Rugs are such a great way to bring a room together. Whether it's to set a color scheme, add functionality to a space, incorporate textures and patterns into the design plan, or just simply make a room more cozy, a rug can do it all. But how do you pick just the right one? There are several things to consider...especially size, shape, material, and style.
To figure an appropriate size, you'll first want to be sure your room is arranged how you want it. Space your furniture out just how you'll have it once the rug is placed. Here are a few general rules of thumb on rug sizes in different areas of your home (though rules can be broken!):
Be sure the rug is large enough for all your seating furniture to place at least the front two legs on top of it. This will help anchor all your pieces as one grouping and make the space feel unified.
Measure the dining table and add 2' to all sides. An area rug underneath should be at least that large. This will allow all the chairs to stay on the rug even when they're being used.
Use a runner on one or both sides of the bed, or place a larger area rug underneath the bottom 2/3 or more of the bed.
Most of this will come down to functionality of the rug. Will your rug be used in a high-traffic area? Do you want it just to be a soft cushion for your feet? Depending on where and how you'll use the rug will determine an appropriate material. Click here for an excellent guide on which rug material is most appropriate for how and where it'll be used. Also consider if you will need to have a rug that is easily washable if it's in a higher-trafficked area.
Most area rugs are rectangular, but sometimes a square or oval/circle rug may make more sense. Sometimes I like to break up a 'boxy' look to a room with a round rug for some added interest. Stick to a rectangular rug for a safer, more traditional look.
A rug, whether small or large, can really set a tone for the room. If I'm starting from scratch with a room design, sometimes I'll first choose a rug that can set the color scheme or style for the rest of the space. If there's already a strong pattern or color palette throughout the room, a solid coordinating color or subtle pattern in the rug may be all that's needed.
Rugs are also a great way to add in textures. A fluffy sheepskin rug under an easy chair gives a warm cozy feel, whereas a jute or sisal rug can make a space feel more beachy or cottage-like and pulls in a more natural feel. Even a standard wool area rug over a hardwood or other non-carpeted area will really bring an overall comfort and homey feel to the space.