The ultimate guide to buying a rug

by Rustic Charm

One of the most effective ways to add interest to a room is with a gorgeous rug. Not only do they look beautiful, they add colour, create warmth, and build dimension, making them a must-have décor piece. However, buying the right rug is easier said than done. From colour-matching to pile options, design, and size, there’s a lot that impacts your rug choice. We’ll also give you our top styling tips, so once you have your rug, you know how to make it work.


1. Find the best size

No matter the room, it’s tempting to err on the side of caution and choose a smaller rug size. However, you’ll probably end up either returning it or resenting it. Small-sized rugs do a huge disservice to your room, and actually make the proportions of your entire room look “off” — did you know a small rug in a big room can shrink the whole room down? When in doubt, always size up. You need to consider your room dimensions, as well as how much furniture is around.

So, what size is the “right” size?

Living Rooms

Typical rug sizes for a living area are 8×10, 9×12, or 10×14. Whatever size you end up getting, make sure the front legs of the furniture are on the rug. Additionally, the rug should have at least 6” on each side of the furniture.

Dining Rooms

We usually recommend that dining room rugs are 6×9, 8×10, or 9×12. Ensure it extends out to where your chairs are, not just the table — all the chairs should fit on the rug. Make sure the rug extends past the table by at least 8” on each side.


This one depends on how big your bed is, as well as room size. For a King bed, 9x12 is a good size. You should leave 8” of space from the bedside tables to the beginning of the rug, and leave room at the foot of the best so the rug can extend here by a least 30cm.

We recommend an 8x10 rug for most bedrooms with a Queen bed. The rug should have at least 8” of space on the sides and bottom of the bed, making sure the rug doesn’t go past the bedside tables. This bedroom image shows our Bali Rug in Blue.


2. Consider colour, style & pattern

You probably already have an idea about the aesthetics you’d like for your rug. Whether you choose a soft neutral or bold eye-catching piece, your rug will change the dynamic of your room. There isn’t really a right or wrong when it comes to style, as it’s very personal, but there are a few points to think about.

If your room is already quite busy or small, you might prefer a muted or neutral rug. These won’t take up visual space but still provide a copy feel. If you have fairly plain furniture, you’ve got more options when it comes to a busy pattern or bold colour. When choosing the colour, it can be helpful to choose a colour that’s already in the room and draw from that. For example, if you have a dark blue feature wall, a rug with some navy tones in it will complement your space nicely.

High pile & low pile

Decide where you’d like a high pile or low pile. If you don’t already know, these terms refer to the fabric loops in the carpet. “Low pile” carpet has shorter and tighter loops, while “high pile” carpet has taller and looser loops. High pile rugs are fluffier, and good for places with limited foot traffic because they can be tricky to clean. Low pile rugs are excellent for high foot traffic zones or areas prone to mess, such as playrooms, dining areas and entryways. People with dogs often opt for low-pile rug options, too.


3. Don’t be scared of layering rugs

First of all, you can totally put a rug over your carpet flooring. Many bedrooms have carpet, and rugs still look beautiful in there. You can also layer rugs over other rugs. This adds heaps of character to your space and gives you opportunities to mix and match colours and patterns. Layered rugs are especially engaging when done using vintage or Persian-style rugs.

You can also get the exact dimensions you want through layering. For example, say you love a particular patterned rug, but it’s a little too small for your space — you can “extend” its borders by putting a jute rug underneath.


4. Think about durability

For dining rooms and living areas, choose a rug that’s going to be more durable. These high-traffic areas will require a hardier material. Additionally, dining room rugs will have to face scraping chair legs and food spills. Simply do your research before you buy — for example, a low-pile rug for the dining room will be easier to clean.


Be inspired by our collection

Rustic Charm Interiors have a curated collection of Hamptons-inspired rugs for any room of the house. Browse the range online, and fall in love with your rooms newest centerpiece.


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