14 Homes That Prove a Room Doesn’t Need a Rug to Feel Complete

updated Jan 20, 2024
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Many people have bought into the idea that a room isn’t finished unless there’s a rug. It adds warmth, color, and texture. Without it, the room feels cold and sterile — like there’s something you’re still waiting to add. Right?

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Not so fast. These 14 spaces show there’s often no need for a rug at all. These rooms are so stylish, so clearly finished, and, yes, 100 percent devoid of rugs. The design experts and enthusiasts behind these rooms might be onto something. They’re not spending extra money, not cursing another puppy accident, and they’re showing off their stunning floors.

1. An Art-Filled, Tiled Room

No living room rug needed in this eclectic Columbia apartment — aka the Readers’ Choice Grand Prize Winner of Apartment Therapy’s 2023 Small/Cool Contest! As a textile illustrator and creative director of clothing brand Eloisa Studio, renter Luisa Castellanos aimed to pay homage to her artwork by displaying colorful prints and textiles throughout the home, making these the main focal points versus a busy carpet.

2. Pretty Patterned Hardwood Home

When you have light-hued, chevron flooring as pretty as this 388-square-foot Polish apartment’s, it pays to leave it unobstructed. In fact, the hardwood design doubles as its own decorative element, complementing the gentle wood tones and natural materials styled throughout the 1931 home. To replicate this look and put more spotlight on the foundation of your space, consider ordering oak floor panels from your local hardware store.

3. Cozy Cottage Floors

The homeowners of this 300-year-old cottage in the Netherlands understandably preserved its existing features and original details, including the quaint tiling seen here without a rug. Even if you don’t live in a historic home, you can channel this old-school charm with small peel-and-stick floor tiles for a faux tiled effect (which would arguably cost less than a brand new rug anyway).

Credit: Lula Poggi

4. A Thoughtful Attic Apartment

This 194-square-foot Barcelona attic apartment (yes, you read that correctly) combines a bedroom, living room, and office into one minimalist space, where every square foot counts. The tenant worked with local design and architecture studio 5LAB to devise a “closed” furniture system along the back wall — which houses a table, bed, and wardrobe — and kept the area rug-free to accommodate these extractable pieces.

Credit: Lula Poggi

5. A Light-Filled Scandinavian Dream

With gorgeous wood tones, subtle Scandinavian boho vibes, and lush plants, the living room in this Barcelona home doesn’t need an ounce of additional texture. The light floors and neutral upholstered furniture, as well as the natural sunlight streaming in, get to shine without a rug to temper the look.

6. Spotlight-Stealing Wood Floors

Floors this stunning shouldn’t live their life covered up by rugs. So this former barn disregards the commonly accepted principle that a bedroom should have a rug to warm your feet in the morning. Without a rug, the floors take center stage and the bed linens are allowed to serve as the soft, cozy element in the room.

7. Showstopping 1920s Tile

It would be a travesty to hide the tile floors in this 1920s Cuban Victorian. This vintage element, in its varying stages of preservation, is an absolute showstopper in this historic home, which has four different types of Spanish tiles. The decor throughout the rooms is informed by the rich, warm colors of coral, green, and turquoise. 

8. A Bohemian Oasis That Makes a Case for No Dining Room Rug

When you stop to think about it, does a rug in the dining room really make sense? There are crumbs, spills, and that glass of red wine that will inevitably take a tumble. That’s why this lush, bohemian oasis of a dining room is so perfect. Its green walls mimic the plants inside and out, the chandelier adds a touch of formality, and the wood table seems like it has stories to tell. 

9. Wide-Plank Floors That Feel Grounded to the Earth

With striking wide-plank floors painted a consistent gray from room to room, this house in the Netherlands shows there is no need for a rug when you have an intentional approach to design. Warm pottery, an earth tone palette, and furniture that straddles the line between rustic and industrial give the home a sense of place and grounding, eliminating the purpose of a rug.

10. A Sleek, Minimalist Look 

Going without rugs is already one step toward a more minimalist approach. It’s less stuff to fill your space! This Virginia home, however, takes it to the next level, and the result is ultra calming. With a limited color palette, sleek-lined furniture, and few decorative items, it’s a soothing minimalist dream.

11. Soft and Cozy Without a Rug in Sight

Again with the gorgeous wood floors that deserve the spotlight. This soft, pretty Scandinavian apartment gets the coziest light, and its owners have leaned into that look without relying on textured rugs to make it feel intimate. Instead, they’ve turned to a delicate color palette and furniture that feels well loved. The result: a space that feels both homey and styled.

12. Bold Black-and-White Tile

The timeless black-and-white tiles are the star of the show in the kitchen of this West Hollywood apartment. The room plays off its limited color palette by keeping everything in the monochromatic black-and-white family. A rug wouldn’t do anything but distract from the bold pattern, and the tile makes for the most perfect retro style.

13. Dark Wood Having Its Moment

There is something sultry about a dark wood floor shining beneath ornate antiques — and this 1909 Los Angeles home is a perfect example. Its untouched hardwood floors are one of the original architectural details that give this house its “creepy, sexy, vintage vibe.” While some of its rooms do include rugs, the dining room is an absolute stunner without one.

14. A Chic, Sleek Basement Lounge

The owners of this Chicago cottage knew its 900-square-foot basement would make a perfect lounge. After they removed the carpet, they decided to keep things sleek — no rug needed. Books, lamps, games, and DIY flower mirrors add plenty of intrigue. All that’s left to do, the owners say, is to install a “proper Chicago basement bar.”