5 Tips For Choosing the Perfect Rug For Your Space

how to choose a rug
Finding the right rugs for particular spaces is worth the effort whether you’re decorating the whole home or just a single room.

While rugs can often be overlooked, seasoned decorators know that rugs have the potential to transform the look and feel of a space in an instant.

If you’re shopping for a rug, there are a few factors you should consider if you want to be assured of ending up with the perfect one. 

Keep reading for 5 tips on how to pick a rug with the confidence of an interior designer.

how to choose a rug for your space

Tip #1 – Consider your space

Before you go into any store or jump online, first stand in the room and look at the space in terms of dimension and function.


What kind of style would complement the room?

Roughly how big do I need the rug to be?

What is the function of this rug?

How durable does it need to be?


For a place with high foot traffic like a front hallway or living room, consider dark tones, tougher materials and a flatter weave.

If you’re buying a new entry hall rug, invest in a welcome mat (this will come in especially handy for eliminating wet winter footprints).

For a bedroom you may want something fluffy and comforting OR, if you want a rug for under the kitchen table, select a flat weave fabric that is easy to clean.

Tip #2 – Measure for size and proportion

how to choose a rug

To avoid purchasing mishaps and costly mistakes, interior decorators always take the time to measure the actual dimensions of the rug’s intended space – and you should too! 

Next, think about your proportion and how the rug will work in the room. Do you want the rug to be a proxy for carpeting, or do you simply want to ‘ground’ the area under a coffee table?

Australian Rug retailer Collective Sol advise going as big as possible when it comes to floor rugs. They also say that it’s better to have your rug interacting with at least one piece of furniture to avoid the impression that your rug is ‘floating’.

Aiming to create a feeling of luxury, rather than producing a space that looks stingy or unbalanced is key.

TIP: To help the visualisation process, consider drawing a floor plan or set out newspaper pages on the floor to accurately assess the dimensions.

Tip #3 – Colours should complement not clash

Choosing colours  (and potentially adding new colours to a room) can make a lot of people nervous, so it’s wise to take your time with this part.

Adding a contrasting rug or a pop of colour via a statement rug is a common approach to lifting the look of any neutral room. Just be careful not to clash with the colours of the room and you’re good to go. 

For those not ready to make the leap with a coloured rug, pattern can be a great way to add style to a room without having to commit to a bold colour.

Tip #4 – Shape: think outside the square

Rectangle or square rugs are certainly always workable, but don’t assume these shapes are the only option. For example, a round rug can be great for under a round table or it can be used to create curves in an otherwise angular room.

Perhaps there are functional aspects which will help you determine what shape of rug you need. For example, a round rug can create room for a door to be opened, and a large enough rug can protect the floor where you’ve placed furniture.

Tip #5 –  Choose fabrics to suit taste and lifestyle

The decision about your rug’s fabric and texture is partially aesthetic but mostly practical. While visually some fabrics make a difference, most don’t.

Consider these questions when shopping:

  • Do I have pets or children?
  • How easy/difficult is the fabric to clean?
  • How soft do I want it?
  • How durable does it need to be?
  • How important is purchasing natural materials?

Final tips for choosing the perfect rug for your space:

If you want it to feel soft: choose wool, cotton or viscose

If you want it to be tough/long wearing: choose sysal, jute, acrylic or polypropylene

For natural fibres: choose wool, cotton, jute, sisal or viscose

Something easy to clean: choose acrylic, polypropylene, wool or cotton.

To anchor the rug to the floor (ie for lightweight rugs): consider a rug pad, which sits under the rug and helps keep it in place, as well as providing further protection for your floor and comfort for your feet

 Brought to you in collaboration with Collective Sol.

MORE – The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Sophisticated Home

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