How to Choose a Rug Perfect for Your Space & Style

There are many uses for rugs in a house. They can protect timber flooring, define space within a room, keep your feet from touching a cold floor, or hung on a wall as art. 

However, if you’re traditional and want a rug to put on the floor, this information can help you find the right rug size and style for your home.

Choosing a Rug Style

choosing rug style

Area rugs come in a vast array of styles and from nearly every corner of the globe, which can make it difficult to choose one. Some rug styles you may encounter include:

  • Oriental 
  • Persian
  • Dhurries
  • Ikat
  • Moroccan
  • Shag
  • Natural Fibre

While your rug choice will depend on how visually appealing it is, you don’t want to get too crazy and pair a Moroccan rug with your Victorian décor. Instead, use these considerations when choosing a style.

Your Budget

Many area rug styles can be expensive depending on where they come from, their age, and how they were made. 

While you can save money on Oriental, Persian, or Moroccan rugs by purchasing new ones made on automated looms, hand-woven rugs are as expensive as they are beautiful.

If you want a rug which is going to increase in value, prepare to shell out some money. The level of care and work that goes into hand-woven rugs will be reflected in the price.

If you love the authenticity of these Oriental or Persian rugs, but you don’t have the cash to splash, you can buy machine woven rugs for a vastly reduced price. 

Rug Location

You should consider the space where you’re planning to place the rug as it will determine how much wear it will endure. 

A room-size rug in the front room will get more wear because that’s the path to and from the entrance to your house. In comparison, a rug next to your bed will receive less wear because your feet may be the only ones that ever touch it.

Rug Material

The material a rug is made from will help determine its durability. Most natural fibre rugs are made from wool, jute, cotton, or silk and offer varying degrees of durability and workability.

Wool, cotton, and jute rugs come in a wide variety of colours and patterns because they easily absorb dye. Jute rugs also offer several textures because this grass can be easily woven in many patterns. 

Wool and jute are two of the most durable natural fibres, so if the rug is going to be in a high traffic area, they may be the best choices. 

However, jute isn’t as soft as wool or cotton, so if you’re putting the rug next to your bed or in an area where bare feet will walk on it, wool, cotton, and silk may be better options.

choosing rug material

Synthetic materials like nylon, polyester, or olefin are usually durable and rugs made from them are available in a wide variety of styles, colours, and designs. 

Although they are usually less expensive, if you're into natural living and environmental sustainability, you probably wouldn't want a synthetic rug in your home.

Room Décor

The décor of the room where your new rug will be located is a major consideration when selecting a style. Although Moroccan, Persian, or 

Oriental rugs may blend well with many room decors, you probably wouldn't want one in a room with an Aboriginal or a Victorian design.

Consider the furniture style in the room you’re buying a rug for, along with the room’s colours and design. 

Although the colour of a rug needn't be a perfect match, if you want it to blend in, choose a rug that picks up at least one of the room’s colours. 

For instance, if the room includes varying shades of yellow, your new rug should contain one of those shades. If the colours in the room are difficult to match, such as blues, reds, or greens, choose a neutral colour, so the rug complements, not clashes, with the main room colour.

Sizing a Rug

The right rug size will depend on the layout and its purpose in the room. 

Room Layout

The layout of the room will help to determine the size of rug you need to buy. Once you decide on a layout, measure the space you want to fill to get the proper rug size. 

For example, for a classic furniture layout where the chairs or sofa sit against the wall, the rug needs to be big enough to fit under the front legs of the chairs, sofa, and the table, if there is one. 

If your sofa and chairs float in the middle of a room, all four legs of each piece of furniture should be able to fit on the rug.

Defining Space

A rug can help define a space within a room by using a different colour palette, style, or texture. For instance, if you want to create a cosy reading nook in the family room, you can put an area rug in a corner next to a bookshelf, with a chair, lamp, and ottoman on it to define the use of the area.

In a room that may have timber flooring, you could buy a shag rug to create a cosy, warm space for the book nook. If the furniture in the room is traditional, pick a contemporary round rug to create contrast and further separate the space from the rest of the room.

If there isn’t carpet in the room and you want to protect the flooring, you can buy a rug large enough to cover most of the floor. However, depending on the rug size and style, buying one that large can be expensive and undermine the budget you’ve set.

choosing a rug defining space

The elements we’ve listed above will help determine your new rug’s cost, durability, and colour. However, buying the right rug size is just as important to the layout and to define the use of the space in your home.