R hero

Looking for a rug to warm your home? We’re talking what shape rug works best where as well as tips for getting the size, style and material right…
R7 - RC Casa FruttiR11 - RC Wist WoolR6 - RC Tortuga Jute 2
From L to R: Rug Culture Casa Frutti Round Jute Rug, Wist Wool Rug, and Tortuga Round Jute Rug in blue, available online at Zanui.

Autumn is here and winter is loitering in the wings. He’s stretching his hammies, just itching to take centre-stage. So like all good squirrels, we’re nipping about, warming our dens in preparation for his impending shadow.

We’re stockpiling all things textured for a toasty winter experience. But this year we’re working from our tootsies up. In addition to cosy cushions and woolly throws, we’re giving our floors the plush treatment. That’s right! We’re adding lavish layers underfoot. Snug as a bug in rug, as the saying goes.

R14 - Fab Doon Cotton R1 - Buzzfeed
Left: FAB Rugs Doon Cotton Rug, available online at Zanui. Right: image sourced buzzfeed.com.

Rugs inject instant style, warmth and colour into your space as well as assisting in defining open-plan areas. But what shape of rug is right for you? We’re opening the sesame to reveal the answer.

R21 - j Aminah jute
j.elliot HOME Aminah Jute Rug, available online at Zanui.


Word on the street is that you should choose the shape of your rug to match the shape of your room. Square with square, rectangular with rectangular and so on… This creates an ordered ambience.

Still, rules were made to be broken. If you’re a fan of the eclectic boho look, skip to the round and animal hide rugs section below and work in a charming layered aesthetic.

R12 - Empera Hales Modern
Empera Hales Modern Rug, available online at Zanui.

Square or rectangular rugs add cosy texture to your interiors. The trend right now is for oversized. But how big is too big? The jury is out. But here are a few pointers to help you decide which look will work best in your aesthetic.

R9 - RC Hamilton Ind Out R10 - RC Roserie Ind Out
From L to R: Rug Culture Hamilton Indoor/Outdoor Rug and Roerei Indoor/Outdoor Rug, available online at Zanui.

If you’re blessed with a willing wallet (let’s face it large rugs mean spending more pennies from your piggy bank), opt for a rug large enough to slide under the legs of all of your furniture. How big is too big? It depends on the size and function of your room.

R18 - j Roamer Nomad
j.elliot HOME Roamer Nomad Woven Rug, available online at Zanui.

If you’re considering an area rug for your lounge room, this means it would slide under the feet of your sofa/s, armchair/s, coffee and side tables. If your living room is spacious, opt for keeping a 45cm border of unrugged-up flooring on-show.

R20 - Empera Tartu Modern
Empera Tartu Modern Rug, available online at Zanui.

If you’re looking at a rug for your dining nook, measure up your dining table and add 120cm to both the length and width (giving you 60cm extra on all sides). According to the rug lords, this will allow your guests to push back their chairs without catching them on your rug.

R13 - RC Slink Ind Out 2 R13 - RC Slink Ind Out
Rug Culture Slink Indoor/Outdoor Rug, available online at Zanui.

For your bedroom? Add 30cm to the width and length of your bed (as a minimum). Although a runner that runs along the head or foot of your bed also works a treat.

These are obviously just a guideline for you. Rules – broken – see above. We recommend drawing up a floorplan or, better yet, creating newspaper models of a few different sizes – test before you invest.

R4 - RC Tortuga Jute Rug
Rug Culture Tortuga Round Jute Rug in yellow, available in various colours online at Zanui.


Round rugs are on-trend right now – especially those fashioned from jute or sisal and other organic textures… These natural weaves introduce a rustic earthiness and rich character to your décor. They look at home in Scandinavian, contemporary, coastal interiors and more.

Opt for bold colours for a hit of drama in your interiors.

R8 - LH Margaret Round Denim R8 - LH Margaret Round 2
From L to R: Linen House Margaret Round Jute Rug in Denim and natural, available online at Zanui.

Round rugs soften the angles in your room. Pair them with your round dining table or round coffee table for sophisticated modern style. This organic shape introduces balance into more masculine aesthetics. Break up your minimalist look with its soft curves.

Round rugs also work well in smaller spaces. They introduce diversity and depth into your décor without overpowering it.

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Overlapping rugs can still look chic. Images sourced: tonischeferdesign.com.

Display them in isolation or in a layered aesthetic with other rugs. The layered look works well with a base neutral-coloured rug – this can be rectangular or square in shape to suit your room.

R5 - RC Modern Geo R5 - RC Modern Geo 2
From L to R: Rug Culture Modern Geo Round Wool Rug in turquoise and multi-colour, available in a variety of colours and designs online at Zanui.

Or, bring together a series of circular rugs for a dramatic layered look. Work in contrasting colours or graduated hues, from earthy neutrals through to jewel tones.

R26 - nsw natural cowhide rug sprinkled beige white
NSW Leather Co. Natural Cowhide Rug in Sprinkled Beige/White, available online at Zanui.


Animal hide rugs introduce unique lines to your floorscape. Svelte yet rugged, they work well as the hero or in the company of other rugs.

R27 - nsw reindeer animal hide dark
NSW Leather Co. Reindeer Animal Hide Rug, Dark, available online at Zanui.

We love the combination of textured jute or sisal with these unique hide pieces. This fusion plays up the contrast between the natural textures and their diverse patinas for greater visual interest.

If you prefer a more streamlined sleek style, opt for a hide rug that’s been woven into a rectangular or square shape over a much larger jute or sisal area rug.

R25 - bac estella fossil
Brink & Campman Estella Fossil Wool Rug, available online at Zanui.

Cut-out rugs also introduce character to your home. They’re great for smaller rooms – leaving the floorboards visible enhances the appearance of space.

R23 - Harlequin Lulu Pebble
Harlequin Lulu Pebble Wool Rug, available online at Zanui.


So you’ve found the rug you truly adore. Here are a few final considerations to ensure you’ve met your perfect match. Ask yourself:

  • Does this rug match your lifestyle?

    If you’re housing a multitude of mini-yous chez vous, a white or a pale-coloured rug is probably not your new BFF – especially not in your dining room. Most indoor/outdoor rugs on the other hand can be scrubbed clean. (What’s not to love?)
    Prefer something softer and more snuggly underfoot? Cotton and wool rugs are easier to maintain – they don’t require as much external cleaning.

R19 - Empera Mayana Modern
Empera Mayana Modern Rug, available online at Zanui.

  • Does this rug suit its environs?

    So you’re looking for a throw rug to cover those hideous tiles in your rental bathroom and you love that rustic look? Jute or sisal rugs don’t deal well with water… Not a match. Indoor/outdoor rugs are an easy win (again) here. Or cotton throw rugs that you can throw in the washing machine.
    Again, shag pile rugs are mighty chic in your bedroom and living areas, but they are super-hungry for crumbs so not so great in your dining room. Flatweave or short pile rugs work well in these spots.
    A heat-set polypropylene rug is good for high traffic areas, whilst an acrylic rug has a tendency to shed so is better suited to not-so-heavy traffic zones.

R22 - Fab Theory
Rug Culture Casa Frutti Round Jute RugWist Wool Rug, and Tortuga Round Jute Rug in blue, available online at Zanui.

  • Does this rug suit your existing aesthetic?

    If this rug is your priority and you’re building your palette around it, ignore this bit. You can pick up some of its colours in your wall art, vases, and choose console and coffee tables to complement its look.
    If you’re adding it into a chic minimalist space decked out in monochrome, a burnt orange shag pile is going to be a little more effort when you’re creating a cohesive look. Think about how you can thread complimentary accents throughout your décor to support it.
    Don’t let the tail wag the dog, if you know what we’re saying…

R15 - RC Poxy Mod
Rug Culture Poxy Modern Rug, available online at Zanui.

  • Ask yourself how long you want this rug to last?

    If your taste sways with the seasons and your ship has come in, throw caution to the wind – the world limits you enough, without you limiting yourself. However, if you’re living a life more ordinary, a little forethought can save you a lot of heartache (and some coins). You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to affordable modern rugs, from vibrant to understated and sophisticated in style.
    A hand-knotted woollen rugs are a more long-term investment – their superior quality comes with a higher price tag. Similarly Persian rugs add vibrant colour and a sense of narrative to your home. They are made by artisans in Pakistan, Iran and the Balkans… And they come with a similar price point.

R24 - bbg prussian
Blue Bell Gray Prussian Designer Rug, available online at Zanui.

Hero image: j.elliot HOME Roamer Nomad Woven Rug and Nomad Woven Rug, available online at Zanui.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.