Aside from a living room, a dining room can be the second most high-traffic area in your home. It's the ultimate gathering spot to enjoy a home-cooked meal or even some well-deserved take-out, and it can be as simple or extravagant as you want it to be. You can add some midcentury flair with statement lighting or give it that effortless boho touch, but there's no denying that the perfect rug can tie it all together.
Depending on your personal preference, you can start with your furniture and decorate based on your select key pieces, or you can start with an eye-catching rug and build around that. Whichever you choose, here are a few tips for finding your perfect dining room rug.
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1. Oversize is better than undersize.
It can be tough to confirm that the size of your rug will fit your space just right. But if you get a rug that's too small, you run the risk of it constantly getting caught on the dining chairs as they're pulled in or out. With an oversize rug, you can eliminate that problem completely and cover more ground.
2. Play with shapes.
Ditch the standard rectangular rug and test out different shapes in the dining room. Round rugs are quite popular, but you can also go for a square rug, oval, or other abstract shapes, too. Also, for any dining room rug, keep in mind that natural fiber rugs tend to be more durable.
Get the Look: Rugs.com 3' 3 x 3' 3 Braided Jute Round Rug, $59
3. Low-pile rugs are your dining room’s best friend.
Not only are people constantly eating in a dining area, but they are constantly walking in and out of them, too. With so much hustle and bustle, it can get messy fast, which is why low-pile designs, as opposed to high pile rugs, are ideal dining room rugs. It's easier to vacuum this style of rug and since there's not much fluff to them, there's a lower risk of anyone tripping or slipping.
Get the Look: Tufted Jardin Rug, starting at $98
4. Try carpet tiles.
Carpet tiles are a great dining room rug idea that allows you to customize your space and create perfect area rugs. They're also super easy to clean and replace. Plus, you can get creative with them, too, and mix and match different tiles to design a completely unique dining room rug.
Get the Look: Flor Fully Barked, $16 per tile
5. Use outdoor rugs for the dining room.
Outdoor rugs aren't just for patios. Many of them are versatile enough that you can use them indoors, too. Since they're typically more heavy-duty than standard indoor rugs, they can be easier to clean, which is why this dining room rug idea is one of our favorites.
Get the Look: West Elm Ikat Mix Indoor/Outdoor Rug, starting at $315
6. Opt for patterns with darker colors.
Light-colored rugs can get dirty easily, especially in a room dedicated to eating. As much as we hope there aren't any accidents in the dining room, it's better to be safe than sorry. Opt for a rug that flaunts a darker hue instead of a lighter one.
Get the Look: Cairo Hand-Knotted Rug, starting at $222
7. Go with a machine-washable rug.
Ruggable and other major rug manufacturers have started producing machine-washable rugs in recent years, something that's been a sigh of relief for those with little ones or wish they could clean the rugs under their dining tables more efficiently. And you won't have to forgo interior design perfection with one of these rugs—they are just as stylish as traditional rugs.
Get the Look: Ruggable Gradasi Grey Rug, starting at $89
8. A neutral is always a good idea.
For any area rug, a neutral hue is a smart pick. If you go with a neutral rug under your table, you can play with your dining room decor as much as you like, since a neutral rug will go with any style. Just be forewarned that you may need to keep on top of stains a bit more than you would with a colorful, patterned rug.
Get the Look: Article Texa Rug, starting at $299
9. Look for a border to frame the table.
Particularly for rectangular tables, you can choose a rectangular area rug that has a border. This way, you can perfectly frame your table and create a cohesive look within your space.
Get the Look: My Texas House Picket Fences Rug, starting at $41.30
10. Be thoughtful about the rug style.
In general, you should always strive to match a rug to a dining room's style. While an ornate rug will look best in traditional or bohemian spaces, a minimal rug is best suited for dining rooms that are Scandinavian or modern in nature.
Get the Look: Pottery Barn Reeva Handwoven Rug, starting at $399
11. Pick colors that tie the room together.
When it comes to a dining room rug, colors and patterns are an easy way to tie the whole space together. Choose hues in the rug that echo the other shades seen in the room, and you'll achieve a consistent, and beautiful, color palette.
Get the Look: AllModern Ovid Rust Viscose Area Rug, starting at $118
Cleaning a Dining Room Rug
Since a dining room rug is underfoot and prone to spills and stains (or just natural wear), it can help to know how to properly clean and care for it.
1. Do this before you even have your dining room rug: pick one that has a busy pattern, a dark color, or comes in a stain-resistant indoor/outdoor material. These will be so much easier to keep looking clean. Also, don't forget that rug pads can improve a rug's lifespan.
2. Vacuum your dining room rug fairly often and ask a partner to lift the table and chairs as you go. Get rid of all that errant pet hair and crumbs before you clean it.
3. Don't rub in those stains! Address spills as soon as they happen and be sure to use a cleaner that works on your particular rug material.
4. If your rug is washable, heed the directions that came with the rug and dry on a rack or hung over an outdoor clothesline.
5. If your rug is vintage, or if it really could use a top-to-bottom job and isn't washable, leave it in the hands of the professionals.