One of the most important pieces of tying the style and atmosphere together in any room is a rug. With so many materials, styles, colors, shapes, and sizes to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start looking. Hopefully, this useful guide will help lead you toward the perfect choice for your rustic home, no matter the room, personal style, or budget. If you already know what room you’re looking for and just want sizing recommendations and general tips, jump to it below:
Standard rug shapes & sizes
There are two major categories when it comes to selecting a new rug for your home — area rugs and runners:
- Area rugs - probably the most common rug that comes to mind, these rugs are smaller than the dimensions of the room (don’t run wall to wall) and tend to be softer and warmer than regular carpeting or wood floors.
- Runners - on the other hand, runners are meant to “run” down hallways, up stairs, or through kitchens and are longer (but narrower) than traditional area rugs. They can also be used to tie the style of a main room into a narrower space like a connecting hallway.
The most common sizes of standard area rugs are:
- 3’ x 5’
- 5’ x 8’
- 8’ x 10’
- 9’ x 12’
- 12’ x 15’
Another “size” measurement you might see is called pile. A rug’s pile is essentially the thickness or density of the piece. Low-pile rugs have shorter fibers, while high-pile rugs have taller and more plush fibers — but are also more expensive.
How to choose a rug material
There are many materials that rugs can come in. The most common ones you’ll see when shopping are due to their characteristics like warmth, affordability, and ease of maintenance. These materials include:
- Wool - a premium material that brings warmth to any room, wool is easy to clean and durable. If you’re willing to spend a little extra on a wool rug, they’re well worth the investment.
- Sisal/jute - these are often used for outdoor rugs because of their resilience to wear and tear. Both are low-maintenance natural fibers that are more cost-effective than wool.
- Polypropylene - the last of the common options is a synthetic fiber used both indoors and outdoors because of its breathability, moisture-wicking properties, and resistance to stains. Polypropylene rugs are generally priced between wool and jute.
How to choose a rug color
The first rule of thumb when considering rug colors and patterns has to do with how vibrant the room’s colors are. If the furniture or walls are already a bright or saturated color, it might be best to opt for a more neutral rug color. If the majority of the colors in the room are already neutral, a rug with vibrant color and patterns can be a great accent piece.
When choosing what color would look best, try pulling one or two colors from the decor in the room and look for rugs with shades (lighter or darker) of those colors. If the room is relatively neutral, the color is completely open to whatever you prefer! For rustic spaces and interior design, earthy and warm hues are a particular favorite of ours, such as greens, reds, and deep browns.
Solid colors vs. patterns
As for choosing patterns vs. solid rugs, another tip is to look at your primary furniture — for example, in a living room, this would likely be the couch. If the furniture is a solid color, consider a patterned rug. If the furniture is patterned, a solid rug is recommended to avoid overwhelming with colors and shapes.
How to choose a rug size (by room)
The type of rug you get will also greatly depend on where it’s going. You’re going to want a much different style, material, and maybe even color when comparing rugs for the entryway and the bedroom. Let’s break down the most common rooms for rugs to be added, as well as suggestions for sizing and other factors.
Recommended dimensions: 2’ x 6’, 4’ x 6’, OR 8’ x 10’, 9’ x 12’
Because you want the bedroom to be warm and cozy, and you’ll probably be barefoot more often than other rooms, opting for a higher-pile rug here is a good idea. The rug should be large enough to have space around either side of the bed (or two smaller rugs on either side) with a nightstand partially or entirely on top of it.
Recommended dimensions: 9’ x 12’, 10’ x 14’
We’d recommend a medium or lower-pile rug that fits under the dining table to distinguish the area from the rest of the room. When considering size, the rug should be larger than the footprint of the table and all chairs when pulled out. If you have a wood floor, try to leave at least 18 inches of flooring around the perimeter of the room.
Recommended dimensions: 2.5’ x 9, 3’ x 5’, 6’ x 9’
The key for any rugs in the kitchen is to make sure that it’s easily washable. Beyond that, a longer runner rug might fit best, depending on the layout of your kitchen and if you have an island. This means you might use two or three runners to fit around an island counter or bar, or one area rug in front of the sink if there’s space.
Recommended dimensions: 8’ x 10’, 9’ x 12’, 10’ x 14’
When it comes to living rooms, you’ll want a higher-pile rug that covers at least the width and length of your furniture. It should be large enough to fit partially under most of the furniture when set up comfortably. If you want to create a more intimate atmosphere, a darker color will do the trick. On the other end of the spectrum, a lighter color lends itself to a more open and airy feeling.