Rug Buying Guide - Where to Start...

OAKRugs by Chelsea
Black and white Contemporary Rug

Not everyone has a degree interior design, and finding a rug for your home is especially one of the most difficult parts of furnishing a home. There are so many styles, colors and qualities that you'll gaze upon, that it ends up being difficult making a final choice..

Here's a guide to help narrow down your choices, to get you that perfect rug for your home. Important factors to consider:


Quality is important to consider, especially when budget is a concern.

Handknotted wool or wool and silk rugs are the king of quality, when it comes to rugs. These rugs will outlast all the others, and eventually become antiques. The finer the knot, the higher the quality. Lower quality handknotted rugs will use glue on the back to keep it together, but these glues will wash off/degrade over time.

 In the short term, low quality rugs are cheaper, but they will have be replaced after a relatively short use (depending on the amount of traffic). If you have a heavy traffic environments, you will want to consider rugs that will stand up to that. Natural materials will last the ages, whereas the synthetics fibers will be crushes, and look flat/dead in parts. They are also much more difficult to clean than natural fibers.


For this, you need to think of the environment of the rug. What other colors are around it? For example the flooring, the fabric of the sofa, the drapes, finishes of furniture. If you have a neutral room you can put a rug with bright or bright colors to as an accent piece to give a little life to the environment. If you have a lot of color than perhaps a more neutral rug is more suitable. Or use existing colors to tie the room together. Careful not to be too "matchy-matchy".


This is more arbitrary. Style is about expression - do you want to be bold, or understated. What style is the rest of the house? Contemporary, transitional, traditional, deco, mid-century, cabin, eclectic...The list goes on. Have something that works with the rest of the house.

Perhaps you have a lot of artwork, and don't want the rug to take away with bold designs. Don't underestimate the possibility of a vintage rug in any space. Classic rugs work in many settings as there are so many types of them.


Size is tricky, so we will have a separate guide to sizes of rugs, but generally speaking you don't want to go too small, or you may end up with "postage stamp syndrome" or too large that you cover your beautiful flooring. A good idea is to mark out the ideal size you want, using blue painters tape. You can try several sizes and then stick with the one that seems best. Then measure that blue space, and look for a rug as close to that size as possible.

Did we miss anything? Let us know other things you think.

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