Buying Guide: How to Choose the Perfect Area Rugs for Your Spaces

The idea of adding a rug to your room seems like a no-brainer at first, but it only takes a few minutes for the questions to start overwhelming the average rug buyer. How big? Patterns or solids? Should all the furniture fit on it? Can I put more than one rug in a room? We’ve gathered a few tips here that should make your next rug buying experience a pleasant one so that you will truly find the perfect fit.

Area Rugs

Set the Tone

A rug can be an amazingly versatile piece of décor. It can add color and energy to an otherwise unremarkable room. It can serve as a foundation for a room’s color palette and it can add a layer of depth and warmth. If you want to use more than one rug in a room, be sure that they are not the same size, which tends to cut a room in half. And keep rugs in complementary styles to avoid any contradicting patterns.

Keep It in Place

Rug pads are a must-have when your rug doesn’t have any non-skid backing, and prove to be invaluable when it comes to keeping the rug from sliding around and becoming a potential hazard. Plus, they can provide cushioning and prevent moisture from leaking below to the floor and causing stains or damage. Be sure to buy the right size rug pad for your rug, so that it doesn’t overlap the edge, but is close enough to the edge to keep the entire rug in place.

Living Room Rugs

Living Room Rugs

For large rooms, choose a living room rug that fills the entire room. Subtract three feet from the length and width of the room, to get the perfect size. Leaving this extra room around the edges makes your room feel larger. The rug should be big enough so that you can arrange all your furniture completely on top of the rug without any of it feeling cramped. If only the front legs of the furniture are on the rug, you may need to use furniture coaster under the back legs to raise them to the height of the rug.

Small Living Room Rugs

Small Living Room Rugs

Small living rooms can also benefit from an area rug. It’s easier to center your rug in the middle of your room with your chairs and sofa surrounding it. It allows your rug to provide a nice focal point under a coffee table or to visually define your seating area.

Quick tip – the rug industry lists “cut sizes” such as 8 x 10. Usually rugs run slightly smaller than the cut size that is noted. When inches matter, be sure to measure to make sure the rug you want will work for you.

Dining Room Rugs

Dining Room Rugs

Round Dining Room Rug

You’ll want to pull out your measuring tape before you head for the store for this one. When buying a dining room area rug that will go under your table, be sure to measure at least two feet from the edge of the table out on all sides. This allows enough room for your chairs to stay on the rug even when they are pulled out to let someone get seated.

Hallway Rugs

Hallway Rug

Runners are a nice way to add color to hallways and set the tone for the décor as your guests enter the house. If you have a nice wide hallway, try a runner right down the center with furniture on both sides.
Or, for smaller hallways, let a few pieces of furniture rest on one side and keep the runner on the other side.

Bedroom Rugs

Bedroom Rug

Bedroom rugs look beautiful framing your bed. Be sure to choose a size that extends about three feet beyond on all three sides of your bed. Another clever decorating trick — use runners on both sides of your bed to visually frame your bed as an alternative to a large rug. Either way, adding a rug to your bedroom can instantly add warmth and style in an inviting way.

What’s Next?

New lamps? That perfect coffee table? How about a refresh on wall art? Check out our Decorating Ideas for tips, photos and plenty of ideas to get you started.