How to Choose an Area Rug for Your Family Room

Consider design, texture, and comfort when laying down a rug in your family area

The Orissa area rug, with its bold pattern and styling, is available at Crate and Barrel

Q: I’m trying to select an area rug for my family room, but having a tough time choosing between all the options. Any tips?

Rugs are one of the trickier purchase decisions for homeowners that’s made easier by considering some basic requirements.

For size, make sure that at a minimum the front legs of all sofas and chairs are on the rug, or that there is enough room to pull a chair out fully if in a dining room.

A rug that is large enough to sit under all furniture and relates well to the room shape gives a custom feeling and makes a bigger impact.

Rug Materials

Next think about materials. A natural fibre rug gives fabulous texture and adds a more casual, organic addition to a space. But if softness underfoot is a priority, it’s not your best bet. A cut pile wool rug wears wonderfully, has the softness that a natural fibre rug lacks and offers a wider palette of colours. Or try a dhurrie rug, woven of cotton or wool. These are great even layered over broadloom, and come in both solid colours and wonderful graphic patterns.

Finally, what contribution do you want your rug to make to your room design? It can truly be the focus of the room when in a bold pattern, or add subtle softness and texture, letting other room elements shine.

Originally published in BC Home & Garden magazine. For regular updates, subscribe to our free Home and Garden e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the magazine.