That Rug Really Tied the Room Together: How to Pick the Perfect Rug for Your Space

That Rug Really Tied the Room Together: How to Pick the Perfect Rug for Your Space

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Nancy Mitchell
Jul 15, 2015
(Image credit: Decor8)

Even more so than your furniture, a rug can have a huge impact on the look of your space. But how do you choose the right one? Here are a few guidelines to aid you in your search.

Before we really get into it, here's a bit of disclaimer: this guide is only about picking the kind of rug that would be right for your room, not the size of rug. Here's a handy guide to picking the right size that's right for your space.

First the practical considerations: Is this rug going to be in a high traffic area? If so, you want a rug that is durable and easy to clean. You might want to consider a low pile or flat weave rug, since it will trap less dirt.

Now on to the fun stuff: what about the look of your new rug? Here, as in all of decorating, the principle of balance comes into play. The rug is your chance to add a finishing touch to the space, and you want it to provide contrast to other objects in the room, or inject something that the rest of the things in the room do not. In other words, you want the rug to be the thing that the room is not. It's the missing piece. Let's take a look at some examples.

The room above, from Decor8, is great example of using a rug to add something to a room that would otherwise be missing. The furniture in the space is fairly staid, but the rug adds just the right dose of color and pattern.

By interior designer Natalie Myers of Veneer Designs, spotted on SF Girl by Bay. (Photographed by Amy Bartlam.)
(Image credit: Veneer Designs)

This room also gets a helping of color and pattern, this time from some layered Turkish kilim rugs. Here the colors are a bit more subtle, which suits the space's boho vibe. The kilim pillow on the chair on the left is a nice touch, helping to connect the rugs with the rest of the room.

(Image credit: Danielle Moss)

If your room could use a little more texture but you prefer to stick with a neutral palette, you could try a sisal rug like this one. It adds interest and helps to ground the space.

(Image credit: Bolig)

This rug picks up on the black and white color scheme already happening in the room, but it also introduces a dynamic, graphic element that helps to add a little excitement, and provides a nice modern contrast to the mostly traditional furniture.

(Image credit: The Selby)

This rug adds color, and also a unifying element in a room with a great deal of things going on. The red is a nice contrast to the green of the plants.

(Image credit: Bolig)

This rug, a Moroccan rag rug called a boucherouite, adds color and texture to room that's very minimal and serious. The rug's white background is a lovely contrast to the dark wood floors.

Here, an oriental rug adds the color and pattern that this space needs — and sets up a lovely tension with the very contemporary furniture.

In this living room, a newer, unfaded kilim rug adds pattern and a bright dose of color. Notice how the chair on the left is a perfect match for the orange in the rug. Rugs can serve as a great inspiration for accent colors in a room.

And finally, a graphic rug adds color and playfulness to a space that's very minimal and just a bit self-serious. It's the perfect finishing touch.

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