FINDING THE PERFECT RUG: How to Choose the Right One

How To Choose A Rug

Photos by Carley Page Summers
how to choose a rug, jenna lyons chic soho ny apartment

Anything But Standard

The right rug is crucial to design. It sets the mood and dictates the design. Often in the past when decorating a room, I was working with a small, limited budget. I spent weeks, even months searching for the perfect furniture. The rug was always an after-thought. Each person has an idea of what they want to splurge on and what they’d like to find for under 500 bucks. The sofa is chosen as the investment, and the rug is just found somewhere, like a home goods store, usually on the small side of what is considered standard size.

Any decorative element we choose in a rush after every other piece is in place is going to be a mistake. Actually the rug should be one of the first pieces you select when decorating a room. The rug is one of the most important elements in a room and it is going to make a statement, whether it be a cheap knock-off or hand-loomed luxury. Standard means mediocre in most cases. You want the rug to state your style and define the feeling of the space.


how to choose a rug: a Beni Ourain rug with pink accents anchors and elevates the design in a Parisian apartment that features an eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary furniture finds. The decidedly French furnishings sit off the rug, instead underneath a unique 60s original painting of a Geisha. High contrast drama takes the form of a graphic Moroccan berber rug and a Serge Mouille pendant light.


Showcase Your Style

Leaving the rug to last, or worse as an after-thought, is a mistake I’ve made many times and only learned from experience. I thought I was doing the right thing by starting with the sofa, but it ended up being a mistake when the room felt much smaller than it really is. Because I didn’t consider the floor plan I was trying to create, I wasn’t be able to bring in the correct size rug to fill the space.

The rug should be the showpiece. It is just as important as the walls. The color palette, fabrics, and finishes should be put on hold until you first find the perfect rug in the correct size. What you want is a rug that is scaled to fit the room. This means allowing 12 to 18 inches of exposed flooring on all sides between the base board and the edge of the rug.


how to choose a rug: high contrast in a Paris apartment. The clean minimalist lines of modern furniture are placed within the context of ornate architectural details of historic architecture. The look is pulled together and grounded with a classic Moroccan Beni Ourain rug.

Anchor and Elevate

A bit a research on design and you find that designers flip common thought on the status a rug holds as part of decor. Almost every one will tell you - choose the rug first. The right rug has the power to make the room, and the wrong rug has the power to throw the whole design off kilter. Finding the right pattern, size, texture for your space requires a careful and thorough search.

All designers know, a Moroccan rug is the fool-proof way to add glamour and substance to a room. The soft texture of a Beni Ourain breathes life and warmth into any space, large or small. No one ever expects the buttery white shade to work in their home - but it always does. It should be no wonder at all why the Beni Ourain rug is showing up in every home in Northern Europe. The Beni Ourain rug is the perfect replacement for the characteristically Scandinavian, sheepskin pelt on the floor. The Beni Ourain is super stylish and very durable.


how to choose a rug: an elegant living room furnished with velvet sofa, mid century credenza, blond leather, and moroccan custom size beni ourain rug.

Dazzling Design

When designers go in search of the correct rug size, they have a room arrangement in mind. There are high-end designers who will tell you, the half-on, half-off method of furniture placement is good for design flow. These designers to the rich will say the furniture should be all on, and the rug should sit underneath all four legs. Even when decorating small expensive real-estate in high priced neighborhoods, they will choose a few large furnishings and then scale the rug to match the furniture.

Standard off-the-rack measurements are not always ideal. There are ways to seam and bind two rugs together to make a specific size. And a rug that is too big for the space, can be cut down. Cutting and refinishing a Beni Ourain rug is simple job for a pro rug restorer. And Moroccans have been seeming and binding rugs together for centuries. Customizing a rug is great way to the required size to suit all elements of your intended room design.

Designers use rugs to dazzling effect. A quick pinterest scroll often reveals inspiring ways to showcase rugs everywhere in the house, from the entryway to the bedroom. From the best of these, we can easily see why a beautiful rug is the crucial element - the attention grabber that dictates the mood and design for the rest of the space. 


how to choose a rug: small vintage moroccan rugs are scattered on the floors of this Brooklyn New York townhome to add bright color to high contrast black white design. Decorating NY style with a Parisian twist.


"What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity… something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.”

- Henri Matisse