To rug or not to rug?

To rug or not to rug?

That is the question!

In actuality the question is; do I need a rug under my dining table? This is something that a lot of people seem to be confused about. I’ve even had my mum try and rant out why she hates rugs under dining tables outside of a formal setting. So, why do we put rugs under dining tables and should we even do it?

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of a rug in a dining setting. 

Pros of having a rug 

Let’s look beyond a rug actually just looking good. If you’ve ever had a crowd in your house, you’ll know that there is a LOT of noise happening and depending on the event, there’s most likely a bit of mess being created too. Ever pulled out a chair and heard it scrape the floor and tear your ears to shreds? Have pets and never-ending dust bunnies floating about? Hate the sight of crumbs after just one meal or have you just spent a sh*t tonne of money on awesome floorboards? Well then, a rug is going to be your saviour in these cases.

Floor protection, noise and mess reduction - these are my ‘practical’ reasons for getting a rug and putting it under a dining table. But, I am a stylist after all and there are some aesthetic reasons to a rug too.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog on how to choose a rug (click here), you can really define and anchor an area, especially in a large open living layout. I’m a huge lover of a layered room, so from the floor up there’s a story happening (floor, rug, chairs, table, ground level decor, wall art, waist level decor and lighting fixtures).

Now, as much as the above states a positive view of our confounding question, what are the cons?

Cons of having a rug

Even though a rug can define an area, some spaces (like a super small apartment) can become cluttered and cramped, so a more minimal approach should be taken in these cases and just leave your rug for the living room.

One HUGE con about having a rug under your dining table… Children. These little guys have limited motor skills apparently because everything seems to fall out of their hands and their mouths or they just knock eeeeverything over. If you’ve got a couple of these running around, you’re going to be better off with no rug under your table. As much as my lazy side gravitates towards hiding everyday messes until my next cleaning day, the maintenance of children and rugs in such a spillage prone area is just unnecessary back breaking work. Just, don’t do it. Oh! Did I mention, small child tripping hazard?

Beauty is subjective

Rug under dining table | Hansel Gretel Australia

At the end of the day your available space, your design preferences ­­­and your practical needs should be what dictates whether you should or shouldn’t have a rug under your dining table. Here are a few rules of thumb to follow when you decide to get your controversial rug.

  • Measure the full size of the room and the size of your dining table. You will need to get a rug that is at least 50-60cm’s larger on each side of your dining table. This will account for chairs being pulled/pushed out, sat on and still be sitting on the rug. It will also stop chair legs getting caught on the edge.
  • Another size related issue to take on board is; do you have accent furniture in the area that somewhat sit on the rug? Bigger is always better, so don’t leave other pieces of furniture in the room on weird angles on top of your rug and just get a rug that fits underneath them.
  • Consider your chair legs. A pointy leg will get caught in a jute/sisal rug or a heavy leg will create ripples in a cowhide or a flatweave.
  • Opt for a rug that is low pile and easy to clean. An outdoor rug is created especially for hard use and can be worked into your dining room too, they’re also super easy to wipe clean. Long, fluffy, high piled rugs will catch food and never let it go, plus they tend to make chairs get stuck when a person is sitting trying to get up.
  • When spills are inevitable, combat them with a darker coloured or patterned rug to conceal these.
Go forth and prosper in this world of rug opportunities!



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