How to Avoid the 5 Most Common Mistakes When Choosing a Rug for Your Dining Room

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Want to cosy up your dining room but not sure where to start? Here are the 5 stepping stones to the perfect dining rug.

We heart winter. It’s the penultimate time of year for holing up indoors with fam + friends. Roast dinners with crispy-skinned potatoes, baked onions + creamed spinach. Hearty casseroles. Spanish tapas nights with paella, patatas bravas and pork pintxos. Winter entertaining is a veritable feast. 😉

And now is the perfect time to add some warmth to your dining space before the cold truly sets in.

From L: Rug Republic Bazin Modern Rug, Rug Republic Estoke Modern Rug, Cornermill Michaela Wool Durrie Rug, Rug Culture Wist Wool Rug, and Rug Culture Opul Wool Rug, available online at Zanui

From design to material, shape and size, choosing the right rug for your dining room can be daunting. Here are 5 tips to help you make the right choice.

Organic fibres vs Oriental? What’s your taste? Images sourced L to R:,, and

Arrange your furniture BEFORE you choose your rug

We cannot stress this enough. It sounds simple but it can feel like destiny when your eyes light on that modern Oriental shag wool hide rug… Resist – at least until you’ve measured up your dining table and chairs.

From L to R: Brink & Campman Earth Himali Designer Rug, BluebellGray Calum Designer Rug, BluebellGray Teal Paintbox Designer Rug, BluebellGray Prussian Designer Rug and BluebellGray Cait Designer Rug, available online at Zanui.

Save yourself the heartbreak of having to choose between your beloved Scandi dining table and your new rug. Too late? Read our tips for making small rugs work here.

Images sourced L to R: and

Make sure your rug is large enough for chair room

What? you say. What is this chair room of which you speak? Well, your rug needs to be large enough so that when your guests push their chairs back, the chair legs are still on it.

Sound tricky? Let’s break it down. Measure the table size, add 60-80cm to each size, and Bob’s your mother’s brother. (Or your father’s. We don’t discriminate here.)

Images sourced L to R:, and

Opt for easy-care materials

Choosing a rug that does not shed and is spill/stain resistant will prevent you from pulling out your hair. Tears are less than desirable at a dinner party. And let’s face it, there’s always one over-emphatic guest who spills their wine (usually me).

For this reason, heat-set polypropylene rugs are ideal for dining rooms. They’re easy to look after – durable, non-shed and stain-resistant. For more information on rug materials, click here.

Polypropylene rugs are ideal for dining zones. From L to R: Rug Republic Miada Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Rug Republic Kast Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Rug Republic Char Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Rug Republic Astor Indoor/Outdoor Rug, and Rug Republic Kempt Indoor/Outdoor Rug,

Leave some space between your rug and the wall

We suggest leaving a gap of about 45cm as a guide. This creates a sense of spaciousness and showcases your rug. Opt for cosy not claustrophobic.

Rugs with a smaller pattern or a light palette also help to make your dining room seem larger and airy.

Or break all the rules with a hide rug – exploit its natural asymmetry for rustic charm. Images sourced L to R:, and

Decide what’s going to feature – your dining furniture or your rug

You chose rug? A bold coloured/patterned rug becomes the focal point of your room. This is a great choice for a dining suite with a shiny finish.

From L to R: Rug Republic Pixie Modern Rug, Rug Republic Mahpe Modern Rug, Rug Republic Poxy Modern Rug, Rug Republic Stated Modern Rug, and Rug Republic Abox Modern Rug, available online at Zanui.

You chose dining suite? Contrast the stain of your table with the colours of your rug to make your furniture stand out.

From L to R: Dash & Albert Cat’s Paw Wool Designer Rug, Brink & Campman Wake Himali Designer Rug, Brink & Campman Phagwah Himali Designer Rug, Brink & Campman Petal Himali Designer Rug, and Brink & CampmanGiraffe Himali Designer Rug, available online at Zanui.

So there you have it folks – your get-out-of-jail-free-and-buy-the-right-rug-for-your-room card. (Doesn’t that just roll off your tongue…)

Happy winter entertaining peoples!! Two words. Mulled wine. 😀

Want more rug tips? Read here.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.