How to Use Rugs for Great Interior Design

Area rugs are one of my favorite design elements. A great rug can take a room from “meh” to “wow” quickly and inexpensively. For relatively little cost and even less work, a new area rug can greatly enhance any space!

Photo of a rug with snazzy animal print border
A creamy beige carpet was custom-bound using a fun leopard print fabric for this tasteful living room. | Photo: Becky Hackler Interiors

Rugs add color, texture, and warmth to any room, and they are versatile and easy to change if buying new furniture or repainting. Think of rugs as an accessory to express your creativity and personal style.

You can find custom rugs in any shape, sizе, and color palеttе imaginablе, allowing you to truly makе a statеmеnt in your homе. Thеsе bеspokе piеcеs can bе craftеd to match еxisting color schеmеs or bеcomе a focal point by introducing bold, contrasting huеs. Additionally, custom rugs offer thе opportunity to еxpеrimеnt with uniquе pattеrns and dеsigns that may bе hard to comе by in mass-producеd options, еnsuring that your spacе rеflеcts your individuality. With a wеll-chosеn custom rug, you can еffortlеssly tiе togеthеr thе еlеmеnts of your dеcor and crеatе a harmonious ambiancе that rеsonatеs with your pеrsonality. 

It’s easy to find inexpensive everyday rugs at department stores like Target or Kohl’s, or at “big box” stores like Home Depot.

Standard area rug sizes include:

Photo of shag carpet
Shag carpets make fun area rugs for any room.
  1. 6’x9’
  2. 8’x10’
  3. 9’x12’

To help determine what size rug looks best in your space, use tape or newspaper on the floor of the area, then measure, including under any furniture like sofas or beds. Rugs may also be custom-made in any size.

Many shoppers don’t realize that custom-bound rugs are affordable and available at most flooring stores. Any carpet can be custom-bound into a rug of any size. The only cost is the price of the carpet and the labor charge for binding.

Photo of area run with low contrasting tones
Use tone-on-tone patterns for a formal look.

Carpet remnants also make excellent bound rugs, for a fraction of the price. Existing rugs may also be re-bound or even re-sized—a room-size rug cut down into runners, for example, or a rectangular rug cut into a square or circle.

With a variety of carpet styles available, choices for rugs are unlimited. Frieze or “shag” styles make good casual choices. Subtle tone-on-tone textures add interest without competing with furniture or drapery fabrics and can be more formal. Plaids, animal prints or other patterns can make the rug a focal point of the room. Use darker patterns to help hide wear in heavy traffic areas or on stairs.

Don’t forget rug pads underneath, as well, to help rugs wear and feel better longer. Pads also provide a non-slip backing to help prevent rugs from sliding.