How to choose the right rug for your home

A round rug can pull a room together when you can't afford a larger, rectangular option.
Armadillo&Co / Styling and photo by HB&Co

A round rug can pull a room together when you can't afford a larger, rectangular option.

A rug can have a huge impact on the look of your home, so choosing the right size, texture and colour is a decision which needs careful consideration.

Annie Loveridge, from The Ivy House, recommends narrowing down the size of the rug to start.

"When it comes to rugs, size is the most important thing to consider before design, colour and composition. The correct size rug will enhance the room and bring everything together."

She suggests opting for the largest size that fits your budget, as it will unify the room.

"A rug that is too small will bring the eye in and therefore make your room look smaller, it also tends to make furniture look disconnected," Loveridge says.

"Ideally furniture will sit fully on the rug, or at least the front legs of any seats, as this will 'ground' and define the space."

For a living room, think about how much time you spend in this space; if it's where your family spend most evenings, it's worth getting it right first time.

When it comes to colour and texture, Loveridge recommends sticking with your initial choice. Try not to overthink it - look at a few appropriately sized options, then stick with your first call.

"It will also probably be your initial choice after you've considered 10 others!"

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Rugs should be large enough to fit the front legs of your seating on. Photo: Armadillo&Co / Styling and photo by B. Sherman Workshop

In a lounge setting, if your furniture is mostly against the wall then the rug should be large enough to fit under the front legs of both sofas and occasional chairs.

If you have a larger living or dining area with furniture floating in the centre, the rug should be large enough to fit under all four legs of each piece.

If you like a more bohemian style, then layering rugs can work well. Choose similar shapes and sizes, such as kilim rugs which have a distinct colourway and pattern. Seagrass or jute rugs can also be layered and are great for high-traffic areas such as hallways and entrances.

Shape is also a consideration - a long, rectangular hall runner can be perfect for a galley kitchen or set along each side of a double bed. Another option is a round rug which can pull together a large setting where the budget doesn't quite stretch to a big rectangular piece. 

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If you have furniture in the centre of a room, a rug should be able to fit under all legs. Photo: The Ivy House

If you have a more subdued interior style, then a bold graphic-print or colourful rug can add another element to the room. Alternatively if your decor has a lot going on already, then a neutral rug can help bring things down to earth.

Texture can also play a huge role in the suitability of a rug; a soft flokati piece might be more suited to a formal living room, whereas a short-pile wool number is best for a family or playroom.

Olivia Smith from Nodi Rugs suggest considering how the rug is being used and where in the house it will live - choosing a light-coloured silk rug for under a dining table wouldn't be wise, for example.

"We strongly believe in well-made rugs made from all natural fibres. Investing in a rug is similar to purchasing artwork - you want it to be with you for a long time and add personality and warmth to a room," she says.

Rugs can make or break a home, so it is important to research and invest in the correct shape, size and style. It can be the perfect starting point or finishing touch for your room.

Contributor Tina Stephen is creative director at Roomie.co.nz.

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