home home furnishings

How to choose a rug: room by room

When it comes to making an impact in your home, the right rug can really elevate your interior design. Whether you’re adding warmth to wooden flooring, layering detail onto a plain carpet or just covering up a red wine spill – a rug will bring depth, decoration and decadence to any room.
Choosing the perfect rug can be tricky. With so many shapes and styles to look at, the choice can be overwhelming. And if you’re looking for a rug to fit in an awkward space or to match a specific colour, you might find yourself getting caught up in the specifics. 
That’s where we can help! We’ve put together this guide on how to choose a rug for any room – whatever your interior style. Read on for our tips.

How to choose a rug

Different rugs suit different rooms – what works in the living room might not work in the kitchen, for example. And yes, we’re all for rugs in the kitchen! 
Colour, pattern, pile and size are all important factors when choosing a rug to suit your space – take a look at our quick tips for each room. 


Rugs for the living room

When choosing a rug for the living room, there are a few things to consider. Top of our list is style – think about the look and feel of the room as a whole, what colours and textures stand out. 
Then, think about the practical elements – measure the space you want your rug to sit, making sure you leave space around it. 
Finally, think about comfort – a deeper pile rug is a great option for the living room, especially if you have wooden floors, as it adds warmth. This thick wool rug has warm neutral colours and feels cosy underfoot – perfect for a living space. 


Rugs for the kitchen

Yep – a rug in the kitchen is definitely a thing! It may seem like a strange choice to add fabric into a food prep space, but a rug in a practical style is the perfect interior addition to any kitchen. 
Look for rugs made from a durable fabric like jute or hemp – these can be wiped clean easily and can withstand the heavy foot traffic coming through the kitchen. 
If you have a dining table in your kitchen, a rug looks fantastic tucked under two legs of the table. This vintage-look jute rug is a great choice for the kitchen. 


Rugs for the bedroom

The bedroom is another space that really benefits from the addition of a rug. There’s nothing quite like swinging your legs out of bed on a chilly morning and feeling a cosy rug under your feet! 
A rug in the bedroom is a good way to inject a pop of colour in a way that won’t disturb your sleep. It’s also a great chance to experiment with different shaped rugs – this cute mustard yellow rug is our top pick. 


Rugs for the bathroom

Ok, we don’t actually mean a full RUG for the bathroom… but a bath mat still counts! Plus, bath mats have had a bit of a moment over the last few years and you can now find fantastic statement styles that look like mini rugs.
We love this classic monochrome tufted mat, this pastel green pom pom version and this fun message bath mat. 


Rugs for awkward spaces

If you have a space in your house that’s a little awkward – a very narrow hallway, an oddly-shaped loft space or tiny box room – finding a rug to fit can be tricky. 
But where your space might be too small for statement walls, hanging prints or decorative objects, a rug will bring a touch of interior flair without taking up space or overwhelming the area. 
If you’re working with an asymmetrical room where it’s difficult to line a rug up against straight walls, lean into the style by adding a rug with a similarly quirky shape – like this sweet flower-shaped rug. 
A very narrow runner rug like this tasselled version works well in small hallways or along landings where floor space is at a minimum. And if you’re hunting for something cute and colourful for a kid’s box room, we love this watermelon rug – tuck the straight side under the bed and let the curved side peek out, saving space without sacrificing style.  


How to layer a rug 

Layering is a key interiors trend – from artwork to mirrors, cushions to throws, anything can be layered… including rugs! 
The secret to layering your rugs is all in the placement, texture and colours. First, you do need quite a big space to make layered rugs a real statement – although we have some tips for smaller spaces too. 
Layered rugs work particularly well in open plan areas – if you have an open living/dining/kitchen space, you can use multiple rugs overlapping each other to connect the different areas while keeping the flow between them in place.
Start how you would when choosing a single rug – think about the colours, styles and details in your space and look for rugs that complement these things. You want your layered rugs to be distinct enough so they don’t look like one big, misshaped rug… but going for the same colour palette across each will give cohesion to the layers. 
The same rule applies for texture – thinner rugs work better for layering, so look for flat weave or jute styles and stick to textures within the same basic group. Don’t try to layer a thick, deep pile rug over a flat woven one, but go for similar styles that pair together easily. 
Once you’ve selected your rugs, it’s time to crack the placement. Play around with positioning and proportion – your layering shouldn’t be really uniform, and some rugs may be more covered up than others. 
The key is to make it work in your space! Try alternating between portrait and landscape placement and let your layered rugs draw you through the space. Voila, you’ve got it!

Take a look at our rug buying guide and find inspiration with this rug edit from interior designer Dee Campling. 
Author Name