Area Rug Decision Fatigue
June 15, 2021 10:13 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I are looking for two area rugs, one for our living room and one for our bedroom. Inspired by this question I thought I'd come here for some recommendations. Photos of both rooms here.

We've looked at so many rugs online and purchased and returned this one already - the colors were dingy in person. I can't seem to get myself to have a strong opinion, or envision what will look good. We need rugs for two rooms:

Living room: warmer tones like orange, brown, brick, lots of books, not a ton of natural light, 4 x 6' rug would work best here under the coffee table

Bedroom: cooler tones like grey, navy, white, with a black & white gallery wall, more natural light, need a rug for the empty space, 3 x 5' would work here

We have fairly modern taste and don't like the "distressed" look of many rugs we see. My partner says round rugs are "weird" (??) so rectangular is preferred. We'd like to spend under $200 per rug at the absolute max. When it comes to all other considerations (color, pattern, pile, etc.) we can't seem to land on anything. I'd love specific rug selections or general ideas for what might work. Please help my bare floors!
posted by rabbitbookworm to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I bought a house a year ago and went ham on rugs. I have dogs, so I prioritized inexpensive and "looks cute now!" over quality because let's be honest at some point it will have barf on it.

I came upon through an instagram ad, and a year later I'm very happy with everything I've got.
This one, this one, this one, and this one. And I also have two of these, one in black and one in teal. The colors are just as bright as in the photos. Here you can see two of mine in the same pic. Funny enough I am getting complimented on the rug and talking about dog barf in this post as well, total coincidence I really just grabbed this pic because you could clearly see the rugs!

Do they feel cheap? Yes. But I wear socks 90% of the time anyway so who cares. Do they look good? Yes, I'm happy every time I look at these rugs, so bright and fun. Does barf come up off them easy? YES. No one is going to come over to my house and gush about my incredible luxurious rugs, but they are the right rugs for me. I'd say they're comparable in quality to something you'd get from Target.

I actually stopped a couple a few months ago in home depot and told them to search on before buying a rug from the store. That's how much I like these rugs.
posted by phunniemee at 10:39 AM on June 15, 2021 [8 favorites]

I apologize for not having an opinion about which rugs you should buy. At least not yet. Instead, I want to mention that several companies have a "room visualizer" tool that let's you upload a photo of the room in question and then put a rug you are considering into your photo. I used such a service when I was shopping for a rug and then I went and bought what I wanted from Ikea. Here is one such service.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:43 AM on June 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

I personally prefer hand-tufted wool over synthetic rugs. Here is a search at Rugs USA for 4x6 hand-tufted wool - the prices fall within your range. I have two rugs from this company - they are fine.

I try to buy rugs that don't have any white or very light areas because I have three dogs and they are so dirty. I don't like sculpted rugs, or rugs with a lot of different lengths because they are harder to vacuum.

The Paddle rug would go well with a lot of decorating styles, and comes in seven colors. This rug is warm and homey.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 10:44 AM on June 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'm currently avoiding buying more home decor until I properly settle down, but I know people who have bought and are happy with the rugs sold by ruggable. They've got plenty of modern/geometric rugs, they are machine washable, and within your price point. Personally, I like the look of this one (and it seems somewhat similar to the one you returned).
posted by coffeecat at 10:46 AM on June 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses so far! I’m looking for guidance on specific rugs or kinds of rugs that might look good in our space, more than recommendations for places I can look at a lot of rugs.
posted by rabbitbookworm at 10:52 AM on June 15, 2021

So, first, I encourage you to go bigger than what you have planned. Lots of people buy rugs that are way too small for their space - see this or this Emily Henderson post for a good overview with pictures.

This can get expensive and feel wasteful because a decent amount of the rug is hidden by furniture, but it usually pulls the room together much better. I'm in the market for a large rug for my bedroom (at least 7.5 by 9.5) and while lots of options are $600+, I have found some in the $200 range (which is what I'm looking for too). In your living room, I don't think you need to go very big, since the room is small-ish and the furniture is close together and against the wall. But you want it big enough to at least go under the front of the couch and through to the other side of the coffee table, and going the other way, I think at least so the ottoman is sitting maybe 2/3 on the rug, on the diagonal. For the bedroom, I think you would do best with a rectangular rug that is placed with the long edge going the length of the bed, covering most of the empty area at the end of the bed, and also a nice-sized strip on the edge of the bed so that someone getting up will step on the rug. I don't think you need to go as big as the bottom left example of this picture, I actually think that might overwhelm the room, but think of that on a slightly smaller scale.

With that in mind, I'm going to suggest some in larger sizes that are still in your price range. If you do decide to go smaller, you will have even more options, of course. (Note - I can't vouch for these in person, just looking for some that look nice online. And I second Bell Donna's suggestion of the "virtual rug try-on")

For the bedroom - similar colors for a monochromatic scheme, polka dots of the bed play nicely off the geometric pattern

Would also work in the bedroom for same reasons as above

A cool, funky option for you living room, but you would need to stick near your original size to get it down to to $200

Could work in either room!

For living room, or possibly bedroom too

The blue could work in the bedroom, the black and brown could work in the living room for a more neutral but still interesting look

Living room option
posted by sillysally at 11:13 AM on June 15, 2021 [6 favorites]

It's hard to say, because the options are so vast, but I would recommend something very plain or subtle in the living room because that's a small space with a lot going on already. You could totally go with more of a statement rug in the bedroom, though, because of the space available.

I think this rug in Ash Gray from coffeecat's link would be amazing in your bedroom. It's tranquil like the rest of the room, but adds a luxurious organic element with the flowers.

For the living room: beige with tassels, Scandanavian statement, warm stripes.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 11:16 AM on June 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

If I were you, I would try narrowing things down by picking a base color for a rug for each room, settling on the size, and then deciding if you want any kind of pattern - either abstract or none to speak of.

So, for example, if it were me, I would pick blue for the bedroom, because I happen to like cool colors for my sleeping area, and then go for a simple rug like this type, or maybe this chevron design.

You may want to consider a bit warmer colors for the living room, since you have wood and brick, so something like this one recommended by See you tomorrow, saguaro, or alternately go with something that includes some green, which would probably work with all the existing colors and features.

Things to consider would be whether the rug has a backing or not, because if not you will need a rug pad, which ups the price a bit.
posted by gudrun at 11:41 AM on June 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

I also prefer natural fibers (like jute, sisal, cotton, and wool) over synthetics. Ikea has some affordable options. I also think you should go bigger than your plan. It looks great when the couch is on the edge of the rug. It really pulls it all together. In your room, I'd try to get a rug big enough so that the couch and chair will be on it at least partially. And definitely avoid white!

I can't quite guess at dimensions, but with a smaller living room with a fair amount of stuff, I think something neutral would look great. I know it's going to be strange to think about this, but even a rug that basically is the same color as your floor could work great. This Ikea jute/sisal rug is quite affordable. This sisal one is bigger and might work quite well.

For your room, something brighter could be fun. And I think something with some fuzz feels nice in a bedroom. This isn't a natural fiber, but I've seen these recycled Ikea rugs in person, and almost bought one. I think maybe the red or blue could work?

(Though I do think a round rug in your bedroom could also be great!)
posted by bluedaisy at 1:27 PM on June 15, 2021

I'd never in my life thought I would write this because I love all textiles all the time. But: I don't think you need rugs and you might know this at a gut level so that is why you can't find "the right rug".
If you insist, maybe this IKEA rug would work in both spaces. Repetition is good, so don't worry about using the same rug twice.
Another solution is to only find a rug for the bedroom, and in that case, I think a Persian rug from IKEA can do very well. It could be nice with a drop of color in your room.
posted by mumimor at 3:44 PM on June 15, 2021

If I were you, I'd look at something along the lines of the styling and rug in this small living room. (I noticed this and this as perhaps somewhat similar.) For the bedroom, I like this look of this rug. I agree with some of the comments above that larger is better in smaller spaces, so that you aren't breaking up the space so much.

(I commiserate on the decision fatigue issue! I do this with e v e r y t h i n g.)
posted by taz at 8:59 AM on June 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

I've been struggling with the same thing--and for the second time in two years--so I feel you!

I personally want something that is somehow is interesting and complementary while also blending into the background so it's not too noticeable, because I don't want my rug to be a statement piece. The last time I did this, the search term "abstract area rugs" was really helpful for me, sometimes with color modifiers if I knew the colors I wanted some of. I agree with another poster that something with some green would look great in your livingroom. (I also agree that you should probably aim for something larger rather than smaller. You might find area rug styling guides helpful for deciding on size and placement.)

For my own livingroom--also pretty warm, with lots of dark wood but with a very eye-catching teal couch as a centerpiece, I just decided on this warm coppery-toned ombre rug that sort of blends into the background, but still looks polished, and still complements the teal couch. It's outside of your budget, but might give you some search inspiration if you like it?

The last time I needed a rug I ended up with this abstract one which surprisingly blended in nicely with my decor at the time, which was mostly blues and greys, with black wood. I think something similarly abstract, but with darker or richer colors, would look nice in either room.
posted by rhiannonstone at 2:31 PM on June 16, 2021

To add to my comment above, I've found I like flat/low-pile rugs best for small spaces. Plusher rugs look cozy but somehow add visual bulk to the room, if that makes sense? Plus they're easier to trip on if you're a foot-shuffler or have to do some weird footwork to navigate around a tight squeeze space.
posted by rhiannonstone at 2:42 PM on June 16, 2021

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