Rug Shopping - Tips and Sources

This page is loaded with rug shopping tips to help you pick the right rug(s) for your home. The tips are grouped into categories with bold headings to make it easy for you find the ones of most interest to you.

Shop with Your Eyes - Browse Before You Buy
The best tip is to shop with your eyes first - not your wallet. You might find something even better than what you had in mind. Maybe a new design or a more suitable color. Keep yourself open to new possibilities.

When you have your choice narrowed down, then it's time to think about your budget. If you first choice costs too much, look for a similar design in a less expensive rug. A synthetic material instead of wool. Machine-made rather than hand-knoted or hand-woven. It might be hard for your friends and visitors to tell the difference, but your wallet will know.

Whether you get a rug at one of our recommended rug shopping sources or not, you should at least browse around. You'll see many different styles and designs in one place. It helps you narrow down what you want.

Rugs Open a Crowded Space
The right rug can make any room seem more spacious. Light colors, simple patterns, and loose designs (less ornate) create a sense of expansion and airy freedom, giving even the most cramped spot a fresh, open feel.

A Rug Makes Your Living Space Cozy
Deeper, darker colors in a rug can create a sense of warmth and coziness in a room. Rugs with dark or dense patterns also work well to provide a cozy feeling.

Use a Rug to Highlight OR Downplay the Existing Floor
In a room where you'd like to show off or highlight the existing floor, select a smaller size rug in a soft-hued solid color or perhaps a tone-on-tone pattern to enhance the flooring's character. Place the rugs where they'll draw a viewer's eye to the floor beneath.

Rugs with light tones or simple patterns can also be used with great effect.

Rugs can work like "exclamation points," drawing the eye to the floor's natural design with an enhancing splash of excitement.

On the other hand, if you want to downplay the existing floor, then select a large rug with a strong, vibrant overall pattern.

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What is Your Room's Focal Point - Furniture or Rug?
Rugs are highly flexible design elements. They can draw attention to certain parts of a room OR they can serve as focal points on their own.

If you want the rug to be the focal point, go with a pattern that grabs people's attention. Bold or busy patterns do that easily and intrigue the viewers. These rugs work even better when the surrounding furniture and décor is a subtle color with little or no pattern, acting as a frame to the floor art.

If you want your furniture to be the focal point, consider rugs with soft colors and/or subdued patterns. One or more smaller rugs might work better than a larger sized rug. Select rugs that complement the furniture color. You don't want the rug(s) to be busier than the room décor; otherwise the two elements will compete.

A fireplace, such as one from, can be a focal point in a room. In that case, it works well to go with a rug having a more subdued all-over pattern so the rug is not a distraction.

When two or more items are competing to be a focal point, it can upset the balance or harmony of the room. This can be avoided with good planning and/or placement.

Here's a good rule of thumb: A rug can be "busy" or other colors and patterns in the room can be "busy," but it's not good when everything in the room is that way.

Use a Rug to Complete that Special Theme
If you've decorated a room with a theme, a complementary rug really completes the look and feel of the room. Too often people will decorate a room with a specific theme and not pay any attention to the rug. For example, a Southwestern Style living room with a random Persian rug lacks balance. That style of rug looks out of place in such a room.

Rugs can add that finishing touch to your theme. If you're using nautical elements, consider a coordinating rug that reminds you of your favorite seascape. If you're going for a Victorian look, try a rug with a lush European floral design.

If you're trying to avoid obvious prints, you might want to consider color schemes that complement your décor. A Southwestern style room doesn't necessarily need a Navajo rug. A palette of turquoise, rose, sand, and brown will also do the trick.

Use Rug Finder to See Rugs in Your Favorite Style, Color, and/or Size!
Select any desired aspect (style, color, material, size). Narrow it down, one option at a time, until you have a rug that's just right for you!

A Rug Transforms a Room
You can use a rug to change the personality of any room, instantly. If you don't have the budget or the time to completely redecorate, but your room could use a new look, then consider a dramatic centerpiece rug that will give the room a new feel. Rugs with ornate, detailed, vibrant, or unusual patterns can really re-do a space.

An area rug can also be used instead of getting a costly carpet replacement. If your carpet is old, but still good, and has a bald spot, use a rug to transform that spot from worn to wonderful.

Use a Textured Rug to Create Depth
Adding texture can bring new life to any layout. If your room is smooth all over, as is the case with many hardwood floors, wall-to-wall carpets, or laminates, something textured can break up the "glassy" feel.

A nice textured rug balances the room with its uneven surface. Think about using cozy shag rugs and luscious Flokati rugs. Add a touch of depth and warmth to your home environment and break up the monotony.

Use a Rug to Show Off Your Interests
We all have interests and favorite things. It might be fun to share some of those interests with others. A good rug can do the trick by helping to break the ice and start a conversation! Greet your guests with a well-placed rug that showcases your hobby, personal interests, or beliefs and you'll get many smiles.

Enhance the game room with a rug that features the logo of your favorite sports team, or personalize your sewing room with a cute, quilted theme.

Choose a rug that matches your personal style, or that enhances the décor of the room through its color scheme.

Let Rugs Expand Your Child's Mind
Studies have proven that children learn better and faster when exposed to artistic stimuli. Color has a significant impact on a child's experience and it allows them to learn and grow more effectively. That's why many parenting magazines encourage the use of bright or interesting color patterns on the walls and floor.

Encourage a bright future while making their room look great with kids' rugs. Try a colorful print rug as the centerpiece of the nursery or playroom. Or, consider a "teaching" rug that exposes kids to colorful numbers, letters, shapes, and patterns—all while making the room look great.

Rugs for Teens
It should come as no surprise that teens are hard to please. They like things "hip" and "cool" or whatever the current buzzwords are. Ornate rugs, floral rugs, and anything that looks old-fashioned might not work for them.

Consider a contemporary rug or one with a pop-art design. Teens and young adults still enjoy many of the rugs with cartoon characters.

There are so many styles and design choices that even the pickiest teen will have plenty of rugs to choose from to personalize their space.

Make Your Hallways Bigger
Use a hall runner rug with light-colored or open-patterned design in your cramped, stuffy hallway to instantly make it seem bigger.

Bring Your Bathroom to Life
It's easy to fall into the routine of buying a 3-piece bathroom rug set, just to have something on the floor and perhaps a bit of color. However, it's not always the best route to go for a unique decorative experience.

Try using better-quality rugs in your bathroom space and witness the difference. Flat-weave braided American oval rugs look great. Textured rugs are also great. Just choose a style and color that complements your bath and you'll probably never want to use those cheap rugs again.

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Use a Rug to Complete Your Kitchen
The kitchen is often overlooked as the workhouse of the home, but a well-placed kitchen rug can turn it into an inviting living space.

Choose small accent rugs to keep things simple (and easy on your feet), or go all-out and dress up the floor with a big rug. Consider matching your rug to your cabinets, or to your kitchen's overall theme.

Use a light rug to add an open, airy feel to the room, or a darker rug to make it more elegant. Contrasting colors also work well when used as accent rugs in the kitchen.

Use Rugs to Highlight Outdoor Focal Points
The quality of outdoor rugs make them a go-anywhere solution. If you want to draw attention to your pool, a patio table, or your favorite deck bench, consider a rug with a simple, but complementary color scheme.

Match the rug with your outdoor furniture's look and feel, but don't pick something that's too loud as it might distract the eye from admiring your layout. Solid or natural colors also work well.

If you want to feature a rug as outdoor art, you might choose a busier pattern - something with a multitude of colors and/or visual interest.
Pair that up with solid color furniture for a crowd-pleasing look.

Use a Rug to Carry a Color Scheme
These days, white walls are blasé. When your favorite room is done in shades of purple and silver, you'll need a rug to match.

Try using solid, complementary colors to carry a painted color scheme through the entire room. A strategically placed accent rug that matches your wall, trim, or ceiling color can really make a design come together.

Give Solid Colors a Chance
Patterns, prints, and designs are nice—but they're not always the perfect choice. Sometimes the personality of your room already speaks volumes, and you need something simple to serve as an accent.

Solid color rugs are a great choice for rooms that need basic enhancement. Match your paint, trim, ceiling, or furniture color. Contrast your flooring. Complement your wall art. Think of solid color rugs as an artist's palette. Choose the shade you need to add emphasis to your room or furnishings.

Remember, Rugs Come in All Shapes
Don't limit your decorating plans to just rectangular rugs. Give consideration to round, oval, hexagonal and octagonal rugs as well. They can add flair and elegance to your floor in ways you might not have thought of before.

Use Rugs to Blend Rooms
Sometimes, people living in larger homes want to decorate each room in a different theme. However, the shift between two rooms can sometimes feel awkward or clunky—especially when the themes are quite different.

To ease the "bump" between styles, try using transitional (blended-style) rugs or solid color rugs that complement BOTH rooms. Choose a common color that exists in both layouts, or a contrasting color that isn't too loud.

A subtle transitional rug print (like a collage, cascade, or hodge-podge rug) can also do the trick, if some of the design motifs from both rooms are present in the transitional rug.

Want a Rug to be a Family Heirloom?
If you want to get a rug that will last for generations, many experts say that you should look for a desired design in a rug made of wool and preferably hand-made (knotted or woven).

In addition to being resilient and durable, wool is naturally resistant to fire, water and stains. A big plus is that wool is also naturally resistant to dust mites. This is important to people with allergies, because dust mites can aggravate allergies.

Rug Pads
A good rug pad should be used under all rugs. It makes no difference if the rug is on wall-to-wall carpeting, or on a wood or tile floor.

Use Rugs in Heavy Traffic Areas
There's no doubt that rugs can add charm and style to your floor, but rugs can be very practical as well. A good rug does double-duty in areas of heavy traffic such as hallways and near stairways and entryways.

There are many choices for a durable rug that holds up well in traffic, including wool rugs, and many of the indoor-outdoor rugs. A rug with a dense weave can also be used in an area that gets trod on often.

When you match the rug to your room's color scheme or décor style, your guests will see it as an attractive design element and not as a "bullet proof vest" type of protection for the floor.

Use Rug Finder to See Rugs in Your Favorite Style, Color, and/or Size!
Select any desired aspect (style, color, material, size). Narrow it down, one option at a time, until you have a rug that's just right for you!
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