Stylist Tip: How to choose the perfect floor rug.

We love to keep you inspired to experiment with new looks and ways of styling and decorating your home. Let your own personality and sense of style guide you through the process, paying close attention to the colours and patterns you’re attracted too and the mood you want to create in your home. Styling and decorating should be fun – not serious!

Jessica Viscarde

A common question I get asked regularly and a service I help my private Interior Decoration clients with is, how do I choose the right rug for my space? With so much choice out there, it can feel completely overwhelming, so much so, you leave the stores empty handed, or worse you get the rug home only to realise it doesn’t work, fit or solve your decorating and styling issues.

As an Interior Designer, I have access to an array of trade only suppliers, as well as my little black book of recommended retailers. If you’re needing extra help finding the perfect rug, or need something custom, contact me here

But to get you started and inspired, here are my top tips to keep in mind when searching for the perfect floor rug.

Image Credit: Freedom | | 1300 135 588
Image Credit: West Elm |

1. Measure the space

I get it, you want to get right down to decorating, but measuring the existing space is so important to ensure you pick and purchase the right rug for the room. You don’t want a postage stamp (a lonely floating rug that looks too small) or a rug that is too large and swamps the space, or gets caught under doors!

Grab a tape measure and measure the floor plan based on the space you’d like to fill, taking into consideration your existing furniture, or any new pieces you may get in the near future (like a larger sofa or an extra floating chair.) I recommend marking out the space using painters or washi tape, so you can get a feel for how the rug will look. Some clients think I’m a little crazy when I come armed with tape, but this honestly is my go-to tip when planning out a room. I need to visually see where things will be laid in order to get a sense of the space and how it will work. Try it this weekend!

Common layouts is if your sofa is pushed up against a wall with adjoining feature chairs, ensure the rug is large enough to allow for the front legs of all the furniture to sit comfortably on the rug. It creates a purposeful, grounded aesthetic and actually helps make the room look larger. Another layout is if your sofa and chairs sit in the centre of the room, then the rug should be large enough to fit under all the legs and have a comfortable frame around the pieces, helping to create a balanced and well planned look.

Image Credit: West Elm

For Dining areas, measure the length and width of your dining table and then add roughly 600mm either side to allow for the chairs. There is nothing worse than a too small rug under a dining table, you need to be really careful with visual proportions, as chairs over hanging create tripping and movement hazards, and just look visually unappealing. If in doubt, go larger, not smaller!

“if in doubt, go larger not smaller..but measure twice!” 

Image Credit: West Elm

2. Choose a material that reflects your style and works for you

Decide whether the space you’re placing the rug is a high traffic area (like hallways and living areas), or a spot that gets less use (like bedrooms) and remember if you have pets or kids to choose your materials (and colours) wisely. Why you ask? Because you want your rug to last, create visual impact and work for you and your homes needs.

The main materials on the market are Wool, Silk, Cotton, natural fibres like sisal, jute and seagrass, animal skins like cow hides or synthetics and man-made materials (vegan friendly!) Depending upon your budget and usage each material have their pros and cons.

Make sure you do your homework before selecting. My favourite styles are the versatile flat weaves that are constructed on a loom and are usually a woollen blend and come in a variety of patterns and colours.



Image Credit: West Elm

3. Choose your colour and pattern

Once you’ve selected the type of material for your floor rug and worked out the amount of use its going to get, next select the colour and pattern you’d like to add to the space. A rug is like an artwork on the floor and forms the main foundation for your layering pieces. You can use the rug to introduce colour, texture and/or pattern or help tone down the use of colours (if you’ve got brightly coloured artwork or a statement coloured sofa)

Pay close attention the interior style, look and mood you’re wanting to create as the rug can certainly help shape this for you. For instance a natural coloured, textual sisal or jute rug is a perfect starting layering piece as it is multi functional and can be used in a myriad of styles, like boho, coastal or contemporary. These are economical and available in most stores in a range of sizes, some have fringing details or some have stenciled patterns on them. It all depends what furniture and accessories you choose to put with it when you get to the decorating phase.

4. And finally be adventurous and layer up!

Ok, so you still can’t decide or have an awkward space? Be a little daring and consider layering up a mix of rugs. Combine colours, styles and materials for an eclectic and personal touch. Jen Harrison of Flea Market Fab is the queen of this trick, she creates quirky, personal and ultra unique spaces. If you’re not following her on instagram – do it!

Image Credit: Photography: Anisa Rrapaj |
Design and Styling: Jen Harrison Flea Market Fab

“A rug is like an artwork on the floor and forms the main foundation for your layering (and styling) pieces.

Image Credit: West Elm |

Jessica Viscarde

Creative Director, Eclectic Creative

Jess is a qualified Interior designer and currently resides in Melbourne Australia with her boyfriend and black rescue cat, Peggy. Texan born, Jess who grew up in South East Asia and has Italian, Irish and Danish heritage – she believes this culturally diverse upbringing has helped shaped her love for all things eclectic and formed her natural flair and talent for combining styles, colour and pattern. In her spare time, Jess loves gardening and travel, and basically anything to do with cats!

Connect with Jess Instagram: @jess_eclecticcreative


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