Steps to Picking an Area Rug


Choosing the right rug for your home requires planning. The choices are virtually endless when it comes to selection.  A rug is a functional part of a room and has many jobs.

3 main benefits to area rugs:

~ style and character of a room, an inspiration for the rest of your space

~ provide comfort and traction under foot

~absorb and reduce noise. If your room has a slight echo, an area rug is a wonderful solution.

  round, entryway, rug, colorful

Proper measuring:

~ Carefully measure your floor space and large furniture items and take these measurements with you.

~ Pay attention to the measurements of rugs as they are typically displayed hanging vertically, stacked a few feet high on the floor, or rolled up and can appear to be a different size than they really are.

~Dimensions will vary by up to 5% from rug to rug, almost always in the length. Also note that fringe may or may not be factored into the overall size of the rug.

colorful, bright, rug

Making Color Decisions:

~ If at all possible, it’s helpful to begin your decorating plan with an area rug first.  There are usually more flexible options to pick fabrics and limitless paint colors that can be selected after the rug.

~ If needing to work with existing elements in the space, bring paint chips, fabrics or even a sofa pillow with you when viewing rugs in person.

~ If you’re shopping online or from a catalog, check the company’s return and exchange policy, then order your favorite rug designs in the smallest available sizes. Then you can judge color in person, and then easily exchange the rug for a larger size.

outdoor, rug, durable, colorspree

Rug Durability:

~  Consider the amount of traffic the rug will see in the area.  High traffic areas include hallways, family room and entryway.  Medium traffic areas include the dining room and home office.   Low traffic areas include bedrooms and formal living room.  Reference the rug construction section to understand the longevity of different rugs in different traffic areas.

~  Rug pads extend the life of your rug, protect the floor underneath, add additional comfort and softness to your rug, and keep your small rugs in place. Protect children, seniors and yourself from accidental falls

weave, loop, rugRug Construction:

Flat Weave – woven on a loom with fibers threaded back and forth across the warp to create a flat weave similar to a blanket or tapestry.  They can hold up well in medium traffic areas and 20+ years in low traffic areas.  Note: Flat weave rugs can bunch and creep so they don’t always lay flat.  Rug pads are recommended, but don’t always solve this issue.

Loop Pile  – made by pushing loops of yarn through a canvas foundation to the front of the rug, then pulling the ends of the yarn back to create a loop on the surface.  Loops can be all the same height or they can be varied for a pattern.  Loop Pile is ideal for high traffic areas and many indoor/outdoor options are also available.

Cut Pile – the same basic construction as the loop pile, but instead of leaving loops the pile is cut for a plush textured feel.  Depending on the denseness of the weave and the material used, cut pile rugs can hold up for 5-15+ years in high traffic areas and even longer in less used walkways in your home.

You can also combine techniques for a mix of loop and cut pile.


Still have questions?  Let us help you make the right rug decision for your space.

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle!


  1. Mary says:

    Hi Leanne:
    All the rugs in the blog are by Company C. The round rug in the top photograph is available in 7′ and 9′.
    Please let me know if I can help you with an order.

  2. Leanne Peteou says:


    Where did you find that rug in the top picture with the table/plant in it?

  3. Mary says:

    Thanks for your comment. Do you have any questions about rug selection we can help with?

  4. Jess says:

    Awesome tips on picking out area rugs, thanks for sharing!

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