How to Choose the Right Rug

Shaynna Blaze provides her expert advice to help you select the perfect rug for your space.

Not only can a rug add warmth, texture, colour or pattern to a room, it can really help define a space. Here are a few things to remember when choosing a rug.


If there’s one real no-no it’s when a rug looks like an island. That is, it’s floating on it’s own in the centre of a room with furniture up against the walls like wallflowers, with neither connecting with the other.

So at least put the front legs of the sofa and armchairs right up close to or sitting on the edge of rug with the coffee table on the rug.

Or if the rug is big enough, put all the furniture on the rug, making sure there’s still enough room to move around in the middle.


Large rugs

 A large rug in an open plan living area creates a sense of intimacy. It acts like a signal that this area is for relaxing.

Rugs work really well to create different zones in an open-plan space, each with their own identity. A rug under the dining table and another in the lounge area will differentiate these two spaces, even though they might be right next to each other.

And remember, rugs under dining tables really need to be large enough to fit a dining chair when it is pulled out from the table so the chair legs don’t fall off the edge of the rug.

Small rugs

There’s nothing worse than a rug that is too small, so if in doubt, go larger. You can always place furniture on a larger rug, but there’s nothing you can do to make a small rug look bigger when it is dwarfed by large furniture around it.

Standard sizes

Standard rug sizes are 170 x 240cm and 200 x 300cm and these will generally suit a two- to three-seat sofa and an armchair or two in different configurations.

Rugs tend to look bigger hanging in a showroom than they do when you put them on the floor at home, so when in doubt choose the larger size. And of course, always use your measuring tape first! Measure your space and furniture at home and take a sketch with you when you go shopping, as this will help you visualise how different sized rugs will work in a space.

Round rugs

Round rugs work really well on their own in an entrance foyer where there might not be much room for anything more than a console table. This way you don’t just have bare floors in a space with little or no furniture in it.


You can also instantly create a cosy reading (or napping!) nook in the corner of a room with a large armchair and floor lamp sitting together on a round rug.

Same colour

A rug and couch in the same colour gives the illusion that the space is larger than it is, as you are joining the footprint of the rug and couch together. So this is a good trick for small rooms.

Want more? We thought you might like this video.

Like this artice? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.