There is a huge selection of rugs available on the market, ranging from different styles, sizes and materials and you can find yourself a bit lost in all the variations.

Here are some tips on how to choose and what to choose:

  1. Think of space and environment
You need to know where exactly you want to place your carpet and what is going to surround it. Rugs can make a space look smaller or bigger. If the intention is to create a feeling of spaciousness then light colours and simple patterns will work. If you are looking to make space cosier – rugs with dark colours and some ornament or bold pattern will be ideal.

Places to put the rug in:

Rugs in kid’s room can be very functional. In addition to a lovely design, it can provide a soft and protected area for a baby to walk and play on, as well as will cushion parents’ tired feet. Children can be accident prone, however, so perhaps best to avoid light colours.

Living Room:
The living room is where you can expect the most traffic or, so you will need to make sure to get a very durable carpet, which means it should have denser, stronger pile which will not flatten easily.

Compared to the living room, the bedroom carpet can be less durable, as there is far less traffic. Choose something soft and comfortable, maybe in a higher pile.

Dining Room:
Dining rooms are where unexpected spills and dirt can occur, so when choosing a carpet, make sure you choose something easy to clean. Dark colours or patterns can help to hide resistant stains.

  1. Find the Focal Point of the room
Rugs can attract or distract attention from different parts of the room, so think of places you want to highlight and those which are better to hide.

In a way, the rug itself can be the focal point of the room. In this case, you can choose a rug with some ornament or pattern; it will visually drag the attention away from the furniture and surrounding d├ęcor. Rugs which work as focal points are better to combine with neutral or soft-coloured furniture; in essence, the rug becomes a piece of art and furniture – a frame. If everything in the room looks too busy, it creates a very restless atmosphere.

  1. Size
You need to be very precise with the size of your rug, as the wrong size can make a room look small or cluttered. Small rugs are good to highlight small pieces of furniture. Large rugs are used for bigger spaces like a lounge or dining room.

How to measure:

If you have chosen to get a large carpet to cover the entire floor area, measure at least 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm) from the wall, to avoid any problems with over-sizing and carpet not fitting in properly - it will look nicer as well.

Another option is to get a smaller rug and place in the seating area, directly between sofas. In this case, there is one little tip – the sofa and chair legs should be all on the rug or all off the rug. It will look very inconsistent if half of the sofa is on the rug and another part off it. If you choose to have everything on the rug then make sure to have 6 to 10inch (15 to 25 cm) on either side of the sofa. If the width of the rug is the same as the as width of the sofa, it can look too small.

If your intention is to put a rug under your dining table, you need to make sure that the length of the carpet includes space for chairs when pulled out.

  1. Colour, style and material

The rug should always compliment the style and colour scheme of the interior. You can try to match colours with other objects in the room: furniture, curtains and sofa, throws, decorative accessories - but not all together.


There is an option to go classical and choose Persian or Oriental rugs, or to choose more contemporary rugs which can be made from plain, natural materials, such as sisal, jute and coir. They can also have some pattern and graphic elements on them.


Wool is most luxurious carpet material on the market. Wool is soft, strong and durable and is excellent for absorbing moisture. It gives warmth and an attractive appearance.

There is no 100% Acrylic carpet, but it is a material that is found in many carpets. It is often blended with wool to provide a lower priced alternative to a 100% wool carpet.

Natural Fibre Carpets.

Jute is one of the softest natural carpet fibres. This could be the perfect choice for a bedroom.

Sisal is hard-wearing natural fibre which handles day to day use very well.

Coir is made from coconut husk. It is a tough, resilient material. It can feel quite harsh on bare feet so it is most suited for conservatories or entrances.

I hope that our guide has been helpful and that it gives some guidance on the do’s and don’ts of choosing a rug. There is no one ideal rug - you just need to find your own preference based on some simple rules and common sense.

John Lewis has a wide selection of stylish rugs, ranging from classic to contemporary, which you can easily find in store and online: