How to Choose the Right Rug: Color, Style, and Staying Power

published Jun 14, 2017
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Knowing where to start when you’re choosing a rug can be tricky. In the end, it will come down to personal taste, but when you’re just trying to jump in, there are a few standard starting points that will help you. Since it can be overwhelming to sort through all the options on the market, our friends at Macy’s have culled from their collections a few recommendations that demonstrate how each one works.

Match the main color in your furniture to your rug.

Most rooms have a dominant color, usually found in the drapes or in the largest piece of furniture (like the sofa). Because a rug is a large color field, it can bring harmony or contrast to your room’s color scheme. To keep things simple, figure out what your room’s dominant color is, then let that color show up as a highlight in the rug. So if you’re working with a brown sofa, say, a rug with brown accents will complement it well.

Balance a colorful room with a neutral rug…

If you’ve got a lot of pattern in your furniture and drapes, a neutral rug can bring a room down to earth. It doesn’t have to be a solid style. Stripes and tone-on-tone textures can calm a room, while adding just the right amount of pattern or texture. Grounding colors include grays, browns and creams.

…or enliven a neutral room with a colorful rug.

If your room feels a little bit blah, a colorful rug can be an instant pick-me-up. To tie everything together, choose a pattern with a neutral accent that matches your furniture or curtains — for example, a royal blue rug with beige accents to match linen curtains, a robin’s egg blue rug with brown accents to match a chocolate-colored sofa, or a gold rug with gray accents to match a charcoal-colored chair.

Use texture to take your room to the next level.

Texture is an often-overlooked aspect of rug shopping, but it matters! You want a rug that will feel amazing when you’re barefoot at home. For a really luxurious feel, choose a hand-tufted rug. They’re made using loops of yarn, fed through a base canvas to create a pattern. Then the yarn is sheared to make a plush, cut-pile surface that feels super soft to the touch.

Choose quality materials for a rug that lasts.

Rugs come in all types of materials, and some are more resilient than others. Wool is a wonderful natural fiber that’s strong, durable and holds color well. It’s sometimes woven with viscose, a silk substitute, to create an ultrasoft surface that’s easy to clean and care for. You can also increase the longevity of your rug (and your floors) with a rug pad, which protects from scratches, wear and tear as it holds the rug in place.

This post was created by Apartment Therapy’s Creative Studio and is sponsored by Macy’s.
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