Six Rules For Dining Room Rugs

The most controversial room to incorporate a rug is certainly the dining room!

While some might prefer a solid hardwood floor beneath their table, others prefer a rug. Rugs are an excellent choice in the dining room because they protect your floor from scraping chairs. They’re also washable, which is crucial for a heavy-mess area.

But there are some rules for selecting the perfect rug for your dining room. You don’t want a thick pile rug hiding crumbs in the fluff – no matter how soft it is underfoot. You also don’t want a stark white rug, because that’s just tempting fate!

Read on to find out our six rules for selecting rugs for dining tables.

The bigger, the better
The absolute most important rule for selecting dining room rugs is to make sure the rug is big enough. Have you ever scraped your chair back from a table and found it now sitting outside the perimeter of the rug? And as if that weren’t irritating enough – have you tried to pull the chair back in? Yeah. You don’t want that to happen. The rug will either bunch or flip up, causing annoyance at best and an injury at worst. As such, the general rule of thumb is the rug should have at least 60cm more space on all sides than the size of the table.

Say, for example, you measure the edges of your square dining table and find it is 100cm on all four sides. Your rug should extend at least 60cm further on all four sides to allow people to get up and down comfortably without falling off.

Mirror the shape
A rug for the dining room should always mirror the shape of the dining table itself. A room may look slightly awkward if these rules of thumb aren’t followed. Here is a handy guide:

Rectangular dining table = rectangular rug.
Round dining table = round or square rug.
Square dining table = square rug.

Short-pile and flat-weave only
It might be obvious, but the dining room is not the place for shag-pile, fluffy or voluminous rugs! Rugs can come in any shape or form – so there’s no shortage of short-pile or flat-weave food-friendly options. A short pile rug will be easier to vacuum and far easier to drag a chair through without damage. You can imagine the havoc a particularly heavy or pointed chair leg will wreak on a thick, plush textured option. A chair will glide happily over a flat-weave rug without inflicting too much damage.

Stick to natural fibres – but only the smooth ones!
There are smooth natural fibres like cotton and wool, and then there are rough-textured options like jute or sisal. Smooth natural fibres will be the easiest to clean and hold up well against synthetic or luxury options like silk, which should be reserved solely for low-traffic areas of the house. On the other hand, you’d have a pretty hard time trying to scrub pasta sauce stains out of a coarse natural fibre like jute! Opt for fine, smooth rugs built from natural fibres for the best chance at keeping clean. Cotton rugs can be cleaned with a mild detergent, vinegar and a soft brush.

Dark colours work best
This rule is the most obvious, but important nonetheless… avoid pastels, beige, eggshell, white, off-white or any variation! While a light, bright rug can bring a certain freshness into a room – the dining area is not the room for that rug. Opt for darker, deeper, richer colours to hide dirt and stains better, because they are inevitable.

Keep it simple
Is this rug the focal point of your room? Has the colour scheme been pre-decided by the existing furniture? If so, the rug should blend in rather than stand out. Too many competing colours, patterns and textures will throw your whole room off balance.

You can opt for a bold patterned rug, but only if the surrounding furnishings and decorations are subtle or minimalist.

Artisan Rugs has curated a broad range of dining-table appropriate rugs in all shapes and sizes. Head to our Textured Rugs page to see flat-weave and short-pile options for your dining room today!

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