Rugs can anchor a room and infuse it with personality, style and warmth. They are an investment that will be with you for years, so it's important to both choose wisely, and to know the best ways to position a rug in your space room.
How do I choose the right rug?
Rugs are truly an asset to any space. Aside from breathing necessary warmth and homeliness into any room, they also have the power to tie together a space, inject colour into an otherwise bland room or help tone down a cluttered space. Large area rugs can be used to divide lofty open plan spaces into cosier areas or can help to draw the eye outwards and make a room feel more spacious.
When it comes to committing to a area rug, there are a number of design elements to consider; Shape, colour, style, size, and most importantly – where and how are you going place your rug in your space.
Selecting style and colour very much comes down to your individual taste and what suits your interior, but when it comes to where and how to place an area rug there are a few rules to live by. The overall proportion of the rug in the space is the thing that will have the biggest visual impact. A beautifully proportioned rug can tie an entire room together, but it can be tricky to get the size and placement right.
Here's some tips to choose the right rug to suit your style and space:
- Measure your space before making a decision on style
- When in doubt, go for the biggest size possible. A rug should be large enough to anchor your furniture whilst leaving some of the floor exposed.
- If you have two sofas then the rug should be evenly positioned between them. Aim for symmetry.
- A rug should be big enough to fit your furniture on it, with at least 20 cm of rug visible on all sides. Alternatively, arrange furniture partially on top, with the rug sitting underneath the front two legs of your sofa and side chairs.
- If you prefer a smaller rug, arrange seating at an even distance.
- Round rugs can help to make a living room feel more intimate and inviting.
- Match the shape of the tabletop to your rug shape – a round rug under a round table creates visual harmony.
How do you determine the size of an area rug?
As a general rule, your area rug should be about the size of your living room’s seating area to ground the conversation space. To make your space feel balanced, your rug should be at least a foot wider than your sofa on either side.
Does a large rug make a room look bigger?
If you don’t have room for an enormous sofa or giant media console, you’re not alone. Many of us living in urban neighborhoods or apartments where space is at a premium.
There are some creative solutions to giving the illusion of more space in the way you arrange your furnishings. A few smart decisions can give you the space you need while making your room cosy and welcoming.
It might seem counter intuitive, but when it comes to creating the illusion of space using floor rugs, go as big as your space and budget will allow, the bigger the better! Use a rug that extends beyond your furniture in each functional space. For example, in your living area, a rug that sits under the sofa, coffee table and additional seating will draw the eye wider and make the space appear bigger. If you imagine a rug that is just big enough to sit under the coffee table as a contrast, it can feel more like a bath mat and the living space will feel limited to the area around the table.
On the flip side of this, a big rug can make a large open space feel more intimate by connecting all the elements. If you have a spacious open plan area, a large rug can create 'zones' within the space and make it feel cosy. For example using a rug under the dining table creates a defined space for dining.
What size rug should go under a dining table?
If you're putting a rug in your dining room, choose one that's big enough for the table and all the chairs to sit entirely on top. Go big! The goal with a rug to sit under your dining area is for it to comfortably host both your table and all the chairs.
Allow a minimum of 60-70 cm of rug to show on all sides of the dining table. At the very least, ensure that your chairs can still sit fully on the rug even when pulled away from the table to ensure the rug doesn’t get caught or become a tripping hazard for guests. Match the shape of the tabletop to your rug shape – a round rug under a round table creates visual harmony.
How should an area rug fit in a living room?
As a rule of thumb, a rug should be large enough to anchor your furniture whilst leaving some of the floor exposed. When in doubt, go for the biggest size possible – there’s nothing worse than an undersized rug!
There are a number of commonly sized rugs available on the market, however if you have a really large space most higher end rug suppliers offer the option to have a bespoke or custom rug made for your space.
Common rug sizes:
Oversized: 200cm x 300cm Fill the whole room but not wall to wall, the rug should create a stage for your sofa and coffee table.
Large: 160cm x 230cm. Define space and create separation between dining and living areas if you have an open concept living space.
Small: 155cm x 225cm A quick and easy living room update, a small rug placed under a coffee table is often a layer of love that’s been lacking in a room.
What can you use instead of a rug pad?
If you've been considering alternatives to paying full price for a commercial rug pad to keep your area rug from bunching or sliding, you are not alone. There are a abundance of affordable substitute solutions or DIY options to explore. Take some time to consider what flooring you've got under your rug, whether the rug is in a high traffic area and needs to be really effectively secured to the ground and also the level of DIY you're willing to put in.
Rug pad alternatives:
Make your own rug pad - Many home improvement stores sell non-slip rug padding and cushy felt pads by the metre. These can keep your rug from bunching up and slipping. If you were to take this approach, first measure your rug and aim to cut these pads one inch smaller than the size of your rug to keep it from peeking out and spoiling the look.
Strips of silicone-based caulking or hot glue - A simple DIY fix to a runaway rug is to put a bead of 100 percent silicone caulking or hot glue around the underside of the rug. Use a putty knife to smooth the rope of caulking so that it has a more even surface when you flip it over. This can also help keep edges from curling ever so slightly and toes from catching on the upturned corners. Check a corner first before tackling the entire rug to be sure it doesn't damage the rug. If your rug is finished on the under side with a material that could be easily damaged be weary of this technique.
Wilson & Dorset Designer Floor Rugs for example are finished with a suede backing. This technique would be likely to impact the suede and so would not be recommended, however if you have a heavy duty woven textile where the silicon could be easily peeled off this is a possible option for you. Always do a small test patch first to make sure this technique will work with your individual rug.
Double sided carpet tape - There are hundreds of carpet tapes available on the market right now which you can choose from, but not all carpet tapes are safe.. You need to be sure that what ever you go for here wont impact either your flooring or your rug.
How do you choose an area rug for hardwood floors?
There is such a vast variety of hardwood flooring options available. The colour and texture of hardwood can vary hugely and these factors will have an impact on which area rug to choose for your individual space.
A good place to start when choosing an area rug that will sit harmoniously with your hardwood flooring is to determine if your flooring has a warm or a cool base colour?
Aim to find a area rug that is a complementary colour to your hardwood flooring - this is the shade that sits directly opposite your flooring colour on the wheel. For hardwood flooring, the likelihood is that the tones will be very muted. You are looking for the subtle underlying base colour and using the contrasting colour on the opposite side of the colour wheel. Choosing a complementary colour will really help your rug to pop from the rest of the room, which is particularly handy if you are looking for a statement rug.
Whether you have light or dark flooring, choose a rug that is contrasting. Match dark hardwoods with lighter coloured area rugs and lighter hardwood floors with richer tones. Creating a stark contrast can help to balance out the feel of the room and bringing attention to each element.
Where do you put a rug in a bedroom?
Adding a floor rug to a bedroom can make your most personal room in the house feel calm, cosy and restful. Particularly if you have hard flooring a area rug can soften a bedroom and give you an element of luxury everyday.
Using the bed as an anchor there are a number of possible positions for a area rug in a bedroom space.
For a luxurious look, the bed frame and side tables should rest entirely on the rug, with 70-90 cm showing around the edges. With a smaller rug, sit the lower two thirds of the bed on top to create a soft and warm landing pad for bare feet. Two runners placed on either side of the bed will add symmetry, while a round rug placed off centre lends an unexpected touch of personality.
There is a lot to consider when buying and placing a rug in your home. Rugs can be a considerable financial outlay so can feel like a big decision. The most important thing to make sure of is that you are choosing something that you feel confident YOU will love for years to come.