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How to Find the Perfect Rug for You on Etsy

Apr 12, 2019

by Diana Keeler

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

It’s Interior Design 101: Rugs transform a room. “No single decor piece can do as much to set the tone for a space as a great rug,” says Etsy Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson. “Whether you go bold with a high-contrast patterned rug or play around with monochromatic designs that are all about texture, you can get your style across in an instant when you roll out a unique rug.”

But finding the perfect rug for your space can be a tall order (the size! the material! the pile!). So to help demystify the process, we spoke with a few of our favorite design experts—including Dayna, of course, and Lindsay O’Brien, Etsy’s senior merchandiser for home goods—and gathered their best tips for a successful rug shopping (and room-redefining) endeavor. Here’s what you need to know.

Start with the setting

Location is the first critical factor. Is the rug meant for a high-traffic area or low? “If you’ll be using it in a high-traffic area—family rooms, hallways, entryways, and kitchens—you’ll want a durable wool or man-made fiber in a color that won’t show dirt,” says New York-based creative director and sustainable design consultant Alex Bates. A flatweave rug with a forgiving pattern is a smart choice for this kind of space. “For medium-traffic rooms that still get regular use, like dining rooms or home offices, you should use fibers that can be cleaned easily, like a good wool or synthetic,” Alex adds. Low-traffic rooms like bedrooms are where you can really have fun, indulging your yen for softer fibers, lighter colors, and shaggier piles.

Consider the construction

Once you’ve determined where the rug will go—and what it’ll need to stand up to—the next consideration is construction. Tufted rugs are popular and inexpensive but often lower quality; they’re made by simply gluing fibers to a backing and can wear out after a few years. Hand-knotted rugs are typically more durable (and priced accordingly); this category includes all sorts of regional variations, including thin, flatweave kilims, medium-pile rugs, and area rugs made with Turkish or Persian knotting styles that can be either high-pile and shaggy or not.

Don’t forget your fibers

Another element to consider is the material itself. “Durable natural fibers like jute, hemp, abaca, and seagrass add an earthy warmth and soul to a room and are comfortable underfoot,” Alex says. On the other end of the spectrum—and appropriate for lower-traffic areas—is soft wool or sheepskin. Your choice of fiber will play a key role in determining your cost. “Wool and silk tend to be at the higher end, while synthetics cost less,” Alex says. “Other natural fibers like jute, cotton, and sisal are very affordable.” Pet owners should opt for wool whenever possible, as it can be cleaned with an enzyme treatment—and won’t be damaged by it.

Size up your desired dimensions

Once you’ve landed on a style of rug, the next question is size. To figure out what you need, Alex suggests trying this designer’s trick: “Starting about 12 to 18 inches from the wall, use masking tape to mark off where you want the rug to fall and then measure those dimensions,” she says. Some room-specific tips to keep in mind: In a large living room, the front legs of a sofa (if not all four) should typically rest on the rug, while in the dining room, you’ll want a rug that extends beneath all the chair legs, even when they’re pulled back from the table. In the bedroom, a rug should cover enough space that you can walk around the sides and the foot of the bed without leaving its surface (but keeping 12 to 18 inches of free space at the head of the bed is fine). “In general, a larger rug will almost always make a room feel larger,” Alex says.

Try a dynamic duo

There’s an art to matching the right rug to the room—but it’s not necessarily a question of choosing a single piece to do the job. If you have a rug you love that’s too small for a particular space, try layering it on top of a large, natural jute rug. “Layering is a fun way to experiment with patterns or textures without having to commit to covering a large area,” Lindsay says. Another twist on tradition is to play with pile heights: “When used within a monochrome palette, the technique of varying pile heights creates lovely but subtle shifts in dimension,” Lindsay adds. “You can also pair bold or contrasting colors to create one-of-a-kind statement patterns or graphics.”

Embrace vintage

With a show-stopping vintage rug, you can basically forget everything you’ve just read and follow your heart. “There, you just buy what you love,” Alex says. “It should make your heart skip a beat when you see it.” But know that minor flaws are often part of the deal with vintage rugs, whether they’re an unusual size, oddly worn, or faded. “You’ll want to embrace all those imperfections—they bring soul and character into a room,” Alex says. “Many vintage rugs are woven with hand-spun yarns that show an inconsistency in color saturation; that also brings depth and nuance to the design.”

Search smarter

“When it comes to searching for rugs on Etsy, narrowing down and creating a defined space to browse is key,” Lindsay says. “Think of the characteristics that are most important to you—whether that’s size, style, or color—and start adding them to your keyword search.” And don’t be afraid to go back and refine based on your results. “When you see a style that you like, take cues from how the seller has described the rug and use those words as a new starting point for your search,” Lindsay says. “Maybe you’ll begin to realize that you like vintage styles from a certain country of origin, or maybe you’ll discover that all of the rugs you’re drawn to are described as ‘flatweave’ rugs. Whatever terms you end up with, a search for a ‘5×7 Turkish rug’ is always going to be a lot more manageable than a general search.”

Shop rugs

Orange with Red Rug / Bright  carpet /Wool Felt Rug  /7.5 х 4.5 ft / Ready to ship
Orange with Red Rug / Bright carpet /Wool Felt Rug /7.5 х 4.5 ft / Ready to ship
$250.00 USD
Vintage Hand-knotted Rug || Entryway Rug || Decorative Rug || Doormat || Small Vintage Rug || Boho Rug || Woven Rug || Handmade Vintage Rug
Vintage Hand-knotted Rug || Entryway Rug || Decorative Rug || Doormat || Small Vintage Rug || Boho Rug || Woven Rug || Handmade Vintage Rug
Sold
9'8" x 6'6" - Vintage Overdyed Patchwork Carpet, Handmade Anatolian Rug, Turkish Oriental Rug, Distressed, Antique Wash Rug
9'8" x 6'6" - Vintage Overdyed Patchwork Carpet, Handmade Anatolian Rug, Turkish Oriental Rug, Distressed, Antique Wash Rug
$2,363.06 USD
Vintage Moroccan Boujad Rug
Vintage Moroccan Boujad Rug
$2,500.00 USD
Macrame Carpet, Macrame Rug, Boho Rug, Boho Carpet, Macrame Foot Rug, Woven Rug, Square Rug, Cotton Rug, Bohemian Home Decor, Bedroom Rug
Macrame Carpet, Macrame Rug, Boho Rug, Boho Carpet, Macrame Foot Rug, Woven Rug, Square Rug, Cotton Rug, Bohemian Home Decor, Bedroom Rug
$119.00 USD
Turkish Vintage rug, Carpet Vintage, 7'3x15'4 ft, Anatolian Oushak Carpet, Oversized Rug, Large size rug, Decorative rug, Home decor, Rugs
Turkish Vintage rug, Carpet Vintage, 7'3x15'4 ft, Anatolian Oushak Carpet, Oversized Rug, Large size rug, Decorative rug, Home decor, Rugs
$1,900.00 USD
Wool Area Rug / Black and White Rug  /7.5 х 4.5 ft / Ready to ship
Wool Area Rug / Black and White Rug /7.5 х 4.5 ft / Ready to ship
$250.00 USD
New Handwoven Shag Rug, Upcycled Shag Rug, Large Carpet, Large Turkish Rug 9x12, Free Shipping, Flokati Rug, Beige Rug
New Handwoven Shag Rug, Upcycled Shag Rug, Large Carpet, Large Turkish Rug 9x12, Free Shipping, Flokati Rug, Beige Rug
$4,314.00 USD
Area Rug / Carpet / Modern rug / Minimalist / Wool Felt Rug / Made to order
Area Rug / Carpet / Modern rug / Minimalist / Wool Felt Rug / Made to order
$95.00 USD
Pastel Turkish Kilim Rug,4,8"x9,4" Feet 147x287 Cm Anique Desing Pastel Colors Old Woven Anatolian Kilim Rug,Turkish Handmade Kilim Rug.
Pastel Turkish Kilim Rug,4,8"x9,4" Feet 147x287 Cm Anique Desing Pastel Colors Old Woven Anatolian Kilim Rug,Turkish Handmade Kilim Rug.
$800.00 USD

51 comments

  • jt3vlxxm

    Anna Sypalo from XstitchbyAnna said 96 days ago

    Cute rugs. Thank you for such detailed explanation!

  • jmr1qltm

    Svetlana from KnittedToysTinyLove said 95 days ago

    Color that will not show dirt - it suits me always and everywhere:-) I love more to make the carpet easy to clean

  • bcsvwkei

    Victoria from FifthTenth said 95 days ago

    Very usefull article. We are just refreshing our flat to me meet in our baby here and looking for same soft rug without nap. This information will help us to make right choice.

  • er0wobec

    Anastasia Zhilinskaya from BabyAmiToys said 95 days ago

    Thank you for the interesting and useful article! A absolutely agree that the rug plays almost the key role in the romm interior. Some days ago we changed the rug in one of our rooms, and I am happy to see how this room changed too.

  • s4j2imwn

    Yulia from HedgehogDolls said 95 days ago

    Excellent article. The carpet is an important part of the interior for us, and at the same time it has increased requirements, because we have a lot of animals )) I want it to be both practical and beautiful at the same time

  • gp0ospsz

    Tatiana Kirienko from ooccttoobbeerr said 95 days ago

    I love rugs very much! They not only decorate the room, but also cheer up with their cheerful colors or pile fluffy! And they are loved not only by people, but also animals are happy to lie on them :) Thank you for the article!

  • b99uoxox

    Svetlana from Svettikflowers said 95 days ago

    I love rugs! With them in the house is always warm and cozy. They are part of my life. Especially when it's cold outside the window. So nice to sit on a soft carpet and create!

  • 5hstugjo

    Watts DryGoods from WattsDryGoods said 95 days ago

    This is a great guide, vintage rugs are my weakness!

  • fm2execl

    Olga from Houseinthevillage said 95 days ago

    Lately I've been burning with the idea of a rug in my room! Thank you for telling us about the main criteria that you need to rely on when choosing a carpet!

  • pveabvcj

    Yuliana from YanevaDesign said 95 days ago

    This is a good article! Lots of valuable advices! Thanks 🙏

  • 8x6fqorg

    Vera from ArtnCraftbyVera said 95 days ago

    I absolutely like rugs with geometric pattern! Good review!

  • wuewoeqc

    Jane from BoxingglovesDesign said 95 days ago

    I love carpets! They are very cozy and warm feet

  • oftocjpl

    Nadezhda from AlekseevaKnitting said 95 days ago

    Thanks for the clear and understandable instructions for choosing a rug. Be sure to use the tips of this article.

  • mpk37teh

    Oksana from AmigurumiJoys said 95 days ago

    Great article. Really it will help to make the right choice) Thank you!

  • dcpvtyqq

    Britney from LenoreFWS said 95 days ago

    Thank you for this! I hadn't considered things like amount of traffic and fibers--I learned a lot. I can't wait to go rug shopping in the future!

  • 3niupnx0

    Slava K. from HappyWoodenGifts said 95 days ago

    Great article! I saw so many different interesting rugs and learned how to choose the best rug for my room. At home, I use the rug not so much for decoration as for my children to sit on it when playing with toys. How much Etsy is multifaceted! Here I find wonders beyond imagination.

  • wxzov3hm

    Darya from BijouPuzzle said 95 days ago

    Thank you for a very useful article. I learned a lot for myself. Now I want to choose a rug for your bedroom

  • wcjgwqly

    Luybi Arctium from ArctiumStudio said 95 days ago

    Lovely items and lovely shop. It's amazing!

  • d9jbndce

    Kristina from KrisluxuryStore said 95 days ago

    White mat very cool) article is useful!

  • marysjavera

    Мария Павлюченко from MarysjaVera said 95 days ago

    Thanks for a detailed explanation! A lot of useful information!

  • 3niupnx0

    Slava K. from HappyWoodenGifts said 95 days ago

    Great article! I saw so many different interesting rugs and learned how best to choose a rug for my room. At home, I use a rug not so much for decoration, as for my children to sit on it when they play toys. How many Etsy is many-sided! Here I find such miracles that even impossible to imagine.

  • yszxaigz

    Diana from CrochetFoxx said 94 days ago

    Ones I discovered for myself rugs, made of (tshirt ) cotton yarn and I was impresed so much that started to crochet rugs for the interior! I love it's softness, bright colors and cosiness! Rugs brought me to Etsy! 💖💖💖

  • i5ruramf

    Nadezhda from KnittedFriendsShop said 94 days ago

    very useful information !!! I used to think that the most important thing in a carpet, this design, turns out to be many more factors)))

  • iuxka6g6

    Olga Kaplina from FunnyLoopsFinds said 94 days ago

    I love rugs very much! They are very cozy .Thank you for the interesting and useful article!

  • pui6x5ft

    Darya Prozerpina from felttoysfinds said 94 days ago

    Thank you for the article! Very useful information! We are just doing repairs in our new apartment and we really liked some of the options presented!

  • limmt7m1

    Vinera from VineraEyer said 94 days ago

    Thanks for the helpful article. This will help me with the choice. I love the rugs, they create comfort in the house.

  • sblo4rmz

    Irina from ToyscrochetCo said 94 days ago

    Very interesting article. the rug can make any room cozy. I really like handmade rugs and I want to crochet a rug for one rooms

  • cfgkyxln

    Leo Nuvunga from AfricanCraftsCenter said 94 days ago

    Very nice article!

  • sp05xbnt

    Anna from ANNNADesign said 94 days ago

    😉I usually don't like rugs. But these are very pretty)))

  • nadyahrypich15

    Nadiia Grypich from eNGiJewelry said 94 days ago

    Great guide! Cute rug is an important detail)

  • TropicalGarden

    TropicalGarden from TropicalGarden said 94 days ago

    Great article and love these beautiful rug selections!

  • enzllrun

    Lara Radko from LorikaToys said 94 days ago

    Great guide! Carpets are back in fashion. And in our time, a large variety of carpets. Thanks to your advice, everyone will find their own rug.

  • krokozyablik

    Anna Kozlova from krokozyablik said 94 days ago

    Awesome article! And if you are looking for a rug for the nursery, it is necessary to pay attention not only to the beauty, but also the convenience of care, as well as interest and benefit for the baby! For example, I made mats which will be a great decoration of your interior and help your child to develop his sensory skills during tummy time)

  • oupw8lai

    yashchirka from yashchirka said 94 days ago

    I especially liked the section on vintage!

  • 2dyq9z2b

    Anastasiya from byKiama said 93 days ago

    Very trendy and beautiful! I even regretted that there was not a single rugs in our house :)

  • ihs8dpom

    Anastasiia from CrochetToysBabyGoods said 93 days ago

    I thought that rug is just a dust keeper, but after this article I changed my point of view and start thinking about new purchase! And right now I’m in process of making my first baby rug and I think I won’t sell it! It will be perfect for my son’s nursery.

  • ekaterinazykova

    Ekaterina Zykova from KatyaToysShop said 93 days ago

    Interesting ideas to complement your interior and advice for your friends. Thanks for the blog

  • pat8sm8w

    Elena from KnittedArttoys said 93 days ago

    How many nuances to consider! I didn't know about that. Thanks for so much needed information!

  • PokutniaAnna

    Anna from FairyToysWorld said 92 days ago

    So great warm style for any room in my house)

  • bvysgqdo

    bluewine studio from bluewinestudio said 91 days ago

    Great selections:) Super cute! love the details of the rugs!

  • JuliShvili

    Julia Verulashvili from JuliShvili said 91 days ago

    Useful advices! I like rugs, so much, but I was always afraid of cleaning them:)

  • RandMhandmade

    Renee from RandMhandmade said 91 days ago

    Thank you for sharing!!

  • tlshlouk

    Olga from VereskBridal said 90 days ago

    Very beautiful carpets!

  • dyztd0w7

    Irina from CuteCrochetToysUA said 90 days ago

    Beauty. The combination of colors is like.

  • wgdwhsri

    Marina from LittleAngelWaikiki said 90 days ago

    Thank you for the interesting and useful article! I love different carpets. Especially in the nursery, they look interesting and zoning the space of the play area and bed.

  • ybuphgsc

    Anna from UniqWool said 89 days ago

    Cozy rugs. And I'm a master of felting wool and have met other masters felt the cool rugs.

  • y18wnpbo

    Natalya from CozyHouseNatalie said 89 days ago

    Thank you for such an interesting selection of rugs. Mat is an integral part of the design in the house, creates comfort.

  • uwdhioc9

    Patricia Sanial from Creatextiles said 82 days ago

    J aime beaucoup ,ils sont vraiment sympa ,et pour tous les gouts et les interieures

  • cbai7xga

    Anna from AnnaAndBarbaraToys said 70 days ago

    Really useful reccomendations! I think that rug should be useful, addorable and original! Practically, rug can become some interesting accent of your room. Currently I am making animal rugs, they are just perfect for nursery. Rugs, which are presented at this article are the best for dining or beadroom.

  • parodyparlour

    Mr See from ParodyParlour said 70 days ago

    Oh wow! Kinda surprised of your concept. Something quite fresh!

  • izpbvh2q

    Molly from MollyKissDesign said 53 days ago

    Really Perfect Rug!

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