Choosing The Perfect Area Rug

Choosing The Perfect Area Rug

Choosing the right area rug can finish a space to perfection, while the wrong one can make a room feel awkward or unfinished. Taking into consideration just how expensive they can be, selecting a rug is something you may want to put a little extra thought into. Here are three main elements to keep in mind when choosing the right rug for your space, so read on for tips on finding that perfect one!

Color: If you already have a lot of pattern in your space, you might want to stick with a single-color rug, either a neutral or a shade that complements your existing furnishings. If you love the pattern as I do, then consider a tone-on-tone design that will feel like a single-color rug but be visually simpler in the space.  If you really want a patterned rug with many shades, it’s generally easier to choose it first, and add in furniture and accessories that coordinate afterward.

When it comes to large scale patterns, I recommend staying away from anything with a central medallion design, unless your furniture is going to be centered on the rug (like a dining room.) And yes, you can mix patterns! The ability to do so is only limited by you! I often suggest to my clients to think about rugs as being pieces of art for your floors. This will allow you to step out of your comfort zone! A boldly patterned or brightly colored rug can be just the ticket to lift a room to the next level.

Texture: This is probably the most overlooked aspect when choosing a rug, but it shouldn’t be. A room with a mix of different textures feels rich and layered, and an easy way to set this tone is by paying attention to the texture of your rug. There’s so much more out there than cut and looped wool!

Let the finishes of your existing furniture guide you, and aim for contrast. With seating in a soft fabric like velvet, something smooth and hard like a sisal might be the answer, while a sleek leather sofa looks great on something with a longer, plusher pile.

Pile Height: A thicker carpet can feel more expensive, but don’t be misled, with Orientals and finer rugs it’s the thread/yarn count that designates the quality. Turn the rug over to check out the detail from the back. A higher knot-count per square inch most often indicates a well-made rug!


Size: This is the part in the rug-choosing game where it helps to know the rules, and it’s usually best to play along.

A rug should fit the size of your seating area (which is not necessarily the entire room) and be as large as possible within it. Ideally, all the furniture will be on the rug, but front-legs-only is a good and common compromise. The idea is that when sitting on the sofa, your feet are on fabric, not floor. Under a dining table, you want to be able to pull the chairs back and still have them sitting on the rug.

For dining rooms – bigger is better! Ideally, you want to choose a rug that allows you to keep all four chair legs on the rug even when you pull the chair out to sit down.

One thing I always try to be aware of is where the corners of the carpet fall in a room. Whenever possible keep the corners away from doorways and paths of travel into a space.

Lately, I have many clients who are searching on-line for area rug bargains. Beware – as it is very difficult to tell quality by a pretty picture. Read the descriptions carefully! And don’t be afraid to ask for sampling or trial options! Many rug suppliers are willing to bring rugs to your home to test them out. Other companies offer smaller samples of the larger rugs. And when in doubt see if there is a smaller size you can borrow or purchase and return once you’ve made the final decision.

Carrie Oesmann
Carrie Oesmann


has spent the past 20 years developing her skills and expertise in the real world of interior design. With her new blog site, “My Bailiwick”, Carrie shares her valuable insights on her experience as an influencer in global community of interior design professionals.

Carrie addresses all the aspects of interior design; working with clients, partnering with contractors and developing designs that really work within her clients’ budgets, personal taste and lifestyle. Carries insights bring the design process into focus as she explains how decisions are really made and why. And how each of those decisions impacts the big picture.

Carrie’s active lifestyle proves her mantra “A body in motion stays in motion!” So outside of her thriving design business Carrie pursues life with a passion. Whether she is teaching Pilates, training for a triathlon, traveling the world, or simply enjoying a round of golf and taking her golden-doodle Bailey to a local nursing home for a visit, Carrie is constantly on the go.

Gold and silver awards for her designing talents are a testament to her creativity and dedication to her profession. Carrie’s work has been featured in multiple trade magazines including New York Spaces, Distinctive Kitchens, Design NJ, New Jersey Home and Style, to name a few, as well as designer showhouses and even a television pilot. Carrie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and an Associate’s Degree in Interior Design from Centenary College. She is an active professional member of NKBA, the National Kitchen and Bath Association and ASID, the American Society of Interior Designers, and is one of the elite who have passed the rigorous national qualification exam, making her an NCIDQ certified interior designer.

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