A Simple Guide to Choosing a Rug

Use this simple guide to choosing a rug before you leave the house or order online to help establish what size and shape you need.

Anyone who has spent time decorating a room before will know that the room will feel incomplete until you add the rug.

Rugs are the essential detail to bring a room together and finish off any space. But choosing the right rug can feel overwhelming with so many options available. 

There are so many considerations to keep in mind like colour, shape, size, and texture. And with so many options on the market, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. 

However, with a little bit of forethought, you can be sure to find the perfect rug. Read on for the five most important tips on choosing a rug to complete your home.

1. Colour

Colour is likely the first thing that will catch your eye when you're rug shopping. But consider what colour rug will tie into your overall aesthetic. 

The 60-30-10 rule is a common interior design guideline that can help you to select a cohesive and visually appealing colour scheme. 60% of the room should one primary colour, 30% should be your secondary colour, and 10% is an accent colour.

If your rug is a large area rug, it should be the same as the primary colour used in 60% of the room. If it is a smaller rug, it might be the same as the colour used in the 30% or even 10% of your room.

2. Pattern

There are seemingly endless patterns available for rugs. When shopping, you will see everything from a traditional Turkish pattern to bold and geometric modern patterns. 

When in doubt, go with something simple and classic that will be able to stand the test of time. Turkish rugs never go out of style and can complement a variety of different decor styles. Rugs with a simple monochrome pattern are also a great choice.

3. Pile

The pile is how the fabric is woven into the carpet backing. Most commonly, the pile of a rug is identified as high, mid, or low. The length of the fibres determines which classification the carpet is given.

Think of a rug that feels comfortable enough to sit on for a length of time. This rug has a high pile. The individual fabrics are longer in length, making for a cushioned feeling.

However, high-pile rugs will show footprints and vacuum marks more obviously than a rug with a medium or low pile. They can also be more difficult to clean in the event of a spill.

A rug with a thinner and more compact appearance has a low pile. These rugs are very easy to clean and won't show fresh footprints. Mid-pile rugs are right in the middle and still feel somewhat cushioned and comfortable.

Try using a mid to high-pile rug in a room without too much foot traffic that you want to feel cosy and comfortable. Bedrooms are a great example. Low-pile rugs are ideal for the dining room or kitchen where there will be lots of foot traffic and potential messes to clean up.

4. Material

Though you are likely thinking about the look and feel of the rug before considering what it is made of, you might want to take a closer look at the material when you are rug shopping.

There are countless different natural and synthetic materials available for rugs. Some materials commonly used include:

  • Wool
  • Acrylic
  • Polyester
  • Cotton
  • Nylon
  • Seagrass
  • Animal hide

The right material for you will depend on the traffic and activity that will happen in the room. For the kitchen or in an area with lots of foot traffic, consider picking a material that can easily be cleaned up and handle some wear and tear. Wool is a great choice since it is stain and dust-resistant.

If you have little ones running around, you might want to consider the care for the material as well. Many synthetic materials are machine washable, making them very easy to clean.

5. Shape and Size

Last, but most definitely not least, you will want to know how to choose a rug size and shape.

The space you are decorating is the most important factor in choosing what size and shape will work best for your rug. Here are some of the most common areas that you might include a rug and some tips for picking the perfect shape.


An entryway is probably the easiest space for choosing a rug in terms of size and shape since there is usually a limited space to work with. A long and narrow rug, or a runner, is best for this area.


Kitchens are another spot where a smaller size of rug is normally used. A long and narrow rug can be used in front of the counter space to cushion your feet and make the room feel cosy. Be cautious of picking too large of a rug for the kitchen since it will likely get a lot of splashes and spills and a smaller area will be quicker to clean up. 


When picking a rug for a bedroom, think big. It should frame the bed, so it should be wider than your bed.

One arrangement to consider is to have a rectangular rug placed horizontally under the bottom half of your bed. You can also choose a much larger rug that you can place under the entire bed.

Living Room

Once you have decided on the layout of your living room furniture, you will be able to determine the best size and shape of the rug. Generally, bigger is better in a rug for a living room as well. The majority of your furniture should sit on top of the rug.

If something smaller has caught your eye, a rug that fits in the centre of your furniture arrangement can complete the room.

Dining Room

In a dining room, all of your dining room furniture should fit on your rug. Otherwise, you might find it difficult to move chairs about. As a general rule, there should be about one metre of rug on all sides of your dining room furniture. 

If you have a round dining table, a round rug is a perfect complement to create symmetry in the room. Just choose a round shape with a circumference that is around 2 metres wider than the circumference of your table.

Add the Finishing Touch by Choosing a Rug You Love Today

When you're looking to complete your space, whether it's a dining room or a bedroom, finding the right rug is essential. Using the five considerations in this guide, choosing a rug doesn't have to be a challenge.

Shop our assortment of beautiful rugs today to find the perfect piece to complete your home.