Reasons to Go Rugless (And Proof Your Room Could Be Better For It)

updated Apr 7, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
a room with light gray walls, door, and couch with a bright yellow accent chair
(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

Rugs are the textured, sometimes-patterned anchor for many rooms. They add color underfoot, as well as softness to a space. While rugs are a “must-have” for many homes (including renters with leases that require them), don’t think you have to add a rug to a room. In fact, there are a few reasons why you might want to go rug-less entirely. Don’t believe me? These dazzling real-life rooms with bare floors might turn you on to the rug-free side.

Credit: Chloe Berk

1. You want to avoid additional visual clutter.

The expansive and colorful book collection is clearly the focal point of this beautiful Brooklyn living room. Why add a rug that could potentially draw the eye away from the bookcase? 

Credit: Viv Yapp

Take a cue from this Swedish apartment and skip the rug altogether if you’re going for a monochromatic theme. Here, the light-colored floor blends with the sofa and even the wall for a crisp, clean look. 

(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

2. Your floors are already stunning.

If you have gorgeous floors —patterned tiles, earthy textures or even just beautiful wood planks — feel free to go rugless to let your floor surfaces shine. Above, it would be a crime to cover up the vintage tiled floors in this Spanish apartment.

When you’re going for a stark minimalist look, like the one shown in this Dutch living room,  a rug simply isn’t necessary. The concrete flooring might feel chilly, but adds to the minimalist aesthetic. 

(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

The modern Spanish kitchen above is another space that needs no visual boost from a rug; the tiles do all the show stopping.

(Image credit: Viv Yapp)

In this monochromatic, minimal home in Hong Kong the occupants decided to forgo a rug in the dining room. This choice allows the stunning herringbone patterned wood floors to really stand out.

(Image credit: Federico Paul)

In this Buenos Aires apartment, light highlights the herringbone pattern of the wood floors, creating a warm color and an interesting texture that needs no covering up.

(Image credit: Melanie Rieders)

3. You don’t want to visually divide the space.

If you have a small studio, or a room that already has visual dividers, you might not want to use rugs to further chop up the space. By keeping the floor clear of rugs, the room may feel larger and airier. In Alexandra’s Brooklyn studio apartment above, a rug-less living area feels surprisingly spacious.

(Image credit: Sherrie and Oliver)

Here’s another small studio that’s better without a rug; even a small rug would clutter up the space and divide it too harshly.

(Image credit: Lula Poggi)

This home in Barcelona isn’t all that small, but there are already a lot of visual dividing elements, like a built-in shelf, different flooring types, a brick wall, a tiled nook and more. A rug could look great, but the beautiful wood floors hold their own.

(Image credit: Morgan Schemel)

4. You don’t want to eat on top of a rug

A rug can define a space and add interest and comfort to a home, but not everyone loves the idea of having a rug in the dining room (especially if you have small children in the home) and putting it at risk of damage from food and drink. Luckily, not all dining rooms need a rug. Monochromatic colors, sturdy furniture and even soft textiles on the bench define the space above.

(Image credit: Winkie Visser)

5. You need room for dancing!

Farida’s home in Amsterdam has a lot of wide open space in the main living area because she likes clean, uncluttered spaces. And she loves to dance! Even if you’re not a dancer, you might be someone who moves their furniture around a lot. A rug-free room can be a friction-less one that’s flexible for any functions your room needs to fulfill.

(Image credit: Mackenzie Schieck)

6. You just aren’t a rug person.

In her house tour, Suki said her biggest embarrassment was the lack of rugs. “I am Korean and am not used to having one. I am still debating if I should get one,” she wrote.