This Week’s Q+A : Picking the Right Rug

Choosing a rug for a space is often one of the first things I do when I’m creating a design.  Sometimes a rug is the inspiration for a whole room or sometimes it’s is just the update that it needs. One of the most frequent questions I get asked is, “Which rug should I choose for this space?” This week’s Q+A is all about picking the right rug for your designs and rooms.

Q: “I would love to be able to work around my existing flooring, how can I do that?”

modern coastal family room becki owens

A: This is the perfect opportunity to incorporate rugs into your home. Rugs serve as a great option and change the whole mood of a space. You can even have darker stone, or a bright color in your wood or tile and change a whole space with a new rug. The space above, I did with Nicole Davis, is a great example of a home that previously had a tuscan feel and was transformed to a fresh coastal modern look. The rug chosen here is a fresh and light geometric pattern. With this new rug as the foundation the whole space was lifted and lightened.

Q: “What it the best rug for my entry way? I get tons of traffic, but I want it to look good.”


A: I think making a good first impression is important, remember this post? The entry is a great place to set the whole tone for your home. Just because you have kids or a lot of people coming and going, you don’t have to compromise the look. For an entry, you usually need a 3×5 or a runner to fit the space. I love to use kilim or vintage turkish rugs for a few reasons. First, they tend to come in smaller, unique sizes that work great in an entry space. Also, they are beautiful, eye catching and the colorful patterns tend to be more forgiving with dirt in a high traffic area.

Q: What is the correct placement for a rug?

beach house master bedroom owens and davis

A: There a no hard rules for placing rugs in a space. However, there are some good guidelines depending on the size of your space and the size of the rug you choose.

Large Living Area:
If you have a rug that will fill up most of the space, it is a general rule of thumb to leave 18 inches from the boarder of the room and the rug. If you have a larger space, like a great room, that isn’t as defined, you can place the rug a couple of ways. If the rug is large enough you can place all the furniture on the rug to define the space. If it is smaller, you can place just the larger pieces of furniture, like the couch, front legs only on the rug and place the chairs all the way on the rug.

It’s good to make sure the rug extends at least 12-18 inches beyond either side of the bed. It doesn’t have to be placed at the head of the bed. Place it under the middle of the bed, extending it past the front. The key is centering the rug under the width of the bed within the width of the room.

Dining Space:
Generally, the rug should extend a couple of feet beyond the dining table to allow for placement of the chairs and still have rug to extend beyond them. A two foot rule is an easy one to go by.

TIP: When I’m trying to decide on a rug for a family room or bedroom, I generally like to choose rugs for comfort. There are great options for wool rugs that are a little thicker. I also like the look of dhurrie rugs. They can be layered on a sisal rug for a more plush and designer feel in a living or family room.

I hope these tips and suggestions for picking the right rug have been helpful. See below for some rugs I’m loving right now! Have a great Monday!

Favorite Rug Resources

West Elm
One Kings Lane
Kaya Kilims
Amber Interiors
Lulu and Georgia  (They are having a HUGE Spring Sale Right now!)

Rugs I’m Loving


3 thoughts on “This Week’s Q+A : Picking the Right Rug

  1. Risa says:

    This is such a helpful post! I find rugs to be such a tough and important purchase. We have an oddly shaped, narrow living room with two 5×7(ish) rugs. One a neutral shag from West Elm, the other a Turkish kilim from Istanbul. I’m curious about how to add more colorful kilims (like in our entry, which is in the same room) and other rooms without clashing. Any advice for picking complimenting kilims since they’re all one-of-a-kind?

  2. Courtney wesson says:

    I love your rug article, very helpful!!! I also love the 2 large white chairs in the first pic, any idea where they are from?? Thank u

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