How to choose the perfect rug for your space

McMillan Design | Cable St Project

Rugs are a great addition to a room and really help a space feel complete… a bit like the icing on the cake.

Given they can have such an impact on the look and feel of your room, and they are also generally an expensive investment, we find many people are daunted by the thought of selecting a rug for their space.

In fact, this is probably one of the most commonly asked questions we get from clients.

Given how important rugs are to a space, if possible, we recommend starting with your rug selection when considering the design of your room.

Now, that’s all well and good if you’re starting from scratch, but if not, don’t fear, we’ve got you covered with some hot tips to ensure the addition of a rug to your space will take it to the next level!

Size matters – big or bigger?

The size of your rug is the most important thing to start with, and one of the most common mistakes we see people make. When a rug is too small for a space, the room can look a bit lost and unfinished. A rug literally grounds your room and furniture, so choosing a rug that is proportional to your space is key.  

For your living room, we recommend a rug big enough so all the furniture can sit fully on top of it, without feeling crowded. Or, alternatively, choose a rug where the front legs of your sofa and armchairs sit on the rug. Ensure you leave at least a 30cm border of floor around your rug so that the room doesn’t feel swamped.

If you choose a rug for your dining room, make sure that your table and chairs sit fully on the rug, even when you’re seated at the table. We recommend adding 50cm around your table to allow space for seating and, voila, that’s your ideal rug size!

In bedrooms, we like to have at least two-thirds of the bed sitting on the rug, giving you a nice warm spot to pop your feet when you get out of bed in the morning!

McMillan Design | Cable St Project

Style… bold or neutral?

McMillan Design | Cable St Project

Now this is a little trickier, and all comes down to the overall look you are trying to achieve. A rug can be like a piece of art and really make a statement in your room if you wish, or it can provide a lovely neutral base, if you prefer to let other elements add the personality and style to your room.  

We suggest starting with the style and colour scheme of your home and decide if you want your rug to make a statement or blend with your existing pieces. Take into account the colour of your floors, walls and the furniture to ensure a well-balanced space.

Which material – natural or synthetic?

There are so many materials available these days from natural (sisal, wool, silk, etc) to synthetic (polypropylene, solution-dyed acrylic, PET, etc) so there really is an option no matter what your requirements! Considering both the look and feel you are after, and the area of use, will affect your decision here.  

Plant-based materials (eg cotton and linen) are often the most affordable but may not be as durable or easy to clean, whilst wool, which tends to be a bit more expensive, is known for its durability. Depending on your situation (kids and pets anyone?!) you may want to choose a synthetic fibre, such as solution-dyed acrylic or PET, which can be easily spot cleaned. There are some amazing indoor-outdoor rug options these days that can be perfect for those more challenging spaces where spills and stains are a bigger risk.

McMillan Design | Cable St Project

Rugs really are a  wonderful way to add warmth (literally and figuratively!) to your space, so what better time than now, with these cooler months ahead, than to add some rugs to your home!  

We hope these tips help give you confidence choosing the perfect rug for your space, but if you’d like some more advice or a bit more hands-on help, then I’d love to hear from you! Just drop me an email or enquire about working together here