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How to Choose the Perfect Area Rug

A dining room with a patterned area rug under the dining table and chairs.

SIZE, SHAPE AND POSITIONING

In general, with area rugs try to mimic the shape of your furnishings. For instance, a rectangular rug would work well with sectional sofa seating.  On the other hand, a circular rug would work better with a round dining table.

For the best look, maintain a bare border between the rug and the wall, keeping these tips in mind:

  • The living room:  Make sure the rug extends under all the surrounding furniture — or at least the front legs of the major pieces.
  • The dining room:  The rug should be big enough so that even when the chairs are pulled out, they fit comfortably on it.
  • The bedroom:  Frame your bed with the rug. It’s okay if it extends only under the front legs of your nightstands.
A dining room with a textured area rug.
In the dining room, your rug should be big enough so that even when the chairs are pulled out, they fit comfortably on it.

MORE TO EXPLORE

COLOR, PATTERN AND STYLE

If your furnishings have lots of colors and patterns, you might want a complementary solid color. Or if you want to liven up your space, go for a rug with a more elaborate design.

Keep in mind that low-pile rugs will stand up best in high-traffic areas, whereas plush high-pile rugs might work better in a bedroom or reading nook.

USING MORE THAN ONE RUG

For wide open rooms, several area rugs can help define each space, such as a dining or seating area. You could even create visual interest by layering one or more rugs on top of another.

Whatever arrangement you choose, always use rug pads to extend the life of your rugs.

 

A hallway with a low-pile, colorful rug.
To liven up your space, especially when paired with neutrals like these window coverings, go for a rug with a pattern and bright colors.