The Rug Furnish

General Advice for Buying A Rug

General Advice for Buying A Rug

Rugs are more than just floor coverings; they are pieces of art that can transform a room. Whether you’re looking to enhance the aesthetic appeal, add warmth, or define spaces in your home, choosing the right rug is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with valuable advice for buying a rug that suits your needs, style, and budget.

  1. Determine Your Purpose

Before diving into the world of rugs, it’s essential to clarify your purpose. Ask yourself, “Why do I need a rug?” The answer to this question will help you make an informed decision. Common reasons for buying a rug include:

a. Aesthetic Enhancement: Rugs can bring color, texture, and patterns into a room, adding visual appeal.

b. Comfort and Warmth: Rugs provide a cozy surface underfoot, making your home more comfortable, especially in cooler climates.

c. Space Definition: Rugs can delineate different areas within an open-concept space, helping create a sense of organization and purpose.

d. Noise Reduction: Rugs absorb sound, making rooms quieter and more peaceful.

e. Protection: Rugs can protect your floors from wear and tear.

f. All of the above: Many people choose rugs for a combination of these reasons.

  • Choose the Right Size

Selecting the right size for your rug is crucial. The size of the rug should complement the proportions of the room and the arrangement of your furniture. Here are some general guidelines:

a. Small Room: In a compact space, such as a bedroom or home office, a smaller rug can add warmth and define the area without overwhelming it.

b. Medium Room: In a standard-sized living room, consider a rug that accommodates all the primary seating furniture. The front legs of the sofa and chairs should sit on the rug, while the back legs can rest on the floor.

c. Large Room: In more extensive spaces, like open-concept living areas or dining rooms, you may need multiple rugs to define different zones. For instance, a large rug can anchor the seating area in an open-plan living room, while a smaller rug can delineate the dining area.

  • Rug Material and Durability

The material of your rug affects its durability, maintenance, and comfort. Here are some common rug materials and their characteristics:

a. Wool: Wool rugs are soft, durable, and naturally stain-resistant. They provide excellent insulation and are a great choice for high-traffic areas.

b. Silk: Silk rugs have a luxurious sheen and feel. They are often used for intricate, detailed patterns. However, silk rugs require more delicate care and are best suited for low-traffic areas.

c. Cotton: Cotton rugs are affordable and easy to clean. They work well in kitchens, bathrooms, or casual spaces.

d. Jute and Sisal: These natural fibers create a rustic and textured look. They are durable but not as comfortable underfoot as wool or cotton.

e. Synthetic: Materials like nylon and polypropylene are cost-effective and stain-resistant. They are ideal for households with kids and pets.

f. Blends: Many rugs are made from a combination of materials to balance cost, comfort, and durability.

  • Style and Design

Rugs come in a wide range of styles and designs, and your choice should complement your overall decor. Consider the following aspects:

a. Color: The rug’s color should harmonize with your existing color scheme. It can either serve as a focal point or blend in, depending on your design goals.

b. Pattern: The pattern of your rug can add character to the room. Geometric patterns, florals, abstracts, and traditional motifs are just a few options.

c. Texture: Texture can influence the overall look and feel of a room. Consider high-pile shag rugs for a cozy, relaxed atmosphere, or low-pile rugs for a sleek and modern look.

d. Traditional or Contemporary: Choose a rug that complements the style of your room. Traditional rugs often have intricate patterns and rich colors, while contemporary rugs tend to be more minimalistic and abstract.

e. Vintage or New: Vintage rugs can add character and history to a space. New rugs offer a clean, fresh look.

  • Budget and Quality

While it’s essential to stick to your budget, remember that rugs are an investment. High-quality rugs tend to last longer and maintain their appearance over time. Consider these factors:

a. Hand-Knotted vs. Machine-Made: Hand-knotted rugs are considered the highest quality, as they are labor-intensive and crafted with precision. Machine-made rugs are more affordable but may not have the same durability and uniqueness.

b. Rug Pad: Investing in a quality rug pad can extend the life of your rug and provide extra cushioning underfoot.

c. Maintenance: Consider the long-term costs of cleaning and maintaining the rug. High-quality rugs often require less maintenance.

  • Rug Placement

The way you place your rug within a room can significantly impact the overall aesthetics. Here are some tips for different rooms:

a. Living Room: In the living room, place the front legs of your sofa and chairs on the rug. This anchors the seating area and provides a cohesive look.

b. Dining Room: In the dining room, select a rug that accommodates the dining table and chairs. Ensure that there is enough space for the chairs to be pulled out without catching on the rug.

c. Bedroom: In the bedroom, choose a rug that extends beyond the sides and foot of the bed. This creates a soft and inviting landing area for your feet when you get out of bed.

d. Hallways and Entryways: For hallways and entryways, use runner rugs that fit the length of the area. Leave some space on either side to maintain a balanced look.

  • Test Before You Buy

It’s often challenging to envision how a rug will look in your space by just looking at it in a store or online. Many factors can affect how the rug appears in your home, such as lighting and the color of your walls. Therefore, consider these tips:

a. Samples: If possible, obtain a small sample of the rug to see how it fits within your space.

b. Visualize: Use painter’s tape or large sheets of paper to create a mock layout of the rug in your room. This can help you visualize how it will look.

c. Return Policy: Ensure that the seller has a flexible return policy in case the rug doesn’t fit your space as expected.


Selecting the right rug involves careful consideration of your purpose, room size, material, style, and budget. With the general advice provided in this guide, you can confidently make informed decisions when purchasing a rug for your home. Remember that a well-chosen rug has the power to enhance your living space, adding warmth, comfort, and style while serving as an essential component of your interior decor.