How To: Choose The Right Size Rug For Your Room

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As the temperature slides south, here at Zanui we’re stockpiling carbs and pulling on our winter onesies in preparation for the hibernation. There’s something inexplicably delicious about tucking your feet up and getting cosy with a cup of Milo while the weather wails outside.

Layering is the call of the day and your home is no exception. Think soft knit throws, an abundance of plush cushions and sumptuous floor coverings.

throws etc interior design, style, rug

Deliciously textured room with the winter sun shining through via houzz.com

Rugs are the perfect way to finish a room. They inject texture, pattern, warmth and colour into your home. Whether it’s kilim, shag, contemporary, jute, or animal hide, the right rug draws together all the elements of your room. It defines different zones within the one space and creates a sense of harmony within your design-scape.

Whether it’s a feature or an anchoring element, a rug can establish your colour scheme or accent your existing palette. It can turn up the visual heat instantly or just as easily tone it down.

Selecting the right size can be tricky. Not surprising, really. Principles of proportion are vital to realising effective design and if you get it wrong your room can look off-kilter. Here are five tips to help you on your way.

Whether your taste is traditional Persian or more contemporary, a rug invites warmth and textured contrast into your home. From left, Ginger and Paul Byblos Designer rug and Royal Collection Border Oriental Rug from Rug Republic

Map out your space

Get the grey matter chatting before you spend your hard-earned cash. Sure, large rugs can be expensive but a rug that’s too small can come off looking like a bathmat that lost its way. And then you’re back raiding the piggy bank again in search for a better solution.

A floorplan can help you consider your options. Measure out your seating area. Draw your room with furniture as close to scale as you can. Or, if you’re super-keen, get crafty and create a newspaper version of the size(s) you are considering and lay them out in your room to gauge their effect.

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Xavier & Me specialises in contemporary designer rugs and runners

What size is ideal?

The contemporary trend is for oversized rugs. So if you’re spoilt for space (and coins), cover all the floor beneath your seating area. Opt for a rug that’s large enough to have all four legs of all of your furniture on it. This works particularly well for floating furniture in larger open plan rooms.

However, if your sofa is against the wall you can get away with just having the front legs on the rug. Don’t pay for the rug real estate if you can’t see it. If you do this, be consistent and have just the front legs of your armchairs on the rug as well.

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Indulging in Nordic sophistication – textured appeal and delicious neutrals via myscandinavianhome.blogspot

The more traditional look with your rug floating (not touching any of your furniture) also works to link your furniture collection. But the scale of your furniture to the rug is important. (See below.)

Contemporary colour and glamour rug - blue - yellow - interior design

The Rug Republic oozes with colour and contemporary sophistication

Furniture to rug ratio

For dining tables, a rug works best when you allow approximately 60cm extra around each side. This means that all four chair legs are on the rug even when your guests are seated. A rug beneath a coffee table operates on the same principle.

In your lounge area, ensure that your rug is approximately 15cm longer than your couch on either side.

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Pick up the colours of your rug in your cushions for bright pops of energy – via diyshowoff.com

Orient your rug to your room

Look at the shape of your room and lay out your rug to match its orientation. If you have a long room – align your rug lengthwise. If you have a short squat room, turn your rug to suit. If you have different zones within your space, you can use rugs to define these spaces. Select rug designs that work in together for an ensemble feel.

The layered look

So you have a rug that you love but realistically it’s too small for your space. Layering is the answer. Pair it with a larger jute, sisal, seagrass or other natural fibre rug. These are generally a cheaper option and they do the job of linking your furniture.

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Layer your rugs for greater textured appeal like this uber-cool retro look living room via realsimple.com

All this cosy talk has left us with an irresistible urge to indulge in the sordidly sweet and delicious. Sticky date pudding with piping hot caramel sauce or apple and blackberry crumble with ice cream make the perfect accompaniment to endless episodes of the Newsroom (or Game of Thrones if you will!).

Finally remember this, rules are made to broken. Here at Zanui we applaud design mavericks. Go forth and shake it up. Send in your pics. We’d love to see your ingenuity in action.

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.