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Before You Buy Another Rug Read This First!

Entryway Runner

If you want to know where you are probably failing in your own home design its most likely in the rug area. In most homes people are using rugs too small for their space, made of cheap materials or quite simply they are missing a chance to really set the tone of the room with something that can make one of the biggest impacts. Sourcing a rug is usually something I spend more time on than any other item in the design. If you feel your sofa or bed is the most important item in your room fine, but move the rug up to the second slot in order of importance and you may find that your space finally has that Wow factor you were missing.



So let’s first start with size shall we. Chances are many of you have a rug too small for the space, when it comes to rugs bigger is almost always bigger. Does this mean you have to break the bank to make it work? No but I will get to that. What it does mean is you need to make an effort to have has many legs of your furniture fit on the rug. Best case scenario every leg of you all your furniture in a given room fits onto your area rug. If not our runner up is all the front legs. But please please please stop all this floating furniture where we have a rug just plopped down in the middle of the room. I’d rather see no rug than this kind of look where its just too small!

Another thing to note is round rugs are meant for round rooms or round dining tables. If neither of these apply to you don’t buy a round rug. I know a few people who can pull off the round rug in a rectangle room but they are few and far between and its best left to the experts. When working in smaller spaces orientate the rug to the room. This may mean flipping it in a way you previously wouldn't thought of. A rug defines the space, so its better to be cozy then spread half way across a room just because you want to fill it, let the rug help you do so.

Here is a great visual by the talented Shannon at Home Made Lovely that will help you wrap your head around all of this.


Do yourself and your family a favor and let the first thing you do is check the material of the rug you’re thinking of purchasing. And I’m going to make this easy for you, unless its wool, cotton, jute, sisal or hemp don’t buy it. There isn’t that easy. Yes that means no rayon, no polyester, and please please NO POLYPROPYLENE. Guys I know this seems like it takes out every cheap rug on the market but I promise you its worth it. I don’t want to go into detail but these synthetic rugs can off gas for years pouring pretty toxic chemicals into your homes, what they are treated with is petroleum need I say more? It truly is not worth it to save a few bucks. The ONLY time to buy synthetic is for outdoor rugs. 

Lesson here is natural is always better and when it comes to best wool for the win every single time. Jute and cotton coming in second and they can come as cheaply as your synthetic rugs too. Wool just really stands the test of time and investing in a good wool rug will save you money in the long run. There are rugs you can find still kicking after a 100 years looking gorgeous. Imagine how many foot steps that is over one rug! Try that on your polypropylene rug, I dare you, it won’t last five years let alone 100.



So now how do you not break the bank once I have taken away synthetic and small choices? Well that is easy, you layer of course! The easiest way to do so is a larger (8x10 or 9x12) jute rug layered with another on top, done and done. The trick to layering is trying to keep the piles similar. You don’t want to put something too thick on top of something else very thick. And always use a rug pad under the bottom rug. It can save your floors and possibly prevent a few broken bones when you lose it slipping and landing on the coffee table. Also don't discount a rug simply because you have wall to wall carpeting. In fact as comfy as carpet is, it's usually pretty boring so you should be laying rugs more than anyone, and you already have the bottom layer so you're ahead of the game no excuses!

Vintage Rug Layering from Rugs USA and Rebecca & Genevieve

Vintage Rug Layering from Rugs USA and Rebecca & Genevieve


Now that we got the basics down where to do you go to find great rugs? Well aren’t you lucky you found me, because I'm going to point you in the right direction. First off if you want a huge selection of classic geometric patterns, great jute options, all the well known brands all at a great price then Rugs USA is a safe bet. You can search by size, color, material and more making it a great place to nail the right rug for your space. There is no shortage of fun boho styles as well as super traditional rugs so what ever your fancy this is usually my go to source for clients.

Rugs Usa

So we all know Scandinavian design is where its at when it comes to furniture but did you know they also do rugs with equal attention to style? This Swedish company (yes they ship to the US & Canada) has some vintage rugs but what I am seriously swooning over is their Modern Kilim selection. If you want that neutral layered look in your home with just a bit of edge then you want to point your browser to Rug Vista. Perfect for those that yearn for that Scandi Hygge look or a Modern Rustic vibe.

Rug Vista Modern Boho Rugs

This company has a much smaller collection than the others but every rug is special when I get the client who's not afraid color or pattern and has a fashion forward sense of style this is one of my first stops, Aelfie. They are really killer in kids spaces or to perk up an office and help set your productivity levels to hyper speed. Risk takers you are welcome.

Best Colorful Rugs

Another great source for a mix of vintage and custom rugs is Kilim. They have some real stunners especially in the runner category and many which you can customize the size which is a really helpful option. They also carry some Tulu's which are the colorful shaggy rugs and can be hard to come by these babies are so fun to perk up a space! There is a lot here so its best to go in with an idea of what you may be looking for. The entry in the opening photo has a beautiful floral motif runner I about died when I found it, does it get any more beautiful than that, I think not!

Best Kilim Rugs


This last source is actually a brand under the Annie Selke umbrella. Dash & Albert does what it does and they do it well. You can find them at many online shops but I prefer to go to the source when I can. They do it all from East Coast Preppy to Mid Mod Shaggy and their quality is a stand out for the price point. If you are looking for something in that Fixxer Upper Modern Farmhouse vein this would be my first stop.

Best Dash & Albert Rugs

But if you want to know how all us designers would really want to see every floor in every home, its with a swoon worthy vintage rug. To me this is a no brainer. Not only are you getting something that is likely handmade you are also doing your part to reduce waste. The problem of course is where do you find these beautiful vintage rugs? Well of course I got you covered! And while these can be cost prohibitive to get on a large scale for some they make the perfect choice for laying. Here are my fav vintage vendors, these ladies scour the globe for their rugs and do the quality control for you. Yes you could take to Etsy for your rug hunt but you'd end up down a rabbit hole I fear you may not return from so take my advice and try one of these online shops first!

Best Online Vintage Rug Shops

1- Swoon Rugs 2- Rebecca & Genevieve 3- Rug & Weave 4- Woven Abode

5- June & Blue 6- New England Loom

Now do you have any other rug questions you would like me to answer? Leave a comment !