Rug Shopping Checklist: Everything You Need to Know

Many details go into choosing the perfect rug. Use this list of suggestions to keep you on track when you go on your next rug-inspired adventure.

Many details go into choosing the perfect rug. You must match the style and color scheme of the room you are designing, consider the size of your room in relation to the size of the rug, and which material will compliment the textures already in the room you’re buying for. There are so many factors to remember when choosing a rug for your room that it’s wise to have a checklist. House Tipster has created this handy list of suggestions to keep you on track when you go on your next rug shopping spree.




Two things should determine the material you choose for your rug: how you want it to feel and the environment of the room it’s for. You may want wool in your basement, but if the room is typically damp, real wool will absorb the humidity and contract mold or mildew. Synthetic fibers with a woolen feel would a wiser choice. A good rule of thumb is to reserve natural fibers for dry environments and synthetic rugs for damp ones. Luxurious items like animal skins are best kept for small, gently used rooms like a private office or master bedroom.





After you choose a material, take a look at your color options. Your rug should complement the walls and furnishings in the room. If you prefer a sophisticated, monotone look, match the rug exactly to either the furniture or the walls.  For a more colorful room, tie the furnishings and walls or walls and trim together with a rug in a complementary color. A rug can be the perfect opportunity to add some subtle pop to a room’s color scheme as well. If you want to brighten up neutral walls and furnishings, a bold color or playful design can add a nice touch.





Your rug needs to bring some element of contrast to your room. The misperception here is that contrast means colorful. Color is merely one way your rug can spice up a room. There are a number of other ways to create contrast using a rug. Consider material and texture. In a sleek white room, rough natural fibers will add a durable, rough-hewn accent. Shape is another way to introduce a little something new. If your room is modern and angular, use a circular rug to create a complementary design.





The right rug gives your room spatial balance. It can make a room appear small by dividing up floor space or create a tiered feeling in a wider room. Rugs can transform an area with multiple seating arrangements into an open area with pockets more suitable for conversations. You can also use rugs to form borders around large pieces of furniture to help them blend more gradually with the rest of the room. If you put a rug in front of your couch, it should extend out a little to form a nice, inviting lip. When designing around a coffee table, the rug should extend further to encompass it. Knowing the square footage of your room and each piece of furniture in it before buying a rug. The wrong-sized rug can really mess up the design elements in a room.





Layering rugs is as simple as it sounds. Although it may seem over-the-top, it’s a perfectly acceptable way to play with space and contrast in a large room. Nicely crafted rug layering can but the missing piece of your room's aesthetic. The only issue with layering is that it can be expensive. You’re going to need two or three nice, new rugs instead of one, now. Take a look in the attic for any rugs that can be repurposed before buying new ones. Also, if you choose to try this in your home, abide by these two rules: Never layer different shapes and never stack a thin material on top of a thick one.

The right rug can truly elevate a room. If you pay close attention to this checklist, we're sure your next rug-hunt will be a success!

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