How to choose a rug

Not only do they add warmth and interest to your home, rugs also really finish off a room. Area rugs are perfect for large and small spaces and places where you would like to protect your flooring from foot traffic or furniture. They are also useful for delineating spaces so work well for large open plan areas, grouping furniture together and creating a cohesive look.

Whether you are looking for something bold to add colour to a room, a textural design to lift a neutral space or just wondering how big you should go, then here are some tips to make it a little easier when the time comes to choosing the right rug for your home.

Type of rug

The first thing to consider is the type of rug you need. You’ll need to think about where the rug will be used to determine whether you should go for a low pile or high pile style.

Low pile rugs

Gatsby rug

Low pile rugs are great for busy areas of your home that get a lot of foot traffic. A living room rug will likely get a lot of wear and tear if you spend a lot of time in the room. While a shag rug may look great, if you have pets or kids, food and dirt will end up spoiling that rug in a matter of minutes!

If you spend time sitting on the floor, a good underlay will make a low pile rug more comfortable. If you’ll be moving furniture around, as in a dining room setting, a low pile rug will work best here too as you don’t want it to be difficult to get up from the table, plus you need to think about crumbs getting caught up in a high pile rug.

High pile rugs

 Tufted shaggy rug

If you love something to sink your toes into when you get up in the morning, you may want to consider a high pile or shag rug, such as our Calgary rug, for areas of low traffic like the bedroom.

Keep in mind, they will get dirty eventually, however, so you might want to consider something small enough that can be easily rolled up and put in your car when it comes to more frequent cleaning that will be required of a rug like this.

What size should you go for?

Simplicity ivory rug

The best way to decide this is to actually measure out the area you want to cover. There should be at least a foot or two of visible flooring all the way around the room. This will give you an idea of the size you’ll need before you set out to find your dream rug.

In a living area, generally speaking, all the front legs of the furniture should sit upon it. Stay away from postage-stamp size rugs right under the coffee table as it will make your room look smaller.

At the same time, you don’t want to waste a lot of money buying a very large rug that sits fully underneath the furniture as you’ll essentially be paying for a rug that you won’t even see. And if it’s in front of a sofa, then it should run the same or slightly wider than the width of the sofa.

Rugs for other rooms

Palazzo jacquard rug

In a dining room, the rug should be large enough so that when you pull out your chair, the chair remains on the rug. In most cases, you’ll also want to match the shape of your rug with the shape of your table, so rectangular tables suit rectangular rugs and round tables suit round rugs.

In a bedroom, you might want to consider two smaller rugs on each side of the bed or one that’s large enough to cover two thirds from underneath the bed and at least a few feet on either side of the bed and in front of it.

Runners are obviously perfect for hallways but again, make sure that the floor is visible on either side. Consider a rug for your kitchen to make a stunning design statement. Make sure you are willing to give it the care it deserves as it’s likely to get more wear and tear than elsewhere and if you are a messy cook, you might want to give it a miss completely!

What material should you choose?

Symmetry handwoven rug

Valuable antique rugs, while certainly beautiful, require more care and specialist cleaning so be prepared for the additional expense if you decide to indulge. However with proper care, they can last for years and add a truly elegant touch to a room.

Synthetic rugs are better wearing but may not be as comfortable underfoot. Be sure to utilise an underlay to make thinner rugs more comfortable under foot. On the up side, they are normally less expensive than wool rugs and so if you tend to change the style of your room frequently then it may make more sense to buy something you won’t feel guilty replacing every few years. If you want wool but without the price tag, then consider going for a wool and polyester blend rug, like our Athena design.

Finally, natural materials like sisal and jute rugs, such as our Seaton or Knole designs, are great for high traffic areas although not as comfortable underfoot as a wool or cotton rug. However, they are very practical and don’t require as much care. Simply beating the rug outdoors will loosen any dust and debris and keep them looking great for years.

Remember there are never any hard and fast rules when it comes to decorating. The most important thing is to buy what you know you will love for years to come.

Find the perfect rug for your home by shopping our latest rug collections. We’d love to see pictures of how you’ve styled rugs with your Oak Furnitureland pieces at home. Tag us at #OakFurnitureland on Instagram.