An outdoor area rug can highlight your other decor by fitting into the same color palette, style, and tone. When you’re designing a space, be sure to look for decor, furniture, and rugs that have ties in these three areas; that way, you’ll create a cohesive space where each piece is an essential part of the design.
Decorating With an Outdoor Rug
Aside from being great for patios, decks, porches, and other outdoor spaces, you can actually use these rugs indoors too! A big part of their appeal is that they’re made to stand up to the elements like rain, snow, and sunshine, but they’re also great for standing up to everyday life. So whether you’re looking to decorate an outdoor space or an indoor one, you can’t go wrong with decorating with an outdoor rug.
Choosing Which Outdoor Rug is Right for You
As you shop for the outdoor rug that’s perfect for you, it’s important to think through some important areas.
Position: Once you know your layout, you can decide on where to place your rug. While it’s true outdoor rugs can be used indoors as well, these ideas will specifically guide you to using a rug outdoors.
Main Seating: If you are setting up a seating area with multiple seats and/or a sectional, then you’ll likely center your rug in the middle of that space. When you do so, you have the option to set the rug in front of the seats, under the front two legs, further under the chairs, or even poking out the back if you have a large space.
Separate Seating: Perhaps you have a chair or two set up off to the side where you would like to drink your morning coffee in peace. 4x6 and 5x7 rugs are great options along with round 5’ rugs to set that space apart. Be sure the furniture overlaps with the rug at least a little bit so the rug isn’t “floating” in the middle of nowhere.
Outdoor Dining: When you add a rug to your outdoor dining set, it’s best to center it directly beneath the table. Plus, be sure to leave about two feet of rug on each side so the chairs are always on the rug.
Small Accents: Sometimes, you just need a small 2x3 or 3x5 rug as an accent. These sizes are typically used as doormats and when they are, they serve multiple purposes. They can add comfort and style to that spot, but they can also transition your indoor style to outdoors (and vice-versa).
Pathways: Outdoor runner rugs are extremely versatile in how you place them. If you have a double sliding door, you can use a runner there, but you can also use it elsewhere to establish a path or accent a small space.
Shape/Size: After your layout is set, you can finalize the shape and size of your rug. The most popular shapes to work with are square, round, oval, and rectangular, although there are other options for unique styling. The size you choose will depend on the shape, but you can check out smaller sizes recommended above or other popular sizes like 5x7, 5x8, 6x9, 8x10, 9x12, and 10x10.
Pattern: Outdoor rugs aren’t limited with style or color palette, so no matter what style you fall into, you can find an outdoor area rug that perfectly suits you. Moroccan, southwestern, boho, vintage, traditional, modern, and geometric are all popular styles for your outdoor spaces, although that’s just the tip of the iceberg! When you’re looking at rug patterns, refer back to your other decor and furniture for similar imagery and motifs so everything is thematically tied together.
Color: Since outdoor rugs are so diverse in styles, you’ll find plenty of colors to choose from too. Every color has a chance to be bold or subtle depending on how vibrant it is, how prominent it is in the design, and what other colors it's combined with. So whether you’re looking at black, grey, white, blue, green, yellow, red, pink, gold, teal, or purple, you can find your desired shade(s) and perfectly fit into your existing color scheme.
Frequently Asked Questions about Outdoor Rugs
Do outdoor rugs get moldy?
Outdoor rugs can develop mold and mildew if not cleaned regularly.
Are outdoor rugs practical?
Outdoor rugs are resistant to traffic, rough conditions, moisture and mold/mildew making them a very practical choice.
What type of rug is best for outdoors?
The best rugs for outdoors are made of polyester, bamboo, sisal and nylon.
Ideas and Advice
Check out our latest how to's + design tips to find the perfect rug for your space.