An area rug can serve as an attractive design element that you can use to bring a room’s look together. Plus, it’s a great option when you can’t have carpeting in a room but you want to feel the warmth of a rug under your feet.

Knowing how to choose an area rug is the key to fabulous design, as making the wrong choice could cause the look of a space to fall apart. So, to shop smarter when searching for the perfect area rug, check out the pointers below.  

Take Measurements, Consider Layout

When it comes to choosing the best area rug for a particular room, it all starts with size. Like Goldilocks, you don’t want the rug to be too small or too big.

  • In the bedroom, opt for a rug that will be large enough to frame your bed and make it the focal point of the space. Ensuring the rug is big enough (for example, the rug should extend roughly two feet away from the bed on all sides) will allow you to comfortably place you feet on it when you get out of bed in the morning. Ahh…so soft!

Tip: Do you have a piece of furniture at the foot of your bed? Then get a rug that’s big enough to allow the furniture to sit on it completely too.  

  • In your living room, you can choose an area rug that’s large enough to allow only the front legs of your furniture to be on the rug. Alternatively, you could place all of the furniture on the rug, or you could just put your coffee table on the rug and nothing else.

Tip: Do you have an open concept living room? Then you can bring it all together by placing all of your furniture completely on the area rug. However, if you have a small living room, you can select an area rug that only fits your coffee table, while keeping the rest of the furniture off of the rug.  

  • In the dining room, ensure that your area rug is big enough to still fit all of the chairs after they’ve been pushed away from the table. You don’t want your guests’ chairs to end up half on the rug and half off!

Tip: As is the case with your bedroom rug, you can opt for a rug that’s two feet longer, on every side, than your dining room table.

Note: If you select an area rug that’s too small, it could end up making the room itself appear smaller than it is.    

Choose Your Material Wisely

You know how there are a variety of carpet fibers to choose from? Well, the same holds true for area rugs. And there are a few factors that can help you narrow down your options to the one that’s right for your room:

  • If your area rug will be going in a high-traffic area, consider sticking with low pile, or you can even go with a rug that has a nice pattern. Both of these can help hide stains and marks left behind by shoes.
  • If your rug will be going in your bedroom or an area where you want to create a soft and inviting space, opt for a more luxurious high pile rug.
  • Want a rug that will be able withstand daily wear and tear? A synthetic fiber might be your best bet. While natural fibers feel great underfoot, they might be more likely to fade or become stained over time. Synthetic fibers are also a great choice if you have pets and/or kids who are likely to make messes, as these rugs might be easier to clean.

Colors, Patterns, and Shapes, Oh My!

Beyond measuring your space to select the right size, and thinking about foot traffic to choose the right material, when it comes to selecting an area rug that you’ll love, you also need to consider design elements like color, pattern, and shape.

Let’s start with shape, shall we?

  • You might immediately think of rectangular area rugs, but you have a lot more options than that! There are round and oval rugs, as well as runners and square rugs, too. A runner could be great for your hallway, while a round rug can be a nice complement to a round dining room table, or it could add a nice touch to your entryway.
  • To choose the right shape, consider using the shape of your furniture, or the way that your furniture is arranged, as a guide (e.g. rectangular furniture like a coffee table and sofa might look best with a rectangular rug).   
  • Another way to choose the right area rug shape: look at the overall shape of the room. A room that’s long and rectangular, for example, might not be the right environment for a round rug.

Next up, let’s consider colors.

  • There’s a handy interior design strategy that you can follow, called the 60-30-10 rule. This can be helpful when browsing through area rug colors in search of one that will complement the rest of the room.

Here’s how it breaks down: 60% of a space consists of the dominant color, probably found in the furniture and on the walls. The secondary color will make up about 30% of the space, and your area rug will fit into this part of the color palette. Finally, accent colors found in various pieces of décor around the room would make up the remaining 10%.

So, what’s the secondary color in your room? Find an area rug that matches that. Your area rug might also showcase some of the accent colors in the space as well to help bring everything together.

  • Choosing an area rug with neutral tones is a fantastic way to play with the rest of the colors in the space when you’re creating a new design from scratch. Because your area rug will be quite subtle, you can allow other elements of the room to take over.
  • Darker colors are smart choices for busy families with kids and pets, as they’ll likely hide messes and spills better than lighter colors would.

Don’t forget that there are so many beautiful patterns, too!

  • Patterned area rugs aren’t always the best idea. If you have furniture that’s patterned, for example, adding in a patterned rug might be overkill. On the other hand, if you want to spice things up a bit in a space that’s otherwise pretty plain, a patterned rug might be just what the room needs.
  • Even if you already have some patterns in the room, you might be able to get away with adding an area rug that features a subtler pattern that will blend into the background without grabbing too much attention from the rest of the design.

Now You Know How to Choose an Area Rug You’ll Love!

When searching for the right area rug, why not consider upgrading your floors, too? After all, the right flooring can also complement an area rug beautifully, whether you opt for hardwood, tile, or anything in between. And you’ll find all of these options, and more, when you check out the showroom at Denver Carpet & Flooring or set up a free in-home consultation.

No matter what floors are underneath, once you find the perfect area rug for any room in your home, you’ll realize that it was just what you needed to enhance the space and bring your overall design scheme together in an eye-catching way.