Area Rug Buying

With so many choices for area rugs on the market today, buying is sometimes a confusing time. Most department stores and home improvement stores have a special area where you can browse through area rugs of all sizes, shapes, colors, and designs. To make your buying experience less painful, we wanted to provide you with some helpful tips.

Room Size

First, consider the size of the room where the area rug will be used, the color theme or decorum, type of furniture, and purpose of the rug. With this information, you will be able to head straight to the rugs that would work. While you could spend good money on a Persian or Oriental rug made from 100% silk or wool, we suggest you look at machine made rugs, which are still gorgeous, durable, and affordable.

Rug Size and Shape

Starting with the size and shape of the area rug, you will find common options that include 2x3-foot, 4x6-foot, 5x8-foot, 6x9-foot, and 8x10-foot. However, you will find smaller and larger rugs as well although they are not as common. As far as shapes, area rugs can be found in round, square, rectangle, oval, and octagon, along with runners, which are used in hallways and foyers most often.

Room Measurement

A good rule to follow when choosing the size of rug for the intended space is to first measure the room. Then, take measurements of the area where you want the rug placed. If you need to visualize the way in which the area rug will look, take a sheet, folding it to the appropriate size and placing it on the floor. Then, you can stand back to see if you need something a little smaller or perhaps larger.

If you were choosing an area rug that would cover the majority of the floor, make sure you keep a 12 to 15-inch border exposed, which will enhance the look of the floor and rug combined. Additionally, if the rug will simply be placed beneath a dining room table, you want to ensure the chair’s back legs rest on the rug when pulled out.


Color is also a huge factor when choosing area rugs but with so many colors and color combinations, you will find incredible options. The goal regardless is to choose what complements the room. If your walls are red and you want to incorporate some red in the area rug, instead of being matchy-matchy with the color, choose an area rug that has two or three shades of red close to the wall color. That way, you get a much more beautiful appearance.


Then as far as patterns, get ready for some serious consideration. In fact, choosing the right pattern is often the most difficult part of area rug buying. The three options when it comes to rugs include geometric, pictorial, and curvilinear. Most often, a contemporary room would look best with a geometric rug whereas a country or Victorian style room would look better with a pictorial rug. Of course, your personal style is what really counts. Even so, consider the design with the theme or era of the room, enhancing the overall space.