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Picking the Perfect Rug for your Space

Byron Bay Homewares Studio – Tigmi Trading

At one point or another, I'm sure we have all looked at a room in our homes and simply thought "something is missing," or "I need a rug to complete this room". We then go hunting (or endlessly scrolling online) to search for that perfect rug to complete the space; having various thoughts or questions about what size, shape, style, or material to look for. Or maybe you're out shopping and you see an eyecatching rug you'd like to incorporate into you're own space but have no idea where to place it. We hope this article will serve as the go-to guide you need to choose the right rug for your space, interior design style, and budget needs.

Rugs come in a variety of sizes, shapes, materials, thicknesses and have many benefits to where they are placed. They can be used for added color, texture, and added interest to an otherwise plain room. Rugs also help with sound absorption or minimize drafts. They can also help to visually separate or define a seating area in an open-concept space plan. There are many benefits to something as simple as a rug! Stop rug hunting or scrolling and keep reading for some straight forward tips, guidance, and rug inspiration.

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Rug Types

There are several types of rugs we need to understand before we start to incorporate them into our space. Here is a quick guide for the most common rugs:

  • Area Rugs are intended to cover the majority of your space.

  • Runners or kitchen runner rugs are usually found in hallways and are long and rectangular.

  • Natural/Freeform Rugs are made from a natural hide or synthetic materials with no defined shape.

  • Round Rugs are exactly as it sounds!

  • Rectangular or Square Rugs are often smaller in size. These are often bath rugs or doormats.

Pictured: Rug Types

Left to Right: Area Rug, Runner, Free Form from Wayfair

Runner rugs or kitchen runner rugs should be placed in areas that have high foot traffic such as the Kitchen, Entryway, Dining, or Mudroom. It's important to consider the rug pile height (thickness) for these areas. You don't want anything that will easily collect dirt, snag, or pull so look for an approximate pile height of 1/4" or shorter. These low-pile rugs will be easier to clean and maintain compared to rugs that have a greater thickness to them. Since these high traffic areas typically have a lot of use, we suggest looking for rugs with more patterns or colors so you can avoid having to frequently spot clean them.

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Size and Placement

Now let us get down to the actual rug size and placement guide. The size and shape of your rug will depend on the room or space you are placing it in. A rule of thumb for how to place an area rug is to always invest in a larger rug especially when you have a larger room. For living room rug placement, try to have at least the front legs of your furniture on the rug. This not only gives you a cleaner look but helps to avoid any tripping accidents. Rugs aren't meant to replace full carpet installation, so try to avoid having them straight up against the wall. When possible, allow plus or minus 24" in a larger living room, and 10"-18" in a smaller living room of clearance between the rug and the wall or any other obstruction. This negative space and breathing room will help other freestanding furniture such as a TV console or floor lamp to stand evenly on the floor.

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Dining room rugs are a great way to add comfort in your dining room as well to visually define the area. When it comes to rug placement in a dining room, the dining room rug size should be at least 24" longer and wider than your table so that chairs stay on the rug when they are pulled out. Optimally 30"-36" if you have space. The dining room rug size will vary depending on the size of your dining table.

Pictured: modern rugs for your living, dining, or bedroom

Left to Right: Urban Barn, Ikea, Structube

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Similar rules apply for bedroom rug placement. Allow enough clearance for circulation areas while making sure that furniture such as a bench is fully ontop and levelled with the floor. Allow for at least 8" of space between your rug and nightstand. A queen bed typically calls for a rug size of 8' x 10', while a king typically calls for 9' x 12'. However, these are rough guidelines and the rug size will vary in dimension depending on your bed frame and room size.

Creative Rug Placement: How to Layer Rugs Like a Pro

Holy City Chic, Pinterest

A great way to add interest to a room is through layering different types of rugs. Change things up by introducing different textures to create an organic feel. The two images above contrast shapes and textures to define the seating area as well as add more character. Since Jute rugs can feel a little rough, opt for a chenille mix, or create one statement rug by placing a large neutral rug underneath a small accent rug.

Pictured: Area Rug Boho Style


Pictured: Round Jute Rug

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Have fun with shapes and patterned rugs! The rules and guidelines for these fun shapes don't necessarily follow the same rules for area rugs. They can be used as extra accent decor just like the image above. This round jute rug brings an extra organic element to the space, playing off the ratan chair and wicker baskets. A designer tip? When you're having trouble deciding how to layout a room, start with a rug and keep in mind the tips we had just discussed to bring the whole room together. As well, consider your style. What existing items or design elements such as flooring do you have at play? If you have an existing neutral color scheme going on, introduce a rug with more color, and vice versa for a colorful room.

The possibilities are pretty endless here. Rugs are not only a great decor item, but they also help define, add interest, and minimize drafts or help with sound absorption. They can also start off as an inspirational item to style a room. Just remember when sourcing rugs to be mindful of the room you are placing them in, lifestyle, and care instructions. We hope you have fun reading our tips and spend less time scrolling or searching for that perfect rug. And remember, we're here to help!



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