Choosing The Best Area Rug For Your Space

Let’s talk about how to pick the right area rug!

Choosing The Best Area Rug For Your Space

How To Choose The Best Area Rug For Your Space

I often get asked about what the best tips are for choosing the right area rug for your space.

I’m more than happy to discuss this topic here today.

If you’re looking to zhush up your hardwood floors, an area rug can add so much visual interest and warmth to almost any space.

Think different colors and patterns, even textures.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to give a room a fresh new look, an area rug is a fantastic way to start!

Regardless if it’s a large rug, synthetic rug, a rug with natural fibers or a smaller rugs, today is all about helping you find the perfect rug for your own individual space.

These are my top area rug styling tips which I’ve learned from working with professional interior designers in order to help you make the best decision for your own home.

blue and white area rug in white living roomOur patterned rug: Mirabelle Rug

My best area rug styling tips.

Know Your Style and Your home’s general overall aesthetic.

There are hundreds of colors and patterns available to complement any design aesthetic.

Area rugs are a fabulous way to convert your interior design preferences into a floor to ceiling cohesive look.

However, there are hundreds upon hundreds of area rug options, and it can be all too easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t know (at least broadly) what style of area rug you’re looking for.

Your overall aesthetic might be clear. For example…

For the minimalist:

You might be looking for a simple rug without design or fuss.

Neutrals and single color options are probably your first choice.

If you love bright colors and patterns:

There are dozens of options from florals to geometric patterns, stripes and so on.

A secondary color can easily complement a room’s main color if you’re looking for ways to pull together a room.

Incorporating throw pillows, art or even just some coffee table books that complement the area rug is the best way to create visual continuity within a room.

blue and white living room with modern artAn area rug is key to pulling together conversation areas – like this one in our living room.

Think about the budget for your area rug.

Of course all of these rugs come priced for a variety of budgets.

When choosing the best rug for your space, it’s important to consider your overall budget.

Different rug options are going to come at different price points.

Fortunately, chances are excellent that whatever your budget might be, you’ll be able to find an option that works for you.

Of course, the material the rug is made of will play an important role in the cost.

Let’s discuss some of the more common materials area rugs can come in to find the perfect area rug for your needs.


Wool rugs are very durable and therefore are perfect for high traffic areas.

They’re versatile pieces which will often work in almost any space.

Wool rugs are also spill and moisture resistant.

A personal favorite, I think wool rugs typically look great and feel luxurious.

Although they might require professional cleaning from time to time, they will last your for years and years.

As a result, wool area rugs can often be more expensive.

blue and white area rug


These rugs are easily dyed and designed.

They are typically machine washable which makes them much easier to maintain.

Cotton area rugs are typically a more affordable and budget friendly option.

Synthetic fiber rugs:

These rugs can be a blend of a single fiber or a variety of options including nylon, viscose, rayon and acrylic.

These synthetic rugs can often give the look and feel of much more expensive options like silk or wool.

However, the lower cost here can come at a cost so to speak – as quite often these synthetic fiber rugs, while pretty, do not hold up to time and wear.

Think About the Size of the Room The Rug is for.

In many ways, considering the size of the room your rug will be in is the most important factor and should be the biggest take away for in choosing the best area rug for your space.

Often this is where a lot of people go wrong…including myself!

Before you start looking at rugs, it’s important to measure the space that the rug will be taking up.

You might want to lay down tape or some kind of outline to see how large your rug will look in the space.

I learned this the hard way, as I wish we’d used tape in our vacation home in Florida.

As you can see from the image below, the rug here is a bit too small for the room.

area rug too small in this family room

I’m cringing just looking at this, but this is a pretty common mistake.

One I won’t be making again!

For example, if you want a rug for your living room, as a general rule, your area rug should be a bit larger than the size of your living room seating area in order to ground the conversation space.

Typically area rugs are used to center the room, so it’s a good idea to map out what part of the room needs to be centered and where you want to draw attention.

Using painters tape on the floor to map out the right size is always a great idea.

A good rule of thumb to follow is to leave at least one foot of exposed bare floor between the area rug and the walls.

This should yield the perfect size area rug most of the time.

Of course kitchens and bathrooms have more flexible standards for area rugs, and of course, ultimately, it’s all up to your own preferences!

In Order To Pick The Right Area Rug – Consider which room the area rug is for.

While area rugs are a fantastic way to add style to any room in your home, you’ll want to consider what kind of function they need to have as well.

A high trafficked area in your home such as a kitchen or mud room might need a rug that is easily washable.

washable ruggable runner in ktichen

Above is our Ruggable washable runner in our kitchen.

See my unbiased review of our Ruggable runner here.

Where as, you might opt of a more delicate but luxurious look in your dining room.

dining room with the proper size area rug

How to Style Your Area Rug

Styling your area rug can mean any number of things.

Whether you want a simple rug for your bedroom or a new focal point in your dining area or dining room, you’ll want to follow your own personal design aesthetic.

There are a few different options open to you if you want to combine multiple styles and/or shape and size.

Think outside the box for the area rug design​.

A great way to incorporate multiple styles into your home is to purchase a rug in a different style than the rest of the room.

A vintage rug will nicely complement a more modern or minimalist interior design style and a pattern will add a pop of color to a neutral palette or monochromatic room.

Try layering​.

Yes, you can layer rugs!

If you want to incorporate multiple colors and styles, layering is a great way to do that!

You can get multiple rugs and layer them on top of each other.

Try combining solid rug colors with patterned rugs, modern rugs with vintage, or multiple patterns if you’re feeling daring.

Many people also layer larger area rugs with smaller ones or even a small fur area rug over a larger natural fiber one.

Keep them in place​.

Once you pick the right area rug, you’ll want them to stay put.

If you want your rugs to stay in place, you’ll need to get rug pads to go under them.

These double sided sticky pads are my go-to favorite way to get a rug to stick in place.

This way they’ll always stay exactly where you want them to!

neutral area rug in family room.

Our neutral, solid color area rug in our family room. More about the wall color, Calm.

How To Pick The Right Area Rug Conclusion

Whatever your interior design aesthetic might be, area rugs are a fantastic way to incorporate your own style into every room of your home.

They can also be a fun way to experiment with impermanent design features.

Area rugs provide the perfect opportunity for a focal point in each room and can really pull a room together, giving it a warm and welcoming vibe.

Regardless of your personal preferences, you can use area rugs to completely change the look and feel of your home.

I hope you found these tips on how to pick the right area rug helpful.

Hopefully you’ll find a new area rug that’s right for your space in no time.

I’ve also gone ahead and rounded up some of my all time favorite area rugs, be sure to scroll through below.

PS: Decorative baskets and storage ideas for the home. and how to pick the best ceiling paint.



For even more simple tips and great home design features, be sure to check out these posts by clicking each title below:

Finally, for even more design and home decor ideas, why not consider joining our fun and VERY helpful Facebook group?

In this group – members share their own photos with specific design questions and tricky dilemmas from their homes and spaces.

We all chime in with our best advice!

In addition, we also spill our best sources and tips – it’s SO great for sourcing hard to find items and pieces.

Plus everyone is ALWAYS kind and respectful.

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Leave a Comment


  1. Sandy wrote:

    Can you discuss hanging art throughout a home -size (scale) – placement – affordable options?

    Published on 4.18.21 · Reply
    • Sue De Chiara wrote:

      great idea! Thanks!:)

      Published on 4.18.21 · Reply