One of our most frequently asked questions from clients and followers alike is how to find the perfect rug. With literally millions of options, it can be overwhelming when making the final decision on such a fundamental investment. From size to fibers to colors and patterns, I’ve crafted a definitive guide to selecting the perfect rug for every space that we use here at Lexi Westergard Design. Below, find our best tips and tricks for sizing and selecting rugs.
Because we typically source wholesale products for our clients that are only available to-the-trade, you can shop our favorite retail options below. If you’re interested in our full service interior design services, you can read more about our interior design process here.
RUG MATERIALS GUIDE
Wool is great because it is one of the most durable and softest materials available. High traffic areas like family rooms are perfect for wool rugs because they are soft to the touch, but can withstand daily wear and tear. While wool rugs are often the most expensive option, they prove to be a wise investment as they last for years and years.
When investing in wool, consider the location and make sure it’s in an entirely dry environment. Wool will soak up any moisture and can mildew. Additionally, be aware that wool rugs shed! They’ll shed less over time, but some extra vacuuming will be necessary to start.
Synthetic such as polyester, viscose or polypropylene rugs are a great budget friendly option if you are wanting to have the look of wool without the price tag. They don't last as long as a wool or natural fiber rug and can be a little tricky to clean.
Natural fiber rugs like jute and sisal aren’t soft on your feet, but are great for layering slightly smaller, patterned rugs on top. With a world of textures and weaves, jute and sisal provide an organic and textural layer to a space.
Outdoor rugs are great for under a kitchen table or high traffic areas. They are easy to clean since you can hose them off when they get dirty.
RUG SIZING GUIDE
Common Rug sizes in living room include 8x10’, 9x12’, 10x14’, and even 12x15’ for extra large living rooms
Don’t let your rug extend too far beyond the back of the sofa, I typically like the back legs to just barely be on the rug
Keep side tables all the way on or all the way off (so the table is entirely stable)
A large rug in a living room can help make a space feel bigger, just make sure you have at least 6’ on all sides between the rug and the wall.
Under a king size bed, you could use either an 8x10’ or 9x12’ depending on the size of the room it is in
Keep 8 inches between the edge of the rug and the front of your nightstands and extend past the front end of the bed by at least a couple feet
Queen size beds work perfectly with 8x10’ rugs and nicely anchor the room
Make sure you have at least 8-10 inches of space between the rug and the wall
The biggest rule for sourcing a rug in the dining room is ensuring all dining chairs fit entirely on the rug
With all the chairs tucked in, leave an extra 8” extending behind them
Typical sizes under a dining table are 6x9’, 8x10’ or 9x12’
Most kitchens will call for a runner vs. area rug
I typically opt for vintage in the kitchen for its durability and added color to the space
Leave at least 4” on either side of the rug so the kitchen tile or wood is still exposed
RUG STYLING SECRETS
Yes, you totally can layer rugs over other area rugs or wall to wall carpet. Rugs help bring color and texture to a space and also help the room feel anchored or grounded. Layer area rugs over low-pile wall to wall carpet, but make sure to use a rug pad to keep it in place.
When layering two rugs on top of each other on hardwoods make sure the layered rug is about 2/3 of the size of the larger area rug. While it’s ideal to have the front legs of the furniture anchored on both layers of rugs, you have a little more flexibility here than an unlayered rug. Keep 10” of the top layered rug extending around the coffee or dining table if it can’t reach under the feet of the furniture.
Mixing Rugs in Adjoining Spaces
You never want to use the same rug twice in a space. This looks too formal and repetitive and lacks the rich, layered look we’re so known for. if you can see both rugs from one space, make sure they look cohesive. One rug could be more neutral rug like a jute, sisal or even a neutral geometric paired with a rug with more color or pattern.
Wool rugs should be professionally cleaned once a year. You can spot clean your rug at home using a mild soap with a soft bristle brush. Do not use carpet cleaner on area rugs - the chemicals are too harsh on natural materials and can break down the fibers. Vacuum occasionally without bristles. Shake your rug out once every couple of months. Outdoor rugs can be rinsed with a hose and hung to dry to avoid any mildewing.
Shop some of my favorite retail rugs below and stay tuned for our upcoming guide on sourcing vintage rugs soon!