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  • 3 Things to Think About When Choosing a Rug: Color, Texture, and Size

    3 Things to Think About When Choosing a Rug: Color, Texture, and Size

    Choosing a rug for a space is a task that can easily veer into troubled waters; select the wrong one and it could throw off the entire feel of the room. Choose the right piece, however, and it can elevate the aesthetic. This is simply because an area rug, as the term indicates, is a large design item, covering most of the floor surface of a space and more or less setting the visual mood. There is no need for trepidation when shopping for one though; evaluating your options using the following categories will simplify the process and give you confidence in your decision.


    Color (and we‘ll include pattern in this category), should be the first point of reference. If the other design elements (furniture, lighting, paint, etc.) are already in place, then use the tones and aesthetic of those pieces as a guide. If the space is dominated by a lot of light pastels, choose a rug with a similar color and shade. If you're leaning toward something with a bold pattern and multiple colors, starting with the rug and working your way up, using the rug as a reference for adding the rest of the decor. Make sure you bring paint swatches or fabric samples to help with matching or coordinating colors to 

    Generally speaking, if the furnishings and wall coverings have been installed, it is easier to go with a neutral tone, either with a natural fiber rug like jute, wool in light shades, or simple patterns that nod to the wall color. Don‘t be shy though; if a boldly colored design like the Depiction Annora Multi by Stacy Garcia really speaks to you, and its tones are on par with the aesthetic of the space, go for it. It may be just the thing to lift the design level from safe to compelling.



    This is an often-overlooked aspect in the choice of an area rug. Most people naturally don‘t look past the color and pattern − especially when shopping online − but they should. Well curated textures will add depth and layers to the design of a space. Look for pieces that contrast with the existing textiles. If you have a couch with a soft, heavily textured upholstery, choose a rug with a low pile made from a material like sisal. Should your room include smoother surfaces such as a leather sectional or chair, aim for something full and fluffy like the Moroccan inspired Atlas 5IVY in hand-knotted wool from NW Rugs & Furniture. Apply the same principle with smaller décor items like pillows and throws for a rich, layered feel.

    Desert Gabbeh


    Sizing a rug is a relatively straightforward part of the process, but don‘t be tempted to go against the rules because an attractive piece isn’t available in a suitable size. Undersizing an area rug will make a room feel small and awkward. As a rule, covering the seating area is the standard, but making sure at least the front legs of chairs are on the textile is a satisfactory compromise. Most importantly, you and your guest‘s feet should be touching the rug when seated. See what we mean on our

    When it comes to a dining room, the chairs should all have room to be pulled out from under the table while still on the rug. If it’s a bedroom rug you’re sizing, it should extend at least a couple feet beyond the bed so that upon waking, your feet find a soft landing. Also to be considered is orientation, rectangular pieces fit rectangular spaces while square rooms look natural with square or round rugs such as the 8-foot diameter Desert Gabbeh by NW Rugs. This may sound obvious but it’s easy to be tempted away from a proper sizing when falling for an attractive textile not available in the right dimensions.

    Keep these three categories in mind while shopping and the experience will be simple and stress-free, and the results exceptional. Setting boundaries while designing is a good rule of thumb in general. Limiting the choices frees you up and prevents the paralysis of infinite options. It’s a concept that can be applied not just to choosing the rug, but the space as a whole.

    Check out NW Rugs & Furniture's vast collection of rugs of all colors, textures and sizes for your space.