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white living room with grey sofa jute rug white sheer curtains miss amara

Your Biggest Floor Rug Mistakes Revealed, plus Win a $750 Miss Amara Rug Voucher

One of the biggest struggles our interior design clients face is selecting the right floor rug for their home. From colour to size, style to shape… it seems there are a tonne of considerations to be made.

In today’s post, not only am I uncovering some of the big floor rug mistakes I see clients and blog readers make in their homes (so you don’t make them too), but you’ll also have the chance to win a $750 Miss Amara rug voucher at the end of the post.

Once you’ve read what not to do below, you can hit the giveaway at the bottom of this post and enter to win a rug for your space that you know will look just right. So scroll on as I guide you on some of the common rug blunders you need to avoid.

modern rustic farmhouse with white pitched ceiling timber beams and white sofa

1. The Rug Isn’t Big Enough for the Space

A rug is a big investment, I hear you. There’s sadly no way around it though. You can’t just get a smaller rug so you don’t spend as much money, because the truth is it’ll look wrong in the space.

You want a rug to ground a room, with the furniture either sitting partially on it or completely on it. If the rug is too small, you’ll have loads of naked floor showing. And when it comes to layering a room, naked hard flooring is not cute.

For a living room, there are a few standard rug sizes you can purchase, and we’ve explained each size here for you if you need. Trust me, if you’re ever in doubt about what size rug to get, always go bigger. You won’t regret it.

contemporary white living room with white s fold sheer curtains and modern grey sofa beige rug

2. The Front Sofa Legs Aren’t on The Rug

I’ve never met a rug I haven’t put the legs of a sofa on. Some designers might like to have a gap between the sofa and the rug, but I’m not one of them. Your furniture and rug do not need to socially distance; let them touch one another. They like it.

The image above is the perfect example of how far you should place your rug under furniture at a minimum. In some rooms, if the rug is larger, you’ll have it extend under the sofa more, but the above is a nice fit from a scale perspective.

Having the legs of furniture sitting on the rug also helps from a stability perspective; it means you’re not likely to walk on the sofa and have it slip and slide around. Walking on a rug should not feel like a Survivor challenge.

miss amara rug with white boucle armchair with timber legs

3. You’re Too Scared of Pattern

A room needs colour, texture and pattern to have it look and feel resolved. Think of these three elements like Charlie’s Angels, the sisters from Charmed, or Destiny’s Child; it doesn’t work when one is missing (you can also clearly tell my peak era was the early 2000s).

People always worry about a patterned rug dominating a space, but it’s not the reality. In fact, I’ve not ever put one flat-coloured rug in any room I’ve designed. The rugs I use always feature pattern, even if the pattern comes from the subtle textures in the rug.

Think of pattern more as ‘movement’ in a rug. And if you scroll through every one of the images from Miss Amara in this post, you’ll see they all feature movement to a certain degree. 

emerald green sofa in white modern living room with glass coffee table and miss amara diamond rug

4. Your Sofa is Wider Than Your Rug

When your sofa is sitting in your living room, the rug that runs underneath the front of it needs to extend beyond the sofa width. If should extend at least 10cm either side, but you can go up to about 50 or 60cm if you plan on placing a side table next to the sofa (as seen above).

No world, universe or galaxy exists in which it’s OK to have the rug not run the full width of the sofa. If your rug steps in significantly from the edges of your sofa, you need to seek penance from your nearest spiritual leader (or, just replace it with one of the gorgeous rug styles in this post).

This applies to both edges of your rug too, if you’re having a sofa on one side and armchairs on the other (like above). The rug should always extend beyond the furniture that sits on it.

rustic kitchen with brass cabinet handles and pattern floor runner on timber floor

5. You’re Not Exploring the Joy of Runners

Yes, floor rugs are delightful and divine. They do so much of the work in making your space feel warm and layered. But one of the areas people often neglect rugging up is kitchens and hallways.

These two zones are all too often left outside alone (like Anastacia… I told you the early 2000s were my peak). They’re pretty hard zones that end up feeling cold, sterile, or echoey due to the lack of soft furnishings in them. The answer is simple here: you need to embrace a runner.

A floor runner like the one above is a great way to add depth and dimension to zones that aren’t large enough to fit a standard size rug. 

white mid century modern living room with patterned floor rug

6. You’re Covering Up An Amazing Pattern

As I mentioned earlier, every rug I specify for our design clients has pattern or movement in it, so you’d be wise to embrace this feature in the rug you purchase. There is a bit of fine print when it comes to this advice though. 

If you’re feeling daring and want to embrace a rug with a large-scale pattern on it (like a giant circle in the middle of the rug design, for example) have a think pre-purchase about the furniture that’s going to sit over it. 

The last thing you want to do is buy a rug with a big circle in the middle and then cover it with a coffee table. You’d be wise to choose a rug with a smaller repeat pattern (like the one above) so you get to see the pattern even with a table on top.

white coastal living room with white slipcover sofa textured beige floor rug miss amara

7. You’re Not Buying with Pets in Mind

A friend of mine used to entertain me with stories about how her dog would vomit on her expensive rug and she always had to roll it up to go get it professionally cleaned. They do not tell you this when you watch The Dog House Australia, that’s for sure.

And like my friend, many people buy rugs without thinking about the possible mess that can ensue when there’s a pet in the house. 

The good news is this: there are actually rugs made specifically to withstand pet stains. They’re easy clean, they’re low maintenance, and they still look amazing. Miss Amara stocks loads of them.

Click here to check out phenomenal rugs made with pets in mind.

black and beige diamond floor rug in living room with white slip cover sofa

8. You’re Not Matching the Rug to Room Use

A rug and a room are like contestants on The Bachelor; you’re trying to find that perfect match (but with a lot less making out). 

Have a good think about the room you’re buying your rug for, and what you’ll be doing in that space. For example, an ultra-shaggy rug you might roll out in a bedroom to create cozy vibes would not work under a dining table where your toddler is dropping tater tots.

Some rugs work in certain spaces but not others. Flatter piles without weaves work well in dining rooms because they can be cleaned more easily if spills occur. This is less crucial in a bedroom.

Click here for all of my tips and tricks for rugs under dining tables.

grey and white diamond floor rug in living room with white sheer curtains

Win a $750 Miss Amara Rug Voucher!

The team at Miss Amara have been kind enough to offer up a $750 voucher to one lucky winner, that you can spend on their website on any rug you like!

To enter to win the voucher, simply:

Competition is open to Australian residents only. Comp closes 11.59pm Sunday May 29.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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153 Responses

  1. I love the Maya Geometric Pattern Berber Wool Shag Rug. I just want to walk bare feet across it and it looks like the perfect soft luxury rug for my bedroom, especially as Sydney is heading towards winter!

  2. I’m loving the Cualli Ivory Cream Textured Rug – so versatile! It’s luxurious texture would look great in either my bedroom or living room. My current rugs are look somewhat drab compared to this stunner.

  3. Oh my goodness, I have just flipped from carpet to original floorboards and my poor house needs some rugs. I’m an absolute rug newbie so the rug finder is a godsend. I love the /tatiana-ivory-and-grey-textured-tribal-rug

  4. Brianna Ivory And Beige Tribal Transitional Rug. Apparently pet friendly – and with 5 cats who take turns vomiting in different parts of all the soft furnishing, I need it pet friendly! I’m over picking cat food out of the shaggy pile of my current rug!

  5. Soft grey , my colour of choice.
    Have needed to set up ‘home’ after living in south America for many years.
    Furnishing done but the floor remains bare. Not so good in winter.
    I love your tasteful posts always. Your preferences always inspire and appeal to me.
    I would love a floor rug so much.

  6. I like the look of Miss Amara’s “Iris Blue Grey And Beige Distressed Floral Rug”. I have seen this vintage look on many tv shows but have never been game to try it in my home. Very helpful blog, I feel more confident with choosing the correct rug sizes now.

  7. Loving the Hanna Ivory Leaflets Wool Blend rug
    I just did the photo in the “view in your room”. What a great idea it looked fabulous and made me realise that I have been a tad boring with my past rug choices and need more texture in them. This is an informative blog and made me laugh about social distancing my rug and furniture. Now they are cohabiting much closer and working the room!

  8. What’s not to love about a shag rug. Just the name conjures up a world of possibilities! On a more serious note the Ashanti Tribal Pattern Berber Wool Shag Rug is divine. I imagine stepping out of bed on a cold winters morning and my toes doing a little happy dance as they feel the warmth and softness of this rug underfoot. She’s the perfect bedroom rug ❤️

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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