How to Buy a Rug: 4 Crucial Factors You can’t Ignore

navy rug in a small living room

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So, let’s talk about buying a rug. You want to spruce up your space, right? Well, a rug can do wonders for that! But, with all the options out there, finding the perfect rug can be a real head-scratcher. Don’t you worry, though. I’ve got your back here. In this article we are discussing all the ins and outs of how to buy a rug.

Choosing the perfect rug for your space basically comes down to these factors: Size, Material, Style and Budget. Let’s discuss each a bit more.

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1. Choose the Right Size Rug

Alright, when it comes to buying a rug, size really does matter. You want to get this right or else your whole room could end up looking like a hot mess.

First things first, measure your space. Don’t eyeball it, trust me on this. You need to give that rug some breathing room, don’t suffocate it in a tiny corner or let it swim in a wide-open sea of hardwood floors.

The Ultimate Area Rug Size Guide

Luckily, I have a whole area rug size guide for you to peruse. This in depth guide will give you the best rug sizes for specific spaces for your home, including living room, dining room, kitchen and more. Here’s the TLDR version of it.

Make sure that at least the front legs of your furniture are on that rug. It ties everything together. This is especially true in living rooms. When in doubt, go bigger. Give rugs some breathing space, aka border space. These are area rugs – not wall to wall carpets.

In the dining room, you want a rug that lets your chairs slide in and out without getting stuck. You don’t want Aunt Edna to fall over her wine because her chair caught on the edge.

Bedroom Rug Size Guide

For bedrooms, a cozy rug by the bed is nice wake up for your feet in the morning. So, pick a size that extends about 2 feet out from each side of the bed. You’ll thank me later when your feet hit that plush goodness in the morning. And yes – you can layer area rugs over wall to wall carpet!

2. Determine the Best Rug Material for Your Space

Now let’s discuss rug materials. This will help you narrow the search. The most common rug materials out there are Wool, Cotton, Natural Fiber (like Jute) and synthetic rugs (like Nylon or Polypropylene).

Wool Rugs

Wool rugs are a popular choice, y’all. They’re durable, soft, and naturally stain-resistant. Plus, they retain their colors beautifully over time. Wool rugs are expensive though, and they can shed like crazy. If your budget can afford it and you don’t mind the shedding – Wool is a good option for you.

Synthetic Rugs

Let’s talk about synthetic rugs. These rugs are made from polyester, nylon or polypropylene. These rugs are affordable, don’t shed, come in a variety of styles and are good for high traffic areas. These rugs are not as cushy as say, wool or jute.

dog laying on a rug
Ruggable Rug

Which popular rugs falls under this category? My favorite machine washable rugs do babes! If you like rugs that you can pop in your washing machine, then this is the category for you.

Natural Fiber Rugs

For those eco-friendly and sustainable folks out there, natural fiber rugs like sisal, jute, or seagrass are your winners. Jute rugs are my favorite out of the bunch.

Jute Runner in Kitchen by Sink Area

They have a lovely earthy vibe and are perfect for high-traffic areas. However, with the exception of jute, these rugs might not be the softest on your tootsies. But these rugs are affordable and just lovely. They go with a variety of styles and to me, they are timeless!

Cotton Rugs

Ever considered a cotton rug? They’re super easy to clean and come in a rainbow of colors and patterns. They’re perfect for adding a pop of personality to any room. But be aware that they may not be as hard-wearing as wool or synthetic options.

3. Factor in Your Decorating Style

Moving on to rug styles!! Let’s narrow that perfect rug search down even more. When it comes to choosing a rug, it’s not just about picking any ol’ thing that catches your eye. You gotta think about your room’s vibe, your lifestyle, and how you want it all to come together.

navy rug in a small living room

If you’re style is:

  • Traditional: If you’re all about that classic, timeless look, look for vintage, oriental or persian rugs. These rugs have intricate patterns and rich colors. They add a touch of elegance to any room and never go out of style.
  • Modern/Contemporary: For those who like to keep things fresh and trendy, modern or contemporary rugs with bold geometric designs or minimalist patterns can jazz up your space and give it a modern edge. Solids and striped rugs fall in this category.
  • Coastal: Natural Fiber Rugs, like jute or seagrass, are where it’s at! Or consider a striped rug or a vintage one with blues and greens that mimic the colors of the beach.
  • Vintage: Vintage Style has my heart. And there are vintage style rugs! The real ones tend to be expensive as heck, but you can buy the synthetic lookalikes for a song. These beauties add a touch of history and character to your space with their faded, antique look and vibrant, modern colors.
  • Farmhouse: If you love the farmhouse style, you can really go any which way here. I most commonly see jute, sisal or seagrass, but you can also choose a vintage rug that compliments the colors in your space.
  • Bohemian: If you’re a free spirit who loves eclectic and earthy vibes, check out natural fiber rugs, cotton rugs or shag rugs with a moroccan vibe.

4. Consider your Budget

Your final consideration, and perhaps, the most important. Let’s get real about one thing – rugs can get pretty darn expensive. When you’re on the hunt for the perfect rug, you gotta keep a close eye on your budget (unless you’re Taylor Swift).

My advice is to start browsing a few online shops to get a feel for rug cost by sizes. You have to set a budget but you need to be realistic and get a baseline for rug costs. Here’s the tea on how to make sure you’re not breaking the bank:

  • Set a Clear Budget: After you have a baseline idea, figure out how much you’re willing to shell out. Trust me, it’s easy to get carried away once you start browsing.
  • Shop Smart: Look out for sales, discounts, and clearance deals. You never know when you might stumble upon a gem at a bargain price.
  • Don’t Forget Hidden Costs: Rug pads and shipping fees can add up real quick. Keep these sneaky expenses in mind when budgeting for your rug purchase.

Finding the perfect rug doesn’t have to break the bank. With a bit of savvy shopping and a keen eye for quality, you’ll have a rug that ties your room together without putting a dent in your wallet.

How to Buy a Rug: Key Takeaways

  1. Determine The Best Rug Size.
  2. Choose the Right Rug Material for your space.
  3. Factor in your Decorating Style.
  4. Consider Your Budget for Final Rug Choice.
How to buy a Rug infographic

You’ve now learned the steps for how to buy a rug that fits your space and needs perfectly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find my Decorating style?

Finding your decorating style is all about exploring what you like and what makes you feel comfortable in your home. Start by looking at pictures of different rooms and noticing what catches your eye. Pay attention to colors, furniture styles, and patterns that appeal to you. Think about how you want your space to feel – cozy and inviting, sleek and modern, or maybe something else entirely. Consider your lifestyle and how you use your home. Do you need a space that’s easy to clean and clutter-free, or do you want a more relaxed and lived-in vibe? Don’t worry about following trends or trying to impress anyone else – focus on what makes you happy and reflects your personality.

Where can I buy a Good Quality Rug?

I’m usually on a budget, so I personally love to buy rugs from reputable online retailers that frequently run sales, such as Wayfair, Amazon, Rugs USA, or Boutique Rugs. I also love Ruggable and Tumble for their machine washable rugs. Higher end retailers also offer quality rugs, such as Pottery Barn, Serena and Lily and Lulu & Georgia, to name a few.

How to save money when buying a rug?

Shop smart by using coupons and waiting for holiday sales to kick in. Rugs USA and Boutique Rugs are usually running sales; while Amazon is great for fast shipping. Consider cheaper synthetic rugs to get the look for less, or opt for eco-friendly and affordable jute rugs. Although limited, IKEA is a good place to look for rugs. You can also scour thrift stores or Facebook marketplace for second-hand or vintage rugs at affordable prices.

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