How To Choose a Rug


Here at Forest Flooring, we love a rug.

As, we’re sure, do you. you. Why? Because they can change a room instantly, with zero effort. In fact, they’re almost a design tool, and can be a complement to your other furniture. Equally, they’re fabulous standalone artwork pieces – inviting all sorts of compliments. And, all you have to do is buy one. No fitting required.

With a quick switch, you can take a room from traditional to contemporary, and back again. Or, conservative to cool. You can use a rug to unify a room through in effect bringing together the different pieces of furniture in a room – which looks great. Moreover, a rug can protect your investment in a carpet, through slowing down wear and tear.

We sell a selection of hand-picked rugs, ranging from designer, custom-made pieces to more affordable off-the peg products. Don’t forget: if you’ve been admiring one of our samples in our Forest Row shop, Forest Flooring can even make a rug out of it. A rug just for you, to suit your home. Check out our rugs page for more information.

Things to Know When Choosing a Rug

There are a few things to bear in mind before you buy your rug.

After all, although it’s infinitely portable and you can easily swap it for something else, you’ll want to invest in something that’s excellent quality. Modern life doesn’t have to mean throw away. So, do buy the best you can afford – and it will give you joy for years to come.

Your Lifestyle

Obviously, if you have lively pets, a new baby, or come to think of it children under 25 (we’re not completely kidding here) a designer, cream-coloured carpet may not be the best choice. That’s understandable. But, also think about regular wear and tear, if you’re planning to place it in a high traffic area. Flatweave rugs are a practical option, and they don’t have to be dull or dowdy. Also, they’re tolerant to shall we say, a few spills and accidents, and they’re a bit sturdier.

On the other hand, are you after a luxe feel? How about a higher-pile rug that’s lovely and soft. Inviting and warm, it will be a treat for the (bare) feet at a higher price. Or, just perfect if you like to sit on the floor, if you see what we mean. However, treat it with care.


To develop the above idea, where is your rug headed once it arrives home? What room will it be in? When it comes to a living room rug, you’ll need balance. That is, ideally, it should be centralised. What we mean is, you’re looking at a space of about 10 to 20 inches of bare floor between the walls of the room and the edges of the rug. Also, it needs to sit in line your furniture, otherwise you’ll be constantly wondering what’s not working in your living room. Most likely, it’s your rug.

So then: size. A too-small rug is a common decorating mistake and will make the space look a little unfinished. Silly, even. A piece that’s big enough can almost take the place of a fitted carpet.

Nonetheless, you can also use a rug to define a different space in your room. Say, you have a couple of chairs and a coffee table in one corner? A smaller rectangle piece to place things on can look super chic.  This, combined with a contrasting rug in the main part of the room and you’ve got your very own Ideal Home exhibition.


As you’d expect, colour is so important. In fact, it’s one of the main things to think about. Why? Two reasons: colour impacts our mood, each and every day. And, when it comes to interiors, everything in your home, including the rugs, of course, needs to be “liveable”; you’ll be blue, if you go off its shade and hue (aha, we’re rhyming). Start with a colour you like and take it from there. The rule is always: lighter colours can make a space appear larger, whilst darker tend to minimise, setting the tone in a quaint and cosy environment.

In a previous blog, we mentioned a colour wheel. You can find these easily with just a few clicks; an affordable way to get it just right.

Do you want your rug to stand out, or blend in? Rooms with lots of colour and patterns tend to work best with a more neutral floor. Otherwise, it can look like a colour car-crash. How will it work with the tones of your walls, ceiling and your flooring? How practical is the colour?


Not everyone loves rugs with patterns, but if you choose well they can be super-stars in the home decor department. Perhaps your room’s furniture is reasonably plain. Reserved, if you like. A patterned rug catches the eye, and can be delightful. The effect a pattern has on a room is closely tied to its colours, so consider how these two concepts will work together.


Rectangular, or circular?

If most of your furniture will be sitting on the rug, it’s sensible to choose a rectangular piece, ensuring that at least the front two legs of your sofas and armchairs sit on the rug. It stops the rug from moving and it makes it look much more in keeping with the decor. Thus, the rug needs to be longer than your sofa, otherwise it could look a little overwhelmed.

Time to get out the tape measure.

With circular rugs, your furniture will look best if you place it outside and around the rug. Putting a coffee table in the centre can help to bring everything together.


Buy the best quality products you can afford. A more affordable choice will of course save you money in the short term, but as with everything in life, if you buy cheap you will buy twice. Low-budget rugs bring down the rest of your living room. Rugs can take a bit of a battering – not literally, but they need to work as hard as you do. And, be easy to look after. Plus, they need to be practical, complementary and beautiful, of course.

What Do You Think?

There are so many benefits to a lovely living room rug. From injecting some much-needed colour and warmth, to adding instant pzazz and impact, you’re your own interior designer. Need some advice and inspiration? We hope you’ve found this blog useful, but do get in touch for more information about our wide range of rugs. We’re pretty sure that we have just what you need.