In a way, rugs in homes are like the proverbial icing on cake - they lend glamor and taste to your rooms. Rugs or area rugs are a smart way to gloss over the imperfections and highlight the beauty of your home spaces. Apart from adding to the overall look of the home, rugs have functional values too. For instance, they help retain warmth and keep the floors warm for us during winter. Rugs on the floor also prevent us from slipping and falling. They protect children from falling injuries, and provide walking comfort to older people. Rugs also absorb sound and therefore dampen noises in the home. And finally, rugs are easy to install, and can be maintained easily. Chosen wisely, rugs can instantly transform your rooms to glamour-rooms.

Rugs are smaller than carpets. They don’t cover the entire room area. As a result, rugs offer more convenience in terms of shifting and maintenance. Rugs come in various materials such as wool, silk, cotton, jute, leather, sheepskin, and also in artificial materials like polypropylene, faux fur and faux hide.

Types of Rugs based on Size

Area Rug

These are typically large in size and can be used equally effectively in the living room, dining room, bedrooms, and similarly large rooms in the house.

Accent Rug

Relatively smaller in size than area rugs, accent rugs are also known as scatter or throw rugs. They are suitable for smaller areas such as the children’s room, facing the fireplace, or in the kitchen.

Runner Rug

Specifically meant for long, narrow spaces such as the stairs, hallways and similar places in the house. The rugs measure less than two and a half feet in width and range between eight and twelve feet in length.

Rug Placements for the Home

The functionality of a rug depends upon its size and shape. These factors help us decide the placement of furniture, and define the living spaces in a room. In this way, we can avoid awkward furniture groupings, and uncomfortable room settings.

Living Room

Firstly, define the living space by using the rug as the anchor for furniture placement. Once you position the furniture squarely on the rug, make sure there’s enough of rug surface left around the furniture grouping. This way, you’ll be able to give balance to the area. Avoid rugs that are so large that they end up touching the edges of the room area.


Here, you’ll find that the bed usually takes over the maximum room space, usually in the center. You have the choice of using one huge rug that accommodates the bed, and extends out on either side by two to three feet in length. You could also opt for two or three smaller rugs – two on either side and one towards the foot of the bed.

Dining Room

The dining table and chairs should be placed on the rug, with the back legs of the chairs well within the area rug surface. The chairs should be in the ‘pulled out’ position as in people are actually sitting at the table and having food. The rug should extend at least 8 inches beyond the chairs’ back legs.

Hallways and Stairs

Use runner rugs for such areas. Maintain a gap between one foot and three feet between the rug edges and the wall to create an element of contrast in the room. If the rug needs to pass through doorways, make sure that the gap between the door and the floor can comfortably accommodate the rug, for smooth opening or closing of the door.

Selecting the Right Rug for Your Home

The factors that come into play when you have to select a rug for your home, include its material, the functionality, and the dimensions.

The choice of rug material depends upon the how much traffic it must endure in a typical day. For instance, reasonably busy areas like the hallway require rugs made of durable material such as jute or sisal that need less or no maintenance. Similarly, woolen or wool-blend rugs are ideal for the children’s room and bedrooms, as they are comfortable and stain resistant. For moderate traffic areas such as the living room and dining room, use comfy flatweave or distressed rugs for comfort and durability.

The choice of rug size is an important consideration because it should neither be too small nor too big for the room. The thumb rule is to go for a rug with dimensions that can accommodate the major furniture items in the room, spare a foot or two but not end up getting too close to the walls!

The shape of the main seating area in the room can help you decide the shape of your rug. The rules are pretty simple – square rugs for square seating spaces, rectangular-shaped rugs for rectangular areas. Of course, you’re free to experiment. Try a round or oval rug to complement a square or rectangular seating space, and so on.

Rug Tips

Use rugs to plan color schemes: Lost for ideas on color schemes for your room? Try using your favorite rug’s color as the anchor for the scheme and play around with complementary colors. The idea is to use the rug to act as the base for the color scheme in the room.

Use rugs to build harmony: Having opposing colored rugs can lead to unpleasant or jarring sensations. The better thing is to use rugs in colors that complement each other. Colors that clash or attack each other will upset the harmony of the space.

Use rugs to control room volume: With the help of rugs, you can skillfully manage the visual balance of the room. You can either tone down, or raise the visual volume by coordinating the colors of the rug and walls. For walls in subdued hues, put in a rug with bold colors or trendy patterns.

Use rugs for variety: To bring in variety within a space, use more than one rug in the room. But don’t use similar sized rugs. Instead opt for rugs in varying sizes to create visual variety.