If you’ve been with us here at 10 Tips for a while, you’ll be well aware that we cover all sorts of topics, from the broad to the focused and much more in between. In this feature, we’re getting about as specific as it is possible to be as we’re not only going to share 10 great tips to choose the right rug, but we’re going to do so specifically in the dining room.
You may wonder what makes the dining room so special that it needs a different rug to the bedroom, lounge or anywhere else in the home. When you break it down, there are some specific scenarios that you need to take into account. Within that dining room, you need to consider crumbs and other mess, regular footfall as people join and leave the table, ease of pulling chairs in and out and all sorts of other things. All of that has been taken into account, so let’s get to it and get underway with the best tips to choose a rug for the dining room in your home.
1. If It’s a Choice Between Too Big and Too Small, Go Big
We have no idea how big or small your dining room is, although we do have a reasonable idea of how big most rugs tend to be. Unless you can comfortably consider your room size as being standard, there’s every chance that you might find the perfect design, but be left short of the perfect fit.
In an ideal scenario, your rug of choice will sit centrally in the room or under the table, and extend out around 60 cm in each direction. The goal here is to give anyone that sits at the dining table enough space to pull out their chairs without any chance of their chair getting caught or, worse still, them tripping over the rug. Crucially, if you want a rug, you don’t want a carpet, so try to take measurements that leave enough space around the rug to leave a gap between edges and any other furniture placed within the room.
2. Go for a Short-Pile Rug
As we hinted at in the introduction, the length of the rug plays a pivotal role in whether or not it’s ideal for the dining room. You may consider yourself tidy and careful, but spills happen and crumbs can fall off the table at any time. You don’t want to turn the clean-up into a major domestic operation, and shorter rugs are easier to vacuum and far easier to remove stains from. If you must have a thick rug somewhere in the home, it may be better suited to the living room or bedroom, where crumbs and stain are less likely to make an impact.
3. Use Your Rug for Design Inspiration
This tip only really applies if you’re either starting with a blank slate or want to completely redecorate the dining room. It is an important one nonetheless, as you have the opportunity to set the tone for the entire room with your choice. Most rugs come in multiple colours, and you can potentially utilise one for the walls and another for the furniture for an instant feeling of cohesion and comfort in the room.
4. If a Rug Won’t Do, Consider Carpet Tiles
Carpet tiles are often considered as the worse alternative to a proper carpet, but if you’re working in an unconventional space by way of size or shape, they can be just what you’re looking for. They come in all shapes and sizes and you can build them out into a rug format by attaching them to each other in a kind of DIY rug layout. Even better, if you encounter one of the dreaded stains and stand no chance of getting it out, you only need to replace a single tile rather than the whole rug – so consider keeping a spare or two on standby.
5. Try to Buy in Person
Much as with buying a bed, it makes perfect sense to do your research online for the best suppliers and prices, but nothing beats getting a feel for the rug itself before it makes its way into your home. If you tend to wear shoes in the house, then the feel will not be top of your priority list. However, if you want the added comfort a rug can bring, make sure you’re happy with it before you commit.
6. Match Shapes
This is a simple and obvious one, but you should always endeavour to match the shape of the rug to the shape of the room. If you ever seen a circular rug in a rectangular room and felt that it looked out of place, then you know what we’re talking about. The carpet tile tip above can come into its own here once again, as you have more control over the specifics if you need it.
7. Change the Shape in Line with the Table
The only time we’d advise deviating from tip 6 is when your dining table is a different shape to the room. If you host dinner parties or have a large family, you may have opted for a round dining table in a rectangular room. In these cases, it is better to match the rug shape to the table as the furniture centrepiece will do a great job of making everything appear organised.
8. Aim for Darker Colours
Even if you don’t have the luxury of a separate breakfast bar, the chances are that you’ll mainly use your dining room in the evening for parties and family reasons. You want it to feel relaxed and comfortable rather than bright and clinical, so we’d advise steering clear of white and paler colours. If you do go darker, you can enjoy the added benefit of disguising minor stains and marks too.
9. Choose Materials that are Easy to Clean
Once again, no matter how confident you are in your own tidiness and cleanliness, there is likely to come a time when you’ll need to clean the rug of stains and food. Your choice of materials matters here, as you could end up with a synthetic rug that is difficult to clean. If you have the choice, go with wool, cotton or anything else natural, as they tend to work out easier to clean overall.
10. Work in Reverse when Choosing Colours
If you don’t have the luxury of a fresh start in the dining room, as outlined above, worry not as you can easily work backwards. Match the rug to the existing furniture and walls and you’ll find that your choice of rug slots seamlessly into your existing setup. Also consider the bigger picture such as other rooms in your home to ensure that the dining room becomes the inviting, comfortable space where you can enjoy your meals.