy guide will show you how to choose the perfect rug for your space.
Don’t be afraid of colour or pattern. Think of rugs as art for the floor — they can add character and personality. Choose a rug you love just as you would a piece of art. The pattern on a brightly coloured rug can be just the ticket to lift a room to the next level.
A rug will feature as one of the largest pieces of furniture in the space, so consider the tones in your flooring, walls and other large furniture pieces when selecting it. If you already have a lot of colour and pattern in your space, stick with a single-colour rug with interesting textures. A neutral palette or a shade that complements your existing furnishings can look amazing. If, however, you prefer a rug that carries a bold colour pattern, placing it in a more neutral setting will allow it to shine, rather than compete with the rest of the room.
Never underestimate the importance of texture when choosing a rug. A room with a mix of different textures feels rich and layered, and a rug can play an important role in getting that mix just right. Let the finishes of your existing furniture guide you in your selection, but always aim for contrast. If your upholstery is in a soft fabric such as velvet, something smooth and hard, like sisal, may be the answer, while a leather sofa looks great on a rug with a fluffier or textured pile.
This is the part in the rug selection process where there are clear rules, and it’s usually best to play along. A rug should fit the size of your seating area (which is not necessarily the entire room) and take up as large an area as possible within that space. Ideally, all the furniture will be on the rug, but front legs only is a good and common compromise. The idea is that when sitting on the sofa, your feet touch fabric, not the floor. Under a dining table, you want to be able to pull the chairs back and still have them sit on the rug. When the seating area takes up the entire room (as is often the case), you should think about orientation: square rooms look great with square or round rugs, and rectangular rooms with rectangular rugs oriented in the same direction.
If you love a layered look, be sure whatever you add matches your rug. Choose a complementary colour palette or pattern to create unity in your layers. Alternatively, opt for a contrasting effect with a bold colour, pattern or object placed over a neutral rug.
The right rug will help delineate a room’s many spaces. This is particularly useful for open-plan homes where living and dining spaces are shared. When using rugs for zoning, it’s important to choose those that complement each other. Selecting vastly different rugs tends to disrupt the flow of the room and create an imbalance.