A good rug should be proportionate to the room and its furniture. A rug that is too small will look insignificant and a bit lost, while a rug that is clearly too big will look as though it should be somewhere else!
In a living room, the rug should fit the size of your seating area and be as large as possible within it. If the sofas and chairs are against the wall, the rug should be big enough to fit under or just in front of the front feet of the furniture and extend to take in the coffee table; if the seating is in the middle of the room, the rug should be large enough to fit comfortably under, or just in front of, all the furniture.
In a dining room, the rug should cover the area under the table, with at least a 60cm border all round.
In a bedroom, you need to decide whether you’re going to cover the entire floor (including fully or partially under the bed) or put smaller rugs on either side of the bed.
Be sure to measure up before you go shopping!
Should you choose rectangular, square, oval or round? In open-plan areas, straight-edged rugs are good for defining one or more spaces, while round edges offer an interesting contrast to linear walls and furniture and can soften an overall look. A small rug of any shape can also add a pop of colour in a defined area, such as under a coffee table.
This is perhaps your most important decision, as the colour and style you choose can decide the whole look of your room. Is your room modern or more traditional?
If you already have – or plan to have – lots of colour and pattern in your walls and furnishings, it is more sensible to go with a neutral or a single colour, perhaps choosing a secondary colour from one of your furnishing fabrics. In this way, the rug forms a solid foundation upon which to build the rest of your décor and prevents everything becoming too busy or hectic.
On the other hand, if your room is fairly neutral, a boldly coloured or patterned rug – either modern or traditional, such as a beautiful Persian-style rug – can become the focal point, adding a splash of colour that highlights and enhances the overall look.