How to Choose the Right Rug for Your Space

Not many people realise the difference a rug can make in a space. The right design and size can transform any room. Most importantly it helps to define a space and anchor the seating. In this month’s blog I’m going to help you choose the right rug for your room, explain the different materials available and show you how to make sure your home flows when you have two different colours or patterns in the same space. ie. an open plan living and dining area.

How to choose the right size

Let’s start with choosing the right size. In my mind bigger is always better for a rug! But there are guidelines and we don’t always have the luxury of space. Click the download here to see the different options for each room.

Tips for choosing the right size rug.

Living Space

  • Never choose a rug that’s too small, it can cause a room to feel smaller
  • Always choose the best quality rug you can afford. Wool is ideal in a high traffic area
  • An oversized rug is best in an open plan living area, as it creates a luxurious feel to the space. 
  • Leave at least 30cm between the rug and the walls

Dining Area

  • There are a number of ways to define a dining space
  • Select a rug the same shape as your dining table. Note: Always make sure it’s large enough for the back legs of the chairs to remain on the rug when the chairs are pushed out
  • Be creative and choose a different shaped rug! For example a square or rectangular rug under a round table. Just make sure its large enough so the different shapes don’t compete with each other
  • If you have an extendable table, make sure the rug is large enough for when the table is extended


  • Make sure the rug is always underfoot when getting out of the bed so this means your rug has to be larger than your bed at each side.
  • Choose something soft and plush so it feels nice on your bare feet and creates a sense of luxury
  • Don’t be afraid to use a rug on top of carpet. It can be quite impactful when done correctly.

Children’s bedrooms and playrooms

I recommend a Polypropylene, acrylic or wool rug  for a playroom or bedroom. Patterned rugs will be more forgiving than a plain rug in terms of spills. These rugs from Rugs for Good are ideal.

Or what about a washable rug? These 100% cotton rugs from Oh Happy Home, would be gorgeous in a playroom or children’s bedroom. How cute are the matching cushions?

How to choose the right materials


For a low cost, high durability you can’t go past polypropylene. It’s extremely durable, water resistant, easy to clean and it has the same dense feel as wool. It’s perfect in a family or kids play room and for homes that have furry friends in them! It comes in a great range of colours and patterns and it can often be washed in the washing machine (but always check the manufacturer’s instructions first)


If your budget allows it then wool with its beautiful soft pile, is my recommendation. Wool’s natural oils repel water, dust and dirt. The fibres within wool are crush-resistant so they’ll retain their shape in high traffic areas for years. Perfect for families and homes that have lots of visitors! Spills can be treated and regular rotation is recommended. Regular rotation helps worn-fibres from becoming a permanent fixture on an area of the rug compared to an area  that gets no traffic at all. 

Art Silk

This is a fancy name for artificial silk and is made from synthetic fibres such as rayon. It has the look and feel of silk but costs less. Although these rugs look beautiful, be careful where you place them! They’re not necessarily great in a high traffic area. Art Silk can’t be spot cleaned as water or cleaning solutions will leave a mark, so they are better suited to use in a formal space, such as a dining room, that has less regular traffic. Regular professional cleaning is a must! It’s required and recommended to keep your rug looking beautiful.

Pattern vs Plain

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to selecting rugs. Some of the things I consider when specifying rugs for my clients are as follows –

How much detail is in the room and what aesthetic am I trying to create? If my furnishings are relatively plain, then I might choose a patterned rug, or even a plain one but with texture. If it’s a more casual room then a patterned or heavily woven rug can look fabulous  – and then I might go a bit crazy and add patterned and textured cushions, especially if it’s a large space!

In an open plan space, I might mix patterned and plain rugs but tie the two in with soft furnishings and decorator pieces. It’s so important to make sure the room flows and everything complements each other. 

When selecting furniture and soft furnishings for your home or space I focus on a particular style in line with my clients likes and needs, but mix it up a little so it doesn’t look overly contrived or matchy, matchy. 

Use the 60, 30, 10 rule when choosing colour. 60% is the main colour, then choose a complimentary colour which is 30% of the room and then finally a highlight colour that’s your 10%. Check out my instagram post here

Using Rugs with My Clients

I recently specified these two rugs for a client. The Allure Abstract rug from Rugs for Good and the Diva rug from the rug collection.

My clients have downsized from a 4 bedroom home to a modern apartment so they’re changing all their furniture to suit their new home and lifestyle. It’s an open plan kitchen, dining and living space. Light timber floorboards with white walls, timber cabinetry and black window frames. We’ve selected a colour palette of blues, greys and neutrals with some timber and black furniture. I’m using the Allure rug in the living space with a soft grey textured sofa and blue velvet occasional chairs. The Allure is a Polypropylene rug so it will be lovely and soft underfoot, but very hard wearing and as a bonus it’s reasonably priced. And because the balcony is off the living area it will be very easy to clean.

I really wanted something different for the dining room, so I selected the Diva rug for under the dining table. The Diva is a wool rug which is great for cleaning and coping with the wear and tear of the dining chairs. I mixed up the colour palette and selected the Diva in the Lilypad colour.

I’ve tied all the colours in with my selection of cushions. The Eadie Lifestyle Lynette Velvet cushion in colour Skylar, L&M Home Anemone cushion in the blue colourway and the cute Aura round velvet cushion in Jade. My clients are thrilled with the selections and i’ve created a space that flows, is well designed, but interesting too.

The right rug does make all the difference in a space and by keeping these points in mind it will ensure you get the right rug for your lifestyle. If you’d like any help choosing a rug or any other interior styling assistance, please reach out to me! I’d be only too happy to help you create a home you love to live in.