Part VI: Rug + Room | Dining Rooms


Sometimes it doesn’t matter how beautifully a room is designed, without a floor rug it just feels like something is missing. The perfect rug has the power to be a unifying force as well as a soft layer beneath your feet, and there are few rooms more demanding than the dining room. It’s a space that’s part cozy and part utilitarian which means the right rug needs to be as well.

The warm burgundies and golds in this fringed rectangular Karastan have just what the design doctor ordered, warm tones to pull together the floor and farm tables as well as some darker areas that will tie in those chairs.


The right rug won’t stick out like a sore thumb, it’ll fit right in like a member of the family. This one is stunning, with plenty of grey to balance out those pops of vibrant color so that it won’t overwhelm this otherwise neutral dining space. I’d bring it in to add some dimension to that already beautiful table and chairs.


Who says a rug has to be a rectangle? Not us! A circular one is perfect fit for a round dining table, particularly when space is at a premium. This dark grey beauty is art in its own right, adding an unexpected area of graphic interest to a sparsely designed area.


Let’s do another one! I very much love both the 6-person table and the art on display in this dining area, but think it could be punched up one step further. This rich golden rug would blend in oh so well with all of that warm wood, adding another level of design depth to what is already a fantastic space.


Even more than circular rugs, square rugs aren’t utilized nearly enough in my opinion. Put one under your traditional 4-seat dining table to mix things up and make it interesting! I’d use this green and cream chevron one to pick up on that incredible window full of greenery that looks to take up an entire wall. Bring the outdoors in!

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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A Dining Room Rug And Food. Can It Be Done?

After we bought our new home, my husband and I debated about the dining room. To have or not to have. I think it’s a discussion many people have now days. China and fancy dinner parties are not part of our everyday lifestyle. In fact, the vintage china my mother gifted to me 14 years ago is still in the original gift wrap. Shhhhh, please don’t tell her. But in this home we needed a better place to sit and enjoy dinner as a family.

Photo by Amber Interiors via MyDomaine

The formal dining room in our old home was the kids playroom, but now that the children are a bit older, I don’t feel the need to hover over them like a nervous nelly. Discussions were had. A decision was made. The toys would move to the basement, and the formal dining room makeover was a go. Bring on the fancy…let’s go shopping!

Photo by Ball and Claw Vintage via Design Sponge

If you read my post about how the foundation of any room design should start with a rug, I’m sure you can guess what I started to shop for first. But then a little voice in my head started nagging at me. Kyla, you’re investing money into a rug your kids will be eating spaghetti and chocolate over…was that really the smartest idea? I mean, they aren’t savages, but they are 3 and 6…ok, yes, yes, they’re savages. They spill and drop crumbs all the time. And who am I kidding, I’m a savage too. I spill all the time.

Photo by DesignLoveFest via Design Milk

As a busy family, we needed a rug that would work with us, not against us. White shag was definitely a hard no. But by adding a busy pattern and a darker color, I felt more confident that my children would not destroy it in two point five seconds. Honestly, it was one of those unicorns are real moments. Here are my 5 top tips for buying a rug for your dining room:

  1. Find a rug with a busier pattern. Come Thanksgiving, you’re not crying over spilled gravy.

  2. Go for a darker color to hide stains.

  3. Be sure the rug is large enough. You want the entire table and chairs set to sit on the rug. Always err on the side of large. Too small of a rug and it looks awkward.

  4. Spills will happen so steer away from shag and go with a flat weave or low pile rug.

  5. Search for rugs that are easy clean/stain resistant. 

Photo via La Dolce Vita

Here are a few rugs that I think would be genius for any formal dining room.


1/ Courtistan – Rainforest

2/ Karastan – Euphoria

3/ Loloi Rugs – Giselle

4/ Dalyn – Modern Greys

5/ Jaipur Rugs – Tabor

6/ Rugs America – Talbot

For more inspiration from Kyla, follow along with her at House Of Hipsters!


Cozy Up Your Dining Room with Rugs

Rugs can add warmth and texture to the dining room, which is especially welcome in the fall and winter. Even if you go without a rug most of the year, adding one to the dining room now can be quite transformative! Take the space shown above for example. The rich pink walls are fun, but it’s the over-dyed red rug that really gives the space that “wow” factor.

And because of the many upcoming fall and winter holidays, this season is a great time to add a dining room rug, and really get your entertaining space ready to go. A warm, rich rug as shown in the top image is lovely for fall, but if you want something a bit more versatile, consider a black and white graphic print like the one shown here. It’s fresh, modern, and goes with any other colors you like. Notice how these homeowners warmed up the seat of their dining bench with a sheepskin for a cozy touch.

Choose a flat-weave rug for the easiest cleanup in the dining room. The fact is, people do spill things — and if you have kids, this point is even more important to drive home! Save the thick pile rugs for the living room, where food and drinks are not involved. And be sure to keep appropriate cleaning products on hand so you can tend to spills quickly.

Adding a simple striped rug in an easy color like blue is a great way to update a traditional dining room. Just imagine the space shown above without the rug — it would be perfectly nice, but a bit boring, right? But with the rug, it balances trad and modern elements for a fresh, eclectic look.

If you really want your rug to stand out (and you own your home) consider painting the floors white for contrast. While certainly not for everyone, if you are a fan of Scandinavian design, this could be just the look for you. The addition of a rug makes the white floors more practical, covering up some of that pristine white with warmth and texture for an appealing mix. And did you notice that pressed tin ceiling? What an unexpected way to add a bit of shine!

A rich denim blue rug like the one shown here can almost act as a neutral — just think how many things pair with your blue jeans to get an idea of the versatility of a denim rug. And you can actually get the exact rug designer Emily Henderson used in the space shown here: it’s the Loloi Anzio rug, a flat-woven, all-wool rug perfect for the dining room.

Ready to go shopping? Here are three can’t-miss rug picks for the dining room:

Rich raspberry and burgundy, cool black and white, or classic indigo denim. Which is your favorite?

Rug Shopping Guide (from left to right):

Kaleen Restoration rug in raspberry, burgundy, and milk chocolate brown; Surya Frontier rug in ink and winter white; Loloi Anzio rug in Denim.

Photo Credits (from top to bottom of post):

Horchow; Design Sponge; Stephanie Swander Interior Design; Blue and white stripe rug from Logan Killen Interiors; Mad About Your House; Emily Henderson.

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