The Complete Guide to Choosing the Perfect Rug
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The Complete Guide to Choosing the Perfect Rug

Are you trying to find the perfect rug for your home, but you don’t know where to begin? We know it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of options available. Discover how to choose the right rug with Tufenkian’s buying guide.

How to Place a Rug in Your Home

Start your rug search by asking yourself two fundamental questions:

  • Where do I want to place the rug?
  • What is the purpose of the rug?

Do you want to put the rug in the living room, dining room, bedroom, kitchen, entryway, or some other space such as a den or study? Deciding on the placement of the rug will help you define the purpose of the piece.

What Is the Purpose of the Rug You’re Buying?

What do you intend the rug to do? If you want the rug to liven up the space or become a conversation piece, you should focus on aesthetics. If you need the rug to warm up bare feet or withstand a lot of traffic, you should emphasize function.

How to Choose the Right Rug Size

Continue your rug search by answering two more questions:

  • What size rug do I need?
  • What rug shape should I select?

Choosing the right-sized rug is essential for creating balance in a room. A rug that’s too large can shrink the space. A rug that’s too small may get overpowered by other design elements. Do you want to buy an area rug to fill a room as a replacement for wall-to-wall carpeting? Ensure there’s at least an 18” perimeter from the edge of your rug to the wall to keep the space from looking congested. If you don’t need to cover most of the floor, measure the space so that the rug incorporates all of your major furniture. Determine whether you want the legs of the furniture to be all on, all off, or partly on the rug:

  • Placing all furniture legs on the rug is ideal for a formal setting because it creates a luxurious look
  • Keeping the furniture legs off the rug is a discreet way to give the space more breathability
  • Having furniture legs both on and off the rug simultaneously anchors the room and opens it up

You have the most freedom in deciding the size of your rug in the living room because of the various ways you can arrange furniture. However, a dining room, bedroom, and hallway require different thought processes.

For example, is the rug you’re considering for your dining room big enough to make sure the chairs remain off the floor when guests back up from the table? Will the rug you’re contemplating for the bedroom cover the walkable space around the bed? Will there be enough room for your potential hallway rug to have a minimum 6"-8" perimeter to the wall?

What Is the Best Shape Rug for Your Room?

Selecting the right shape for your rug depends on the space as well. Choose a rectangular rug if it’s going to lay on a large open floor in a living room or office. Put a square rug in a square room or with square furniture. Pick a circular rug to go with a round space with a bay window or make a space feel larger.

What Style of Rug Will Best Fit Your Room?

Narrow down your rug search by exploring a few more topics.

  • Which style is the best fit for my room?
  • What color and pattern should I pick?
  • What material do I need to choose?

To settle on a rug style, you need to find something that reflects your taste and goes with the rest of the room’s décor. Most rug styles fall under four categories. Are you leaning toward bohemian, contemporary, traditional, or natural?


A bohemian rug brings a worldly feel to a room—the perfect place to burn incense and find your zen. Styles include Shag, Dhurrie, Kilim, Ikat, and Southwest.


A contemporary rug represents class and sophistication—without being too showy. Styles include Mid-Century, Country, Coastal, Farmhouse, and Geometric.


A traditional rug conveys a formal, stately and refined look in a space. Styles include Persian, Oriental, Moroccan, and Berber.


A natural rug evokes an earthy, organic, and laid-back atmosphere. Styles include Jute, Sheepskin, Cowhide, Leather, Sisal, and Silk.

Example of a room with front legs of furniture on the rug

How to Choose Your Rug’s Color & Pattern

Choose a rug that picks up the colors in your existing décor. You can even mix patterns if you coordinate by color. Keep in mind that light-colored rugs make a room look larger while darker colors emit a cozy environment. The experts at Tufenkian can help you choose a high-quality, handmade rug that will look great in your home. You can even try out any Archive rug, Vault rug, or Design Catalog sample for free for seven days in your space with our TestDrive program. Start your search for the ideal rug right now online, or stop by one of our showrooms to speak with a trained rug expert.