Decor Mentor’s Buying Guide: The Perfect Area Rug

After working on more than 350 client homes, I’ve found that area rugs that are too small is one of the top three mistakes! I’m Lisa Ferguson of Decor Mentor and Lisa Ferguson Interior Design, and I’m here to spill my designer secrets with Layla Grayce so you can get it exactly right!

BUDGET: I recommend budgeting 25% of your room’s decorating budget for your rug.

STYLE: Do you know if you are more Modern than Traditional? Take a look at Decor Mentor’s 6 favorites. We love that you can almost always take a rug in either style direction!

Decor Mentor's Favorite Layla Grayce Rugs

Clockwise from top left: Dash and Albert Indoor/Outdoor Wool Rug, Ikat Tufted Wool Rug, Suzanne Kasler Oria Flower Aqua Braided Wool and Silk Rug, DwellStudio Home Almonds Ink Wool Rug, Soho Blue Contemporary Blue Wool Rug, Amy Butler Hand-Tufted Lacework Blue Wool Rug


  • If you have pets and kids, choose colors that mask dirty hand marks and pet hair. 
  • The more pattern in a rug, the lower the maintenance. 
  • The more color in a rug, the easier it will be to make a room feel layered.
  • Take cues from your rug to build a color scheme for your entire room. As designers, we color match colors in the rug with paint chips to use as color references. We always carry the chips around in our client files to help match!
  • You can use rugs of different patterns within the same room as long as the colors coordinate.
  • SCALE: Always vary the scale differing patterns in your room. Typically, I like to make sure I have a mix of small, medium and large patterns, as well as a stripe and some solids in every room scheme.

    SIZE: No matter the room, measure your minimum and maximum sizes before you go shopping. We put the info right into our iPhone so it’s easily accessible.

    Dining Rooms:

    • The chair legs shouldn’t fall off the rug when people are seated at the table or pulling the chairs away from the table to seat themselves. Most dining room tables need an 8′ wide area rug.
    • To determine which size rug you need, measure the length and width of the table and add at least 4′ to each measurement. 

    Bedrooms & Living Rooms:

    • 8-16″ of hardwood around perimeter of an area rug is optimal in the living room. In the bedroom, 24″ of rug on sides and end of bed is ideal.
    • Avoid area rug edges and corners in major traffic flow areas for safety. Go bigger or smaller if you can.
    • At minimum, front legs of furniture should be on the area rug. If possible it is preferable to have all legs on the rug to create a pulled together and professional look.

    Optimal Rug Configurations

    Synthetic Fibers:

    • Acrylic: Very resistant to sunlight, mildew and stains.
    • Polypropylene/Olefin: This inexpensive synthetic fiber is the most water and stain-resistant fiber.
    • Nylon: Durable and easy to clean.

    Natural Fibers:

    • Wool: Softness, durability and cleanability make wool a superior fiber.
    • Cotton: Not as durable as wool. Can often be hand washed but will show wear before wool.
    • Silk: Silk adds luster, especially to wool. I like to see it in blended carpets as it’s not as durable as wool.
    • Jute: The softest of all natural fibers. When exposed to direct sunlight, jute may fade or darken in color. With prolonged exposure to moisture, the fiber disintegrates. 
    • Sisal: Leading the pack for durability in natural fibers. Both static-free and colorfast.

    RUG CARE: A rug pad will absorb sound and create cushion. Not only will it prevent the rug from moving, it will also reduce wear and tear on the rug and the floor underneath.

    Amanda | Permalink |

    2 Responses to “Decor Mentor’s Buying Guide: The Perfect Area Rug”

    1. judy hall Says:

      Good information. What do you think about jute rugs?

    2. Jane Campbell Says:

      Well thought out information! Thanks for sharing it on your worth reading blog!

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