Design Tip Archive

Choosing the right rug can transform a room at relatively little cost

by Chuck Sikes | | shop our rugs

March 11th, 2009

Rugs Make A Room

Ukraine Brown: 100% wool flat woven area rug shown 6 x 9, based on the Soumak weaving style, available in sizes from 4 x 6 to 12 x 18.

A rug is one design element that can make a dramatic impact on a room at relatively little cost... if chosen correctly. In this article we'll tackle selecting the right rug for under your dining table by focusing on three key elements: design; color; and size.

Let's start with design

A dining room rug should typically feature a prominent border. This helps define the shape of the table and reinforces the sense of space in the immediate dining area. Rectangular rugs should be used with rectangular tables and round rugs used with round or square tables.

Also, I recommend a rug that has a consistent pattern in the field within the border. A large decorative detail in the middle of a rug can be beautiful in a living room, but this detail will largely disappear under a dining table.

choosing the right size

A rug should be at least 4 feet larger than your table in both width and length to allow for the chairs to be moved out to the 'seated' position while all four legs of the chair remain on the rug. An 8 x 10 rug or larger is usually needed for this. If the table is used only occasionally and a large rug is not practical, a smaller rug like a 6 x 9 could work.

Ideally, the rug should be sized and placed so that other furniture in the room such as a server or a buffet are not partially on the rug. There are circumstances where it won't be possible to follow this guideline and the one above. In these cases you may want to opt for a room-sized rug. If you do leave at least an 8" border between the rug and wall on all sides.

choosing the right color

Colors should anchor the room. Small patterns or light colors make the room more spacious. Deeper, darker colors create a feeling of warmth and coziness. Pick colors that compliment chair upholstery, window treatments and wall colors. If you feel out of your element selecting colors Pompanoosuc Mills offers free in-home design consultations to help you make your selection.

other considerations

We strongly recommended using a rug pad underneath all your rugs. A good rug pad provides a stable, non-slip foundation which is especially important on high-polish wood and tile floors. Also, a rug pad creates an airspace that separates your rug from the dirt and grit that inevitably filters through it adding years to the life of your rug. Pompanoosuc Mills offers rug pads for wood or tile floors, pads for on top of carpeting and even pads for radiantly heated floors.

Need help with rugs in other rooms of your home? We'll make it easy for you. Pompanoosuc Mills offers a wide variety of styles and sizes in our showrooms and on our web site. Come talk to one of our knowledgeable specialists about your personal needs.

about the author:

Chuck has been with Pompanoosuc Mills helping northern New England customers with home furnishings since 1991. He has extensive training in custom furniture design and interior planning. When not helping Pompy customers, Chuck lives in New Boston, NH and enjoys his family, tending to his gardens, woodworking and home remodeling.