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Choosing the Right Area Rug

Area rugs can be both functional and beautiful. The right area rug will ground your furniture and complete your room layout. Here are two important things to consider, beyond color and style, when selecting the best rug for your space:


Knowing which size to choose can be difficult because there are so many options. Taping your rug out with painters tape before purchasing is a great way to be sure you’re happy with the size. Keep reading to learn how to pick the best size rug for your space.

Area Rug Sizing Recommendations

Living Room: I recommend that the front feet of all pieces of furniture in the seating arrangement touch the area rug.
Typical sizes 8’ x 10’, 9’ x 12’, 10’ x 14’

Bedroom: The goal in a bedroom is for your feet to land on a soft rug when you exit the bed. I start my measurement a few inches from the face of the nightstand.
Typical sizes 8’ x 10’, 9’ x 12’

Dining Room: You need enough room to scoot out your chair in a dining room and still stay on the rug. Dining Rooms require large rugs.
Typical Sizes 8’ x 10’, 9’ x 12’

Kitchens: A small rug 2’ x 3’ by the sink is always nice. A runner also looks great in the kitchen, ideally the runner extends the length of the bank of cabinets it is adjacent to.
Typical Sizes: 2’ x 3’, 2’ x 5’ , 2’-6” x 7’, 2’-6” x 9’


There are many great options for rug materials: wool, polyester, jute, nylon, cotton, silk, and viscose. Selecting the right material for the right location is important. Below you will find my recommendations for which materials to use for specific areas.

Material Recommendations

Wool: Wool is durable and soft underfoot. It is stain-, dust-, and flame-resistant, but they don’t hold up against humidity and can be expensive. Wool rugs are my preference in most cases, as long as the budget allows.

Cotton: Cotton is an inexpensive alternative to wool. Cotton rugs are most often flat-woven and are fairly durable and soft. I have found them hard to clean, however some companies make machine washable cotton rugs.

Silk: Silk is the most expensive option. Silk rugs are luxuriously soft and have a beautiful iridescent quality. They must be cleaned professionally and can wear down easily. I only recommend silk rugs in primary and guest bedrooms.

Jute & Sisal: These textured natural fiber rugs are firm and affordable. Both jute and sisal rugs require special cleaning, they can stain a coffee color when they get too wet. Jute and sisal look wonderful layered with other rugs.

Rugs are an important design element and can be a big investment. Getting it right is important. If you need help in selecting the perfect rug for your space, please contact Niche Homes Studio, our team would love to help you.

Kayley Danielson is Niche Homes Director of Design. Read more of Kayley’s design advice or follow her on Instagram.

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