The Best Area Rugs Under $300 to Spruce up a Rental, According to Home Stagers

published Feb 19, 2020
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Credit: Liz Calka

I know from personal experience that a new area rug can turn a whole room around—and your whole attitude, too. After saving to replace my outdated, worn, neutral living room rug, I treated myself to a vibrant patterned one that hides stains and makes my white coffee table really pop. I feel like I live in an entirely new apartment, without the pain of breaking the lease. Ahead, home stagers have called out some affordable and fabulous area rugs that’ll will make your rental feel brand new.

Credit: RugsUSA

Natural Jute Braided Rug, 8’x10′

When shopping for an inexpensive rug that’s neutral yet still visually interesting, Rebecca Jones, certified home stager at The Staging Team in Sugar Land, Texas, shares, “I’m going to look for a rug that’s natural fiber—jute—to get texture.” That texture also serves as a base for layering. “Layering just gives a room a more casual and warm and inviting feeling,” says Krisztina Bell, founder of No Vacancy Home Staging based in Atlanta. “And rugs always help absorb some sound in a room, especially when used on hardwood floors.” Soundproofing is a huge plus in shared rental buildings.

Buy: Natural Jute Braided Rug, $154.10 from RugsUSA

Credit: Target

Shelly Woven Rug, 5’x8′

“A lot of people gravitate toward lots of light color rugs,” says Shirin Sarikhani, founder and CEO of Seattle Staged to Sell. But walking on those means they can get dirty quickly. If you won’t budge on a light color, she suggests opting for a light gray, beige, or another shade that doesn’t show dirt easily. The Shelly Woven Rug in Charcoal/Ivory has a light gray mid-century modern pattern that effectively hides stains.

Buy: Shelly Woven Rug, $189 from Target

Credit: IKEA

IKEA’s KOLDBY Cowhide Rug

If you’re looking for a real statement rug—maybe one that says “Yee-haw!” or “There’s a snake in my boot!”—IKEA’s KOLDBY Cowhide Rug is a solid option. Beyond its Western vibe, the rug lends an intriguing accent to a variety of styles. And, according to Sarikhani, cowhide can shine in tricky situations. “Cowhide is a good carpet for areas that have heavier floor plans or are pathways to [another area],” she says. “If you put down a normal rug, you’re going to constrict the walkway.”

Buy: KOLDBY Cowhide Rug, $169 from IKEA

Credit: Ballard Designs

Adalyn Indoor/Outdoor Rug, 7’7”x10’10”

Sarikhani sings the praises of Ballard Designs’ rugs, and stresses the value of layering. “If you have a large room and you need a big area rug… sometimes the coffee table gets lost, so we put another layered rug on it and we anchor it.” Whether on its own or as the base for another piece, the Adalyn rug is low-maintenance, textured, and classic, and can fit with styles that similar jute might not match.

Buy: Adalyn Indoor/Outdoor Rug, $224.25 from Ballard Designs

Credit: WorldMarket

Persian Style Alma Indoor Outdoor Rug With Backing, 8’x10′

Professional stagers love the simplicity of indoor/outdoor rugs. “[They’re] less expensive, easier to clean—sometimes with just soap and water—and if needed, they can be replaced without breaking the bank,” says Bell. World Market’s Persian Style Alma rug boasts a sophisticated pattern for interiors without the expensive upkeep.

Credit: Target

Safavieh Ultimate Shag Rug, 5’x8′

Jones has one big staging secret: “This might sound a little strange, but I always tell people that they can’t go wrong with an ivory shag from Target.” The Ultimate Shag Rug from Safavieh is plush, has fantastic reviews, and would look great in a living room, bedroom, nursery—you name it. Unlike with installed carpet, you won’t be stuck with a terrible stain should something spill.

Buy: Safavieh Ultimate Shag Rug, $134.89 from Target