How to: Top 5 Tips on Choosing the Right Rug

How to: Top 5 Tips on Choosing the Right Rug

Choosing the right rug for your space can be a little tricky, believe me, I get it! Even a professional interior designer will take their time to meticulously find the perfect fit, design and style for a client’s home.

Living room rug with two accent chairs in front of fireplace
Sammamish Coastal


Choosing the right size is priority! If you think that is something that goes without saying…it actually needs to be said. I have encountered many situations where a client has fallen in love with a rug and just wants to make it work in their space. However, once it has been purchased and placed there are two popular problems that occur. It will either get lost under the furniture or it will fill the entire floor of the room it occupies. If the balance and proportion are just off, it throws off the design of the room.

We always determine the ideal size of the area rug as part of the furniture layout of a room. Sometimes standard size area rugs are not the best fit for the furniture layout. If that is the case, then we source a carpet that can be made in a custom size that we want.

Industry guide: For most rooms (dining room being the exception) the ideal size is going to be large enough that at least the front legs of your sofa and main seating will be on the rug. Allow a border between the rug and the walls – one-foot between both is a safe distance. My preference is to allow room for all furniture legs on an area rug.

A dining room area rug always works best if it is large enough for all chairs to be on the rug when pushed in and when pulled out comfortably for guests to sit on. This is a situation where you do not want the front legs on the rug and the back legs off the rug. It can create an awkward moment of trying to manage the dining chair getting up and down and also sitting comfortably at the table.

The Rug’s Purpose

A rug can become a focal point in your room or just placed there to protect the flooring. The latter being another top priority. It should be beautiful and serve its purpose by protecting hardwood floors, creating warmth, and adding comfort for the feet (bonus feature for the dog lovers: add traction for 4 legged puppy zooms).


Ask yourself when considering the right rug – where is it going and how much traffic will it see? For an entry rug, you want durability at the top of your list. This priority also goes for rooms that see a lot of traffic. Like a great room or media room – any space children occupy!

What materials you want to look for: wool, polypropylene, nylon, and other synthetic materials, or other natural fibers like jute and sisal. Each will require a different cleaning method, so be sure to look out for the ‘Cleaning Code’ or consult a professional. 😉

Dining room rug with blue window treatments and traditional dining chairs
Sammamish Coastal


Area rugs come in a wide variety of quality, fiber content and whether they are hand loomed or machine made. This contributes to the price of the rug as well. The material type will factor in to how high-end the rug is going to be. High quality wool, silk or other natural fibers will generally be on the higher end. Synthetic materials tend to be more moderately priced. Natural fibers like Jute, Sisal or Hemp are most commonly known to be an affordable option. Of course, pricing will vary depending on where you are doing your shopping. Antique rugs are priceless looking but will definitely come with a hefty price tag. There are many manufacturers that are recreating the antique look to make this one of a kind look more reachable. Be sure to explore all your options and make your selection based on what is a priority to you.

And finally, Style

After you’ve check off your priority list and decided the purpose your rug will serve in your home, it’s time to move on to style. We all love this part! Once again, a bold color and patterned rug can become a focal point in a space. Let the rug be seen in a space with minimal furnishings and a neutral palette.

A solid, textured rug can be a subtle foundation to a room that already has its main attraction. A chunky jute rug will bring in natural texture and a low-key look and a plush rug will add a more comforting touch to a cold room.

Bonus Read: Mcgee and Co.’s Rug Guide

Take your time, have fun and enjoy the journey to find the perfect rugs for your home!


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