How to choose the perfect rug for your space

It's simpler than you think.

rug, Darren Palmer, HomeSpace, Living Room, Interior Design
Image: Pinterest / MyDomaine | Sharyn Cairns for Robson Rak Architects & Interior Designers

A rug can dramatically change the look and feel of a room: the right one can compliment the space, while the wrong one can make a room feel unbalanced or unfinished. And with so many sizes, colours and materials to choose from, finding the right rug can be extremely overwhelming and confusing. Luckily, interior design guru and beloved judge from The Block, Darren Palmer has shared his tops tips and tricks for choosing the right rug for your space.

Pieces of the Puzzle – Floor Show

You should know by now that I’m not a one-size-fits-all kind of designer. I don’t have a set style and don’t like to repeat myself from one client to the next. Each room I design suits the home and the client’s needs as well as their personality – there’s no chance of coming up with the same result twice.

I thought it would be interesting to show you what happens when you change one element in a room. That element is one of the most transformative things you can find in a home, but it’s one thing nonetheless.

Rugs make or break a room. In most cases, several different rugs would work in a particular space, but each one would make the room look entirely different. Choosing the right rug, therefore, is an important part of creating your perfect home.

A matter of contrast

Darren Palmer, HomeSpace, rug, interior design, living room
Image: HomeSpace, photography by Felix Forest.

We start with my home, my room and my rug. I like the way it sits right under the sofa, demarcating the area for the lounge as well as having a walkway on each side. I like the contrast between the dark rug and the white and grey elements around it. This is a great starting point, demonstrating a flat colour option with a little texture and it’s a good-sized rug for this room and this furniture.

The room is 4.3 by 3.5 metres and the sofa about 3.3 metres long. The rug is 3.2 by 2.3 metres, and is made of felted undyed grey wool in a herringbone pattern.

It takes up just under half the floor space, and is only slightly longer than the base of the sofa. If it were any larger, it would interfere with the fireplace and walkways. When choosing a rug to suit a sofa, you want to find one that is big enough to fit entirely under the sofa, with between about 50 and 100 mm clear on each side. If you have the space, look for a rug that gives you around 600 to 700 mm on either side of the sofa – that way it will be wide enough to sit the sidetables on too.


Darren Palmer, Homespace, rug, interior design

Extract and images from HomeSpace by Darren Palmer (Murdoch Books) photography by Felix Forest RRP $39.99
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