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Why does rug size matter?

July 15, 2021

I LOVE talking about rug sizes! And it's mostly to clear up confusion. Between conversations with clients online and in-person visits to their homes, I can see there is A LOT of misunderstandings when it comes to picking a proper sized rug for your home. Rug size matters more than you think! The size of your rug in relation to the rest of your space has the power to make your room feel large and spacious or cramped and tiny.

White Moroccan trellis rug in a contemporary bedroom

One of the biggest things I notice is that people assume they need a very large area rug for their living room space. I get a lot of clients who reach out to me asking for 8' x 10' rugs but when I get to their home and start rearranging furniture to place the rug, it's clear that they need a much smaller rug. I've seen it time and time again, but a general rule of thumb is that a large rug in a smaller space will make the entire room feel small and cramped. It's best to leave a little bit of floor space on all sides of the rug so that the rug stands on its own.

Learn more about locations for specific rug sizes

Learn about the best spots in your home to place rugs of different sizes, from throw rugs, to runners, to area rugs, and everything in between!

Learn more

What are some important size-related factors to keep in mind when selecting a rug?

It is important to place a rug while keeping in mind the rest of the decor of the space. There are a number of questions I keep in the back of my head: How high are the ceilings? What material is the flooring made of? What color is the flooring? How big is the couch? Is the room an enclosed space or is it an open layout room? What material is your rug made out of and how high is the pile height? The answers to all of these questions will influence the size and style of the rug you should consider.

Colorful handknotted Moroccan rug in a contemporary home
Mid century modern home featuring a minimalist Moroccan rug

Since I work with a lot of vintage handwoven Moroccan rugs, I know how hard it is to find rugs that are wider than six feet in width. Length of the rug is never a problem, but often the width is a limiting factor. Anyone who has searched for a large Moroccan rug before understands this challenge! This has to do with the size of the loom and how the rugs are constructed.

What are your design tips for layering Moroccan rugs over jute mats? 

If you have your heart set on a certain rug that isn't wide enough for your purposes, an easy solution is to layer it on top of a larger jute or sisal mat. These jute mats come in all sizes and color ways and are a great option for establishing a larger footprint that delineates a living room space or bedroom space properly. With the jute mat covering the majority of the space, you are then free to place your vintage rug on top of it and let it take center stage.

When searching for a jute mat to pair with your Moroccan rug, pay attention to the size of the weave pattern on the jute mat and the overall color. Ultimately you want the jute mat to highlight the Moroccan rug without distracting from the beauty of the piece. If the weave pattern of the jute mat is too large, or the color is too close to the color of the floor, you may not achieve the intended affect.

Of all the natural fiber mats, I prefer the following jute and sisal rugs. I chose these pieces because they look the best with Moroccan rugs, have a clean looking weave structure, and come with the highest ratings.

NuLoom Natural Handwoven Jute rug

Things I like about this jute mat are the horizontal braided lines of jute, the simple repetitive pattern that fades into the background. I also like that the border of this mat is subtle which would allow a layered rug to pop on top of it. NuLoom sells their braided jute rugs in all sizes from runners to 8' x 10' area rugs and more. Expect to pay around $200 for the larger area rugs.

Shop NuLoom jute rugs

Natural Area Rugs Handmade Sisal Rug

This is a 100% natural Sisal rug. This company consistently gets good reviews, however their price point is a bit higher than the NuLoom jute rugs. They also have fewer size options, but if you're looking for an 8' x 10', look no further! I like that they offer a wide range of colors, from a deep navy, to dark browns, to a more modern, white. Shop Natural Area Rugs jute and sisal mats with the link below. 

Shop Natural Area sisal rugs

Safavieh Natural braided extra large Jute rug 

This jute mat comes to us with the full weight and quality of the Safavieh brand behind it. These mats are handwoven out of natural materials and come in a variety of sizes. The 9' x 12' rug will set you back $400 dollars.

Shop Safavieh jute rugs

Off white braided Jute rug from Rugs USA

You can't go wrong with a white jute mat. These are classy, sophisticated and will make most colorful rugs shine on top of them. An 8' x 10' area jute mat will set you back about $285 from Rugs USA.

Shop white Jute mats

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