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Everything Begins

How to Use Rugs in Decorating.

Posted on August 4, 2014 by Amy There have been 0 comments

A designer rug can dramatically change the look and feel of a room.  Aside from designer cushions and scatter cushions and wall art, a floor rug is one of the easiest and most effective ways to finish off the look of a room or interior space.

When it comes to choosing and purchasing area rugs, it is really important that you take the time to carefully consider your space and existing decor to ensure you maximise your investment.  Unlike with art prints or designer cushions, which you can often purchase the minute you fall in love with them and be sure to find a space for them somewhere within your home, when it comes to floor rugs you need to ensure you give thought to several factors, including:

  1. Size & Scale | Decorating with rugs is based on the principle of proportion, so you need to carefully consider the size of the room or space in which you intend to place the rug, as well as any furniture it will be paired with.
  2. Colour and Texture | If you are designing a new room or decorating a room from scratch then this can be quite simple, you can quite literally find a rug that you love in style and colour and have this as the focal point and basis for the rest of your room design.  However if you already have an existing colour palette, furniture and soft furnishings to work with then you will need to ensure there is balance between the different elements.
  3. Your Lifestyle | Do you have children or pets, will the rug be placed in a high traffic or low traffic area?

When chosen carefully, a designer rug can anchor, define and totally complete a room.

Decorating With Rugs | Chevron Rug Decorating with Rugs Ideas | A project by Shea McGee Design featuring a gorgeous Chevron Rug - similar available from everythingbegins.com

So you want to buy a new rug to add interest, colour and texture to your space?  Then here are some ideas on how to decorate with area rugs to get you started!

Size & Scale

When choosing a nice, new designer rug for your space it needs to scale with the size of the room and rest of your decor.  For example if you purchase a rug that is too small, it is going to look a little lost in the space and likewise if you choose a rug that is too large it is going to look like it has been squashed in.

As a general rule, when decorating with rugs and choosing rugs for a living room, think of your rug as the anchor point.  When it comes to size there are two schools of thought:

  1. Either go for a modern, oversized look, choosing a rug on which all of your furniture can sit on top of the rug ie chairs, couch and coffee table.
  2. If space is limited, opt for a more traditional look, at the very least ensuring that the front two legs of your couch can fit on the rug, as well as your chairs.

A larger size area rug, that allows for furniture to be placed on the rug is always the best option.  It will ground your furniture and look fantastic.

Decorating with Rugs | Chevron and Striped Oversize Rug Decorating with Rugs Ideas | Chevron and Striped Rugs in the designs of Studio McGee.

What about tips for choosing rugs for a dining area, or under a dining table?

Ideally, if space and your budget permits the best size area rug for under a dining table is one that is large enough to accommodate the dining chair when it is pulled out from the table, ie the chair stays on the rug even when pulled out.  This keeps the look together.

As a general rule of thumb, a rectangular six-seater dining table generally needs at a minimum a 2m x 3m rug and an eight-seater a 2.5m x 3.5m. These sizes should at least allow for the chairs to still be on the rug when people are sitting on them.

Decorating with rugs idea, rectangle rug under dining table Another decorating with rugs idea - a rectangle rug under a rectangle dining table. Image via The Design Files.

Don’t always assume a rectangular shape rug is best either.  Sometimes a round or square rugs can look incredible.  For example, a round rug under a round dining table looks pretty amazing.

Decorating with Round Rugs Round Rugs look fantastic under Round Dining or Meeting Tables. Image via Pinterest.

Round Rug Under Kitchen Dining Table Another example of a round rug under a dining table. Image via The Design File

Whatever shape you go for, try to always allow for an extra 60cm from the edge of each side of the table, as this will ensure that your chair legs stay on the rug when pulled out.  If you’re really not sure on the size, your best bet, is to get out some masking tape or paper and map out the size of the rug you’re considering on the floor - this will give you a clear, accurate and visual picture.


Designer rugs are also fantastic for defining zones within your rooms, especially in large open-plan living spaces as is often the case in warehouse style and apartment living.  For example you can use rugs to differentiate between your living and dining areas.  The furniture for each space can be placed on it’s own large rug and tied in with the accent colours from those spaces.

Choosing a Style of Rug

Today there is a plethora of places you can buy rugs, from cheap, mass produced rugs from places like Ikea and discount homeware stores to designer rug stores and online homeware stores specialising in designer rugs  and area rugs where you can view and buy rugs online.

How does the old saying go “Buy cheap, buy twice” - as with all material objects, this stands true for rugs.  If you choose to buy a cheap rug, then it is likely that it is not going to stand up too well over time, afterall rugs are placed on the floor and often open to large amounts of foot traffic and general wear and tear.    Rugs that are made from the best quality materials and well constructed by hand by talented artisans can last over twenty years.

You only need take a look at some of the inspirational rooms on Pinterest or Instagram to see what amazing impact a carefully selected rug can have on a room.  Don’t be afraid to use bold colours and rich pattens, some of the best rooms with that instant wow factor are those that feature graphic rugs and patterned rugs.  They can really make a space.  They add texture, colour and interest and create instant impact.  That is pretty incredible for one item in a room.   If you would love to refresh your space but really don’t have the budget right now to update your furniture, then definitely consider a new patterned floor rug. Likewise if you are renting and living in a somewhat drab place that you are unable to style up with art prints, paintings and art works then a rug is a great way to liven up your space.

patterned-rug Patterned rugs are fantastic at adding colour, texture and interest to interior spaces. Image via Pinterest.

If you are designing a new room from scratch, you are lucky, you can simply find your absolute favourite rug and then use that as the focal piece for the room, using it as the basis of the colour scheme for the rest of the room.  If however, you already have some great pieces in your living space and are simply looking to add a new layer of colour and texture with a new designer rug, then look for colours in a rug that complement a favourite piece of artwork you already have hanging or colours that blend and tie in with your other soft furnishings.

At Everything Begins we have just launched a fantastic new range of Designer Rugs and Area Floor Rugs online.   Our collection now includes rectangular shaped rugs as well as round rugs and square rugs as well as hall runners and rug runners, including a fantastic collection of graphic, patterned rugs.  You can view and shop the complete collection of our Designer Rugs by clicking here.

This post was posted in Designer Rugs, Modern Interior Design Ideas and was tagged with Area Rugs, Designer Rugs, Floor Rugs, How to Decorate with Area Rugs, How to Use Rugs in Decorating, Interior Styling, Round Rugs, Rug Ideas for Living Room, Xavier & Me