Tips for Choosing the Perfect Rug
Decorating a home from floor to ceiling to reflect your personal style can give you a real sense of belonging, comfort, and coziness that nothing else can. There are an enormous number of important decisions involved in decorating a home; one is choosing the right rugs for your living spaces.

After all, a rug typically takes up a large amount of space and is responsible for pulling other elements of the room together for a cohesive look. It is quite literally the foundation of the design scheme.

First, Consider the Entire House

To start, you'll want to take into account your current color scheme and feel of your entire home in a holistic sense. Each individual room may have its own theme and color palette, but typically each of your rooms will complement the others.

The kitchen might be suited for a bright and fresh look, utilizing yellows and white, or depending on the person and the home, cooling stone grays might be a better option. A kitchen rug should complement your scheme, with additional goals of durability and easy cleaning. The rug should help to create unity with the adjoining rooms.

A foyer rug, by way of contrast, is meant to be both inviting and durable. A high pile, or length of the individual fibers making up the rug, will be preferable, as this will help to clean debris from feet traveling over it. However, the fibers will need to be both sparse and strong, so that they can be cleaned vigorously and thoroughly.

Rugs for living areas, formal entertainment areas, offices and outdoor areas will all have widely divergent requirements, which we’ll cover below.

Tone and Color

Different colors have the ability to create specific vibes that you will want to keep in mind when choosing your rugs. Earthy colors, like muted shades of stone, brown, blue, and green can create quite a different feel than warmer reds, yellows and oranges. Using saturated or bright colors can provide a feeling of excitement and energy to the air whereas dark colors can make a room seem smaller and more cave-like. Bright colors can be considered as "exciting" or "fun," and there is substantial research that confirms this. Muted colors tend to be seen as more "thoughtful" and "sophisticated." Similar colors can be used together in a room to create a harmonious and cohesive atmosphere.


There are two types of texture at play with a rug. The first is the visual, and the second is the physical. Visual texture is an important dynamic to consider and is relevant from ceiling to floor. However, the physical composition of the rug must not be overlooked.

Will your rug be knit and thick? Will it be braided or woven? Will it be faux fur, fabric, or bamboo? The material of your rug has tremendous implications for the comfort and cleanliness of the room, and it can even affect such fundamentals as the temperature and humidity. Generally it’s best to have the textures of a room united by a theme. The rug, drapes, and furniture should all be made of roughly the same materials or, at the very least, chosen to compliment each other. A flatwoven Oriental rug can accent furniture that has smooth and sophisticated textures. On the other hand, a brown and green patterned rug with simulated earth texture would match soft, large, and nest-like furniture.


Patterns are often avoided in modern homes. The vast, uninterrupted sweep of pure color and texture is generally preferable for most layouts. However, the rug is an excellent example of a design element which doesn’t typically follow this rule. A well-chosen pattern can do more to tie the room into a unified whole than almost any other device, and patterns have the additional advantage of not showing wear and tear as easily. Human beings feel comfortable when the ground is covered with a warm, soft repeating pattern. It invites inhabitants to take off their shoes and stretch their feet. If you’re considering a patterned rug, lean towards warm, natural colors, avoiding dominant tones of pastel or synthetic color. Dark shades are very appropriate in this instance, as are repeating designs. Patterns should not be too garish, though. A rug that draws too much attention to itself can have a tendency to look both cluttered and dirty.


The two major categories of rug fabrics are natural and synthetic. Natural fibers such as wool, cotton, and other similar materials present several advantages, including comfort and environmental friendliness. Synthetic fibers have a much greater variety of textures and colors available, and of course they can be far more durable. Combinations of the two materials are also available. Nylon, acrylic, polyester and polypropylene are all common choices for synthetic rugs. They are very appropriate for outdoor use, or for any area where there will be significant cleaning involved. These synthetic options may lack comfort and warmth, so the living areas of the home are typically best served with a natural or blended fabric rug.

Time to Shop

It’s hard to imagine what a rug will look like in your space before taking it home. By considering the look and feel of your home as a whole, you can get a better picture of the colors, textures and patterns which will complement your rooms. Ensure you take thorough measurements of your space before shopping. Additionally, you may want to consider purchasing a smaller version of the rug you are considering for your room. This is an easy way for you to study the addition and ensure you like it before committing to a larger purchase.