What kinds of rugs and mats should I place in different areas?

While rugs and mats in the home have a functional purpose (i.e. keeping feet warm and connecting areas across the household), they're also an affordable way to introduce personality and originality into your home. Think of them as artwork for your floor.

Before you introduce a new rug or mat into a space:

  1. Measure the room and the spaces where you want to place your rug.
  2. Sketch a floorplan of your room on paper, marking out your furniture.
  3. Use your plan to experiment with putting your rug or mat in different spots until you settle on a favourite position.

Once you've completed this process, you can roll out your rugs and mats with confidence.

The type of rug or mat you use will depend on the base material of your floor. Maybe you have wooden floorboards or floor tiles or carpet? Rugs and mats can look great on all floor types but you'll need to match the floor with its covering to ensure it feels appropriate. For example, thicker rugs usually won't feel right on thick carpets but they can make a wooden or tiled floor cosier.

If you have a lot of space to work with, why not go big and invest in a designer rug? If you're in a smaller house or apartment, go for a modestly sized rug that introduces loads of character and charm.

Rugs & Mats Buying Guide
Rugs & Mats Buying Guide

Living Room

Your living room rug should usually fit the size of the seating area. For example, when you're sitting on your sofa or favourite chair, you should feel your rug underfoot.

If your room is painted neutrally, you can make a patterned or boldly coloured rug the focal point and design feature of the room. If the room colour scheme is already very strong, adding a simpler colour or a textured rug makes for a stylish touch that doesn't clash.

In a large, open-plan living room, you can use a rug to create separate zones. This is an interior decoration technique used by professionals to make a room more functional and draw your focus to certain areas.

While your rug can be a strong feature of your living room, make sure it doesn't overwhelm the space. Your choice of pattern and style should connect with your overall design scheme, balancing with any other fabrics, textures, colours and lightning elements.

If there are kids at home, we recommend a hardwearing rug with a pattern that can cope with dirt and stains (this works for furry friends, as well as youngsters).

Rugs & Mats Buying Guide

Dining Room

The dining room is usually a space you want to showcase for the family or for special guests. Like the living room, it's a room where a signature rug is a great investment. Your rug will usually sit under the dining room table, which means the shape of the table will dictate whether the rug is rectangular or circular.

Most experts recommend at least 60 centimetres of rug extending outside from the table and chairs. Go for a shorter pile rug and wearable material so it's easier to remove the crumbs or stains that often accompany a great night in. This also applies to any mats you may want to include in the kitchen too.

If your furnishings and table are wooden or darker in colour, go for a lighter rug. If your table is glass and the decor is lighter, go for a pattern that will stand out. Use your rug as a starting point for the rest of your room design, if you can, or at the very least, try to think about your floor coverings in conjunction with your curtains and blinds.


Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries. Whatever our personal style, we like to make them a place we can retreat from the world and rejuvenate. That usually means promoting peace and quiet - and a large rug can go a long way to reducing noise from the outside world.

The most popular places to lay rugs in the bedroom are at the foot of the bed or on either side. The latter is a welcome comfort for your feet when you get up each morning. Shaggy rugs or sheepskin rugs can help you create a sense of day-dreamy luxury.

Remember to always leave space between your rug and the walls, and make sure your wardrobe doors don't bump into the rug when they open fully.

Rugs & Mats Buying Guide


Your bath mat will be exposed to water each day, so make sure you select one that absorbs water and dries easily. Mats and rugs made for the bathroom are your best bet.

You'll want to consider safety precautions like non-slip rubber backing or suction cups, especially if you have vulnerable people in the home. You can also invest in antibacterial rugs and mats to give you additional protection against moisture build-up and mold.

While there's no doubt your bathroom rug or mat needs to be practical, don't overlook your bathroom for style opportunities. There are many creative and colourful bathroom rugs or mats that can help dress up your bathroom or add a distinctive flourish to an overall theme.

Rounder rugs are better suited to smaller bathrooms, while larger areas can accommodate several rugs or mats near the toilet, bathtub or shower.


Your hallway or foyer gets a lot of traffic compared to other rooms in your home, so you'll need to choose a durable rug to withstand all those feet. Lighter-coloured rugs can help make your space look wider and longer by drawing the eye forward, whereas darker colours or patterns are less likely to show the wear & tear.

Jute rugs offer a sturdy and stylish option for foyers, while a classic woollen carpet runner sets a plush, cosy mood for visitors or those returning home after a long day at work.

Your hallway rug should complement your architecture and decor. If you have a period or older home with formal features, a more traditional design is the way to go. If the architectural features of your hallway are modern, you can make a striking statement with a brightly coloured motif. You should fit your hallway rug so you have an even amount of space around the edges, exposing some floor.

Still not sure what to do with your rugs and mats?

Check out Spotlight's range of rugs and mats available online, visit your local store or contact one of our experts for assistance.



Get VIP discounts, attend exclusive events and more