Decorating Tips

Choosing the Right Rug for Any Space

February 16, 2007

Finally. Someone sweeps in and demystifies the great rug dilemma that has stressed out so many over the years. Come to find out, all the sleep loss, vent sessions, and rug returns were totally unnecessary because Real Simple tells us that it’s basically a no-brainer.

Choosing the Right Rug for Any Space
From color to size, their February issue featured a terrific spread, Choosing the Right Rug for Any Space, that I found complete, informative, and so easy, even a caveman can do it (drum roll please). Let’s face it, most rugs don’t come cheap. None of us care to unload our wallets for our very own magic carpet, only to find out that it looks out of place and is hardly magical. From color coordination tips, to pattern and materials selection, and of course size (because it does matter), Real Simple solves your rug issues once and for all.

Click here to read the full article, and by all means, tear it from the February issue or print out the online article. Even if you’re not in the market for a carpet right now, chances are you will be someday, so save this information for a future date.

Rug-spiration images are below for you to enjoy. The article lists resources for all rugs shown in these images. Click on any below for a larger view.

Choosing the Right Rug for Any SpaceI’m in love with this bedroom, right down to the creamy little deer head. All that texture and those soft hues paired with the rich neutral wall color is a fantastic pairing. Don’t you think? I’m not sure about the height of the side table though, I always suggest that a side table should be the same height as the mattress. I guess everyone has their own idea of what is right or wrong.

Choosing the Right Rug for Any SpaceLove this medallion rug, don’t you? Great colors. I’m a huge fan of the sofa table in the back, flush against the wall. Makes for the perfect display space and great place to add extra lighting.

Choosing the Right Rug for Any SpaceLook carefully at the dining room above and the rug color… Then direct your attention to the image below. It’s the same room! Well, almost…

Choosing the Right Rug for Any SpaceChange the look completely by adding a different color rug. See how powerful color really is? Notice the different mood created by the crimson rug above (rich, warm, traditional) and the teal below (more playful, mood enhancing, a little on the cooler, contemporary side).

(images for decor8 from real simple)


  • Reply Another Shade of Grey February 16, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    The paint color is what totally sets off the deer head room.

  • Reply Anonymous February 16, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    I am running out to pick up a copy now. Thank you for blogging this.


  • Reply drey February 16, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    i love love love these “lessons” entries! i also LOVE the different-rugs bit since you can see how different they are! i love the teal rug! mmmm

  • Reply felicia February 16, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    thank you, thank you for posting this! every time i’ve gone rug shopping, i’ve experienced vertigo. the past two rugs i’ve purchased have been complete and utter expensive disappointments. and i’ve got a kitty to consider. thanks for the helpful hints!
    cheers, f.

  • Reply Ericka Taylor February 17, 2007 at 3:43 am

    I love the pop of the pink blooms amongst the teal rug and teal lampshade! These are beautiful! These rugs are subtle, yet they offer so much punch and balance! Thank you for this find!

  • Reply cindy@staged4more February 17, 2007 at 7:02 am


    thanks for giving this tip! i LOVE the pictures and how a simple rug can have such dramatic effects!



  • Reply amy February 17, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    What a difference a rug makes, perfectly shown above with the red and teal rug swap. I am heading over to real simple right now. Great find.

  • Reply Anonymous February 17, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    I completely agree with you on the bedside table height. For one, the table is low and is making the lamp that sits on it low. Because it s so low, the light cast from that lamp would be directed mostly at the floor which = no reading of romance novels in bed. Waaaaah!


  • Reply AbbeyK February 17, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Great piece.

    I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that most reputable vendors will let you take a rug home and try it out. You just cannot get a sense of whether it will work in your space until it’s home.

    I typically go by the 12″ border of wood showing, except in large rooms, sometimes 2′ feels better.

    Since a rug is typically the most expensive item in a room, if it’s hand knotted, you should fall in love with the rug.

    For those on a budget, a great way to get a custom look is to have some wall to wall cut down and bound to the size you want.


  • Reply Anonymous February 18, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    I don’t agree with Abby because the stores I shop would laugh if I asked to try b4 I buy. Does Abby only deal with high end showrooms?

  • Reply ASJ February 19, 2007 at 3:23 am

    This post helped me because I currently seek an area rug for my dining room and foyer. What a help.

    Thank You.
    Anna Joyce

  • Reply peggy February 19, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Thanks for writing about this very hot topic going on in my house right now. I have the tools that were needed to embark on my project now, so thanks Decor8!

  • Reply Anonymous March 5, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Can anyone tell me where the duvet cover from the deer head room is from?
    I tried finding it in the magazine itself but couldn’t…I’d really love to buy it!

  • Reply Rugs April 29, 2011 at 10:52 am

    This really helped me! Thanks for these tips and sample rugs you posted here. I like the way you combined colors. :) you have a great mind! :)

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