Rugs 101

As a key component of any decor scheme, floors have a major influence on the overall feeling of a room. And after you’ve installed the foundations, a beautiful rug can make all the difference in achieving just the right look.


There are three main things to consider before choosing a rug for a space: style, size and material. ESSGO carpets, Designer Anne Hepfer dropped by the Steven and Chris studio with her advice on how to roll out a winner.


Changing the style and colour of your rug can change the look and feel of a room. Think if you want a warm eclectic look or if you’d rather something that seems more clean and fresh. Consider your overall decor and keep that in mind when you start to narrow down your choices.

2. SIZE:

Too many people make the mistake of buying a rug too small. Rugs, when sized correctly, will unify a room and make a room feel larger.

Floating area rugs are a big mistake people make. They’re distracting for the eye and could be dangerous if you trip over them.

The standard width for carpet is 13’2″, so if you have a room larger than that, you will have a hard time finding a rug to fit unless you go custom and that can be very expensive. Talk to your rug dealer about seaming rugs together to get a very large rug.

Use a measuring tape to create an outline to get a feeling for where you want the rug placed before going to the store. A rug should always be connected to furniture. Here’s a little guide for how it should look in each room:

Living Room

-If furniture is placed around perimeter of room (i.e. if the sofa is up against a wall), there should be an 8″ perimeter of wood floor from the baseboard to the rug around the room.
-If furniture is floating in the room (i.e. a pair of love seats flanking a fireplace), then all four legs of the love seats should be on the rug.

Dining Room

-There should be room to pull the chairs out from the table with the back legs of the chairs remaining on the area rug. A rule of thumb is to measure the width and length of your dining table and add two feet to all four sides. The resulting dimensions will be your minimum rug size. To get your maximum rug size, measure the room and subtract 8″ from all four walls to get your maximum rug size.

Don’t forget:
When measuring for rugs, watch out and make sure not to cover any vents in the floor. It can seriously affect the heating and/or cooling in your home!

Think about how your room will be used when determining what kind of rug to buy. For high-traffic areas or for kids, dark colors hide dirt. For pets that shed, dark colors will show light colored hair (if you have a blond dog or white dog, stay away from navy, black, etc). If you have kids or pets with dark hair, stay away from light rugs because they show everything and they’re hard to clean. The positives of a light-coloured rug is that it will help a small room seem bigger, lighter and brighter. There are also geometric patterns to consider. They are in style, add interest to a room, hide stains and can work to unify your colour palette.

Here’s a guide to textile materials you have to consider.

Think of choosing a rug as if you’re choosing your wall color or wallpaper pattern. Because a rug takes up a large area of a room, it can really dictate the look and feel of the room.

They are big investments, though, so be sure to measure everything and bring photos of your room into the store along with your fabric swatches. Many rug suppliers will let people take a rug out on approval or on loan to try before making a final commitment. It’s always worth asking the rug supplier before making a final commitment.