Rugs are such an important player in interior design. They can bring warmth and character to your home, define a living space, or even tie a whole room together. Rug choices, like size and placement can either make or break a room, so I’m going to give you a few pointers to help you get it right. Whether you're looking for an area rug for your living room or bedroom, or even wondering whether to use a rug at all, this guide will help clear up all your rug questions.

Before buying a rug, it is best to do a bit of groundwork to figure out the best option for your space, rather than buying something just because you like it. When you make a more educated choice based on your lifestyle and room requirements your rug will be a better fit with your home and you will love it more and more over time.

A rug is a great way to introduce colour, texture and pattern into a room. Natural sisals for warmth, or plush woollen rugs for colour or pattern. You can make the rug the focal point by keeping the room neutral and then choosing a striking rug, and tying the room together by pulling colours from the rug to match in the accessories. Or, if there’s a lot going on in the room in terms of pattern and colour you choose a more subtle rug to rest the eye and anchor the space.


Interior Design by Amber Interiors. Image by Tessa Neustadt | amberinteriordesign.com


As a general rule, living room furniture should be half on and half off the rug. This pulls the look together without swamping the room. The rug should extend at least 30cm on each side of the furniture.

If you would prefer to do a room sized rug leave approximately 45cm around the perimeter of the room. Bare floor around the room will make the room look bigger.

If you have a large living room and therefore rug, you can break the space up by layering s smaller rug under the coffee table, or two rugs side by side like the picture above.


Interior Design by Studio McGee | studio-mcgee.com


Adding a rug to a kitchen can be a great way to soften a space that is usually only hard finishes. This is also the case in bathrooms and laundries. The rule here is to leave about a 20 - 30cm gap between the rug and the cupboards. Too much gap and the rug will look lost, too small a gap and the rug will swamp the space.

In a galley kitchen make sure the ends of the rug don’t extend past the end of the island. Ideally you want the runner to be shorter than the island bench.


Interior Design by Amber Interiors. Image by Tessa Neustadt | amberinteriordesign.com


In the bedroom you want to place the rug so that the bottom two thirds of the bed over the rug and the top third is off. You want the rug to extend about a metre on each side of the bed so that it doesn’t feel too small and gives you enough room to stand on the rug when you get in and out of bed.

You can also place a small rug next to the bed on the same side as the door. This look visually invites you to the bed, and again gives you a nice place to stand when getting in or out of bed. In this case you want the rug to sit about 20cm out from the nightstand and finish short of the bed.

 Interior Design by Cortney Bishop | cortneybishop.com/ 


Rugs under dining tables look great and really anchor the table to the room. However, sometimes depending on what is happening around the table it might be best to go without.

The rug under a dining table should extend out about 60cm from the table. This way the chairs will stay on the rug even when they’re pulled out.

For a banquette the rug should sit about 10cm out from the built in seats and then extend about 60cm out from the table at the other side.


Interior design by Kate Marker Interiors. Image by Emily Kennedy | katemarkerinteriors.com


Rugs make a space feel warm and inviting, making entries and hallways the perfect space for beautiful rugs, You can be a bit more daring with your rugs here as there is typically not a lot of other decoration in this space.  

The general rule for runners is to have them 10 - 15 cm narrower and 45 – 60cm shorter than the hallway.

If you have furniture in your hallway it is best to leave the rug ‘floating’ and not under the furniture, unless it is unavoidable of course.

 Interior design by Amber Interiors. Image by Tessa Neustadt | amberinteriordesign.com 


Layering is a great way to add more interest to your space with rugs. The great thing about layering is it allows you to use your favourite small rug in a larger space, or define seperate areas in one living space.

We love the warmth and character of vintage oriental rugs, but they’re one of a kind nature means you don’t always get the exact size you want. Or, sometimes a delicate pattern can be overwhelming on a larger scale so it’s good to break it up. Placing your patterned rug over a natural rug is a great solution, but be careful to think about scale. You want it to feel intentional rather than looking like an after thought.

You can definitely use a rug in a carpeted room to break up the space. Be careful to use a low pile rug on carpet and thicker rugs just become too much with the softness of the carpet underneath. Style the rug as you normally would if you were on a hard floor.

Layering rugs works best when they are different sizes. One should be large and more dominant and the others should be smaller and act as accents. The larger rug should be placed straight along side the furniture, and the smaller accent rugs can then be placed at an angle. You won’t know how it’ll look until you’re layering them in the room, so play around experiment with angles and change the furniture to see what works best.

Hopefully I have given you enough info to confidently choose your next rug like a pro. If there’s anything I’ve missed please feel free to hit me up in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you have. You can also check out our stunning range of hand made rugs that will inspire you to get creative and put this guide to use. Happy Shopping!


Bec x

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