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Eleven Tips for Buying a Dining Table Rug

Dining Table Rugs

It’s often said that a kitchen is the beating heart of a home, and a dining room is an extension of this. So, when it comes to buying a dining table rug, you’ll want to give it the consideration it deserves. Invest well, and your dining room table rug will bring you many years of enjoyment to come. Needless to say, a dining room is more than somewhere to simply eat. It’s a gathering place, a room for entertaining, a space for friends and family to come together and enjoy good company. Every aspect of the room tells a story, which is why it’s important to get the décor right. A dining room table is often thought of as the centrepiece of the room. But really, it’s the dining room rug, that brings it all together. So, consider it an investment piece. But before you go spending your hard-earned money on soft furnishings, here’s eleven inside tips to help you make the best choice.

1. Start with practical

Before we get into the exciting stuff, let’s talk practical for a moment. Dining room table rugs come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s easy to get side-tracked in the thrill of shopping. That’s why it’s important to have a clear idea of your requirements beforehand, to stay focused. Some call it due diligence. This means getting all your measurements in place before shopping, even the width of the dining room doors for deliveries. This will help you to know what size rug under the dining table will work.

Next, observe the room. What is the décor like, is there a theme? Many dining rooms tend to be decorated to a particular style. For instance; modern and uplifting, or classic and traditional, or even monochrome is very popular. It’s important that your dining room table rug matches your décor, so pay attention and take notes. Conversely, if your dining room is yet to be decorated, you have free range to impose your own style.

Once you’re clear on the type of dining table rug you need, the next step is to think about where to shop. Just take a walk down your high-street and you’ll find local rug and carpet shops at your disposal. However, for the top bargains and deals, go online for some of the best resources for shopping around.

2. Arrange your rug around your room

Now you’re ready to start shopping, it’s time to think about dining room rug ideas. Experts are divided to which comes first – the design of the room, or the rug.

Typically speaking, if you’ve just moved in to a new property, or your room is a blank canvas, you can build your room around your rug. But, most of the time, a dining room will already be furnished. If your dining room is already decorated, you’ll need to arrange your rug around the room. Consistency is important. This brings a room together to create an inviting space, as opposed to a mismatched room that you feel uncomfortable in. The patterns, colours and even materials need to complement each other.

For instance, if your dining room is in keeping with a traditional theme, featuring rich oak furnishings and a low-slung candle chandelier, then a dining table rug in bright neon colours will look distinctly out of place. This also means paying attention to the shape and size of the room. Whether you opt for a dining room rug, or wipe clean tiles, you’ll need to make sure it blends with the rest of your décor. This includes the existing dining room carpet, or wooden flooring in the room.

The art of buying a dining room table rug, is to choose one that effortlessly and seamlessly fuses with its environment.

3. Always go big

When it comes to rug shopping, size matters. It’s a case of going big… or usually going back to the shop for an exchange! You can be forgiven for thinking that the rug under dining table size should be the same as the table itself. This is a common oversight when shopping for dining table rugs In fact, it should be much bigger.

Yes, you want your rug to frame the table, but that means allowing for extra space. This can be especially tricky if your dining table is an unusual shape. A well-fitting rug is one that edges out from the table.

Generally speaking, allow approximately 25-30 inches (63-76 cm) of space on all sides of the dining room table. This will provide guests with enough room to manoeuvre, and pull out chairs without the dining room rug getting in the way. You may even want to go bigger, especially if it’s a large room.

By the same token, if your dining room is more compact, you may wish to be conservative with your measurements. A dining room table rug, should not touch the sides of the wall, and give enough space to give the impression of a rug.

If you bought your dining room table online, it should be easy to locate the exact measurements. If you don’t have these to hand, you can mark out the area accurately using decorating tape when sizing up.

4. Materials matter

Next on the list of considerations is the material of your dining room rug.

There are many different options to choose from, although your budget may possibly limit your choice. The most popular types or rugs are short-pile or flat weave dining room rugs. These are both ideal for dining rooms, as they can withstand heavy chairs and furniture on top. Plus, they also look great. For a look that easily blends-in, natural fibre rugs, such as wool and cotton versions, are easy to maintain and are relatively affordable. Remembering that spills will happen, chairs will be pushed over, and kids will run about, a low-pile rug is a sensible and practical choice.

Although stylishly appealing, it’s best to leave that fluffy rug you bought on holiday to the bedroom. Not only do they easily wear down, but they cling on to debris, making them harder to clean.

As an alternative to a dining table rug, why not consider carpet tiles? These come in interlocking squares, so that you can size them up or down, depending on your needs. These have become a popular solution for modern homes, especially those with pets or children, since they can easily be washed, or replaced at little cost, if they incur damage. The only drawback is that there is a limited selection of carpet tiles available on the market, which tend to come in solid colours over patterns.

5. Choosing the right colour

As earlier touched on, it’s important to consider the whole room before buying a rug. After all, you want to ensure your dining room table rug works in the given environment. Choosing the right colour is one of the biggest decisions you will make. Too bright and it can overwhelm a room, too bland and it can, well, fade away… The key here is consistency again.

Dark walls and tables work well with dark rugs, whilst monochrome rooms work well with black and white shades. However, as appealing as soft colours are, these aren’t a great choice when it comes to everyday dining. It’s not uncommon for wine to flow and food to drop. The last thing you want is to spend the rest of your evening fussing over your dining table rug when you could be entertaining guests.

As a rule, avoid light colours overall. This includes shades of pastel or cream and beige and whites, which will show up stains. That’s not to say you can’t have dashes of light tones in your rug – in fact, this is a great way to bring your room together. Just use these as colour accents.

Let’s also talk patterns for a moment. If you decide to go with a patterned dining room table rug, keep in mind that it should add to the room, not distract from it. This comes back to consistency. For instance, if your dining room carpet has stripes or dots for instance, you may want to choose a rug that echoes this with similar or complementary patterns. Everything should work naturally together.

As a final thought, if the rest of your dining room is plain or unfussy, you can use your dining room rug as an eye-catching centrepiece.

6. Bring the room together

One of the key purposes of a dining room rug is to bring a room together. A striking rug should act as a central focus paying homage to other elements within the room. It's important to pay attention to all the elements in the room.

For instance, you may want to draw from patterns in the wallpaper, or colours in your table for inspiration. Sometimes it can be hard to visualise a space. Social media websites like Pinterest and WonderStreet are a great resource for sharing and exploring mood boards, where you can experiment with different tones and patterns before you commit to your dining table rug.

7. Easy to clean

Back to practicality for a moment. Your dining room is an area for eating – this naturally comes with certain practical considerations. When it comes to easy-to-clean dining room rugs, opt for natural fibres. Rugs made from wool and cotton tend to be easier to clean and remove stains from, than synthetic fibre blends.

Also opt for a thinner pile, since this can be easier to wipe away stains. Some flat-woven wool rugs can also be reversible, making them rather handy for lingering spills. Steer clear of fluffy or thick fibres rugs. These are more likely to soak up spillages and hold mess, making them harder to vacuum and keep in pristine condition. Plus, chairs tend to feel unstable on heavy piles.

As earlier touched on, carpet tiles are particularly easy to clean, or replace, and make a smart choice for family homes.

Another option to consider is indoor outdoor rugs. Whilst these aren’t exactly premium dining room rug quality, they have come a long way in recent years. Since they are water and stain-resistant, they’re a good option for frequently used dining rooms that have a tendency to get messy.

8. Matching shapes

It’s the age-old question that interior designers have pondered over for years: should your dining table rug match the size of your room, or the shape of your table?

While this is a personal choice, some rules of design suggest that a dining room rug should reflect the shape of the room. So, a square rug would suit a square room, and a round rug would suit a round room. This is an aesthetic choice, to ensure the overall appearance of the room conforms, making it pleasing to the eye.

The shape of your rug should match the room, in terms of orientation as well as room size too. As ever, there are some exceptions to the rule. For instance, round dining room table rugs also work well in rooms with room furniture or pronounced round furnishings. Think round tables or circular frames holding art.

9. Lifespan of a dining room rug

With love and care, your dining room table rug should bring enjoyment for many years to come. This will all depend on a number of factors, including how often you use your dining room and how you care for your rug.

Ask yourself what is more important – a stunning centrepiece that you don’t mind swapping out as fashions change, or a long-lasting rug that will serve you well? This will influence the type of dining room table rug you should buy.

For example, if you intend to stay on-trend and update your rug with ever-changing fashions, then the emphasis should be less on materials and more on design.

If, however, you’d rather invest in a long-term item, then opt for long-lasting materials that can withstand wear and tear. For instance, wool rugs, or hand-made fibres, which are easier to maintain.

10. Don’t forget the underlay

Much like a dining room carpet, your rug will benefit from an underlay or pad. This small piece of cushioning acts as a barrier between your rug and flooring, helping it to stay in place. It is not visible once laid down, since it will be smaller than the rug itself.

Rug pads are a great investment piece, especially for preserving the life of your dining room table rug. By keeping the rug flat, it’s also less likely to be a trip hazard, or crinkle up. Plus, it’s also lovely and soft to walk on. Not forgetting that many dining room tables are especially heavy and can damage the floor underneath, your rug acts as a barrier. But this alone doesn’t always protect the floor, as it can gather crumbs which later scratch the surface. This can be avoided by investing an underlay.

If in doubt, ask your carpet supplier for recommended underlay options.

11. Rugs for layering

If you’re looking for a show-stopping centrepiece, there’s plenty of dining room rug ideas for inspiration.

A popular current trend is for rug layering. That’s right – rugs upon rugs can make your dining room pop, for all the right reasons. You can experiment with Turkish rugs, large rugs or small rugs. Colours should flow together and bring in the eye.

Another popular choice is chevron prints and nautical blends. Use your dining room table rug to add a pop of colour to your room and see how it changes the tone and feeling of the space.

Taking this one step further, consider layering different textures to add depth to your room. It’s a great way to user fewer colours in a bold and stylish way.

Summary and Take Out

Whether you’re upgrading your dining room, or laying down the foundations for years to come, a dining table rug makes an eye-catching centrepiece. It should pull together all elements of the room, to create a cohesive and consistent look. It is also a protective and practical barrier to care for your carpet or flooring too. There’s plenty of different materials, patterns and textures to experiment with. This extends to rug layering for the fashionably ambitious. The result should create an uplifting and welcoming space, that you’ll be proud to invite friends and family to enjoy with you.

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