How to Choose the Perfect Area Rug

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Ever since we whitewashed our brick fireplace, bought a new gray couch, and replaced our carpet with hardwood, I finally started seeing my living room vision come to life. But, the living room was still lacking something and in need of some love – rug love, that is.

For the past couple weeks, I spent (probably too much) time searching for a new area rug for our living room.


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In my opinion, an area rug is a large purchase, especially if you’re looking for a rug that’s 8×10 or 9×12. For some reason, the price of rugs seem to skyrocket when you jump from 5×8 to 8×10. Not to mention the shipping, handling, and taxes that compound on top of the price – geesh, you’re looking at quite an expensive piece of material for under your feet.

Choosing the perfect area rug was not a choice I made lightly. Not only is it expensive, but I figure it will probably live in my living room for years. That’s why I wasn’t too surprised that it took me weeks to find the perfect rug. It’s a big choice.

The main issue I faced with rug shopping was that I had no idea where to begin. There are a million rugs out there – how could I possibly find my perfect needle in that huge haystack? That’s when I took a step back, crafted an actual process, and then began my search.

Next time you’re searching for an area rug, instead of grabbing the first one you see, try following an approach like the one outlined below. Hopefully you will be happy with your purchase and won’t have to face the hassle of returning or exchanging it.



There are several reasons to do this task first. If you have absolutely no idea where to begin, it’s important to first see what you like. Utilize Pinterest as a search engine when you do this step. I must’ve typed in a series of search terms to try and find a space that most resembled my space. I have a light gray sectional, so I wanted to see what types of rugs other people were pairing with a gray sectional. I also took note of how big the rug looked next to each sofa and how exactly is was positioned. How far did the rug ends stick out on either side? Did the rug span both the length and width of the sectional completely?

These are important questions because you’ll want to envision how the rug may look under or next to your particular sofa. I was able to visualize what my living room could look like by actually seeing similar rooms with gray sectionals and area rugs.

Let’s be honest, I also pinned other living rooms that just spoke to me, regardless if they looked anything like my living room or not. Those images weren’t quite as helpful as the others for this particular task.

I took this step a step further by looking at my favorite place for design inspiration – Joanna Gaines’ blog and website. I love looking at past images of designs she has done for clients on Fixer Upper. They post before and after pictures of every renovation they do, which is the perfect reference if you’re looking for some farmhouse inspiration.


I hope your Pinterest board from step one is full of beautiful rug design inspiration. It may even be helpful to look at rug style and placement guides on Pinterest for this step.

The key is to not get lost in the frenzy of rugs, so by having a good grasp of the color, style, rug size and pile height, you’ll eliminate tons of rugs from your search and focus on only the ones that will actually work for your space.

For me, I decided I wanted a greige area rug, modern-farmhouse inspired, at least 8×10, with a low pile, and under $500. Once I got to this point, it made my search much more manageable.


I must’ve looked at 15 different sites during my hunt for the perfect area rug. I kept running into the same problem – some sites didn’t show multiple views of the rug, so I couldn’t get a good grasp as to what it would look like.

That’s when I decided to do my due-diligence. Typically, you can find the same rug at multiple retailers. When I found one I liked that didn’t have top-notch images, I quickly googled the name of the rug and found another retailer that had other views of the rug. The prices varied a bit from each retailer too, so there’s another reason you should always do your due diligence.

I even looked at rugs in store. I wanted to be sure about pile height because there are so many heights. At one point I thought I wanted a high pile height because those rugs are incredibly comfy on your feet, but then I realized that wouldn’t fit into the space I was trying to create. It helped comparing pile height in person.


This step was probably the most difficult for me, as there are so many options! I went from browsing hundreds of rugs to choosing only 10 of my favorites.

Here are the rugs that made my top 10 list:


After weeks of deliberation and many, many cups of coffee, my husband and I finally decided on one. Gasp!

Here’s the rug we chose:


We may have taken a very long time to decide on a rug, but when we received the beauty in the mail, it was everything I imagined it would be. Not only was it high quality, it also looked perfect in the space. It was just as wonderful in person as on the website!
Here’s how the rug looks in our space:

How to Choose the Perfect Area Rug

How to Choose the Perfect Area Rug

How to Choose the Perfect Area Rug

How to Choose the Perfect Area Rug

How to Choose the Perfect Area Rug


How to Choose the Perfect Area Rug

Marly Dice
Marly is the founder of A Brick Home, a blog about home renovation, DIY projects, and decorating ideas. A Brick Home helps readers create their version of a beautiful and thriving home on a budget. Marly has had a passion for beautiful home living since she can remember. Even when she used to work in the corporate world as a marketer, she spent her evenings and weekends creating an inspired home space one DIY project at a time. Marly also has a passion for everything blogging-related. She often outlines blogging tips and strategies to help others achieve their blogging goals.

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