I know it seems like asking for trouble to place a rug in the kitchen, right? Who wants to worry about the inevitable spills and mess created in a busy workspace? Actually, placing a rug in your kitchen is both practical and a sure fire way to add a design element.

For practicality, kitchen rugs will mitigate slippery floors. If you are like me, standing for hours at the sink or island while prepping for a meal, a properly chosen rug will ease the leg fatigue caused by standing on a hard floor.

When it comes to design enhancement, consider how a rug will break up a large surface area with a change in color and texture. A rug can also repeat a design element of shape from an adjacent room in the house.

Before you make a purchase, let’s explore some important criteria to help you select the perfect rug for your kitchen. While you shop for kitchen rugs, consider four major criteria: Size, shape, color, and materials.


Start by taking a photo of your kitchen. I know it sounds silly, but we spot design cues better in two dimensions rather than in plain sight.

What the photo will reveal to you… I love this floor, I don’t want to cover much of it… or the dog really has a hard time moving through the tile floor near the sink… or my beige porcelain tile could use a pop of color.

So this identifies where to place the rug(s).

Next – get out your tape measure! Let’s find out what size rug suits the space and how much of the floor space you want/are willing to cover.

In the area, perhaps you want a cushioned rug, as used in chef’s professional kitchens. The size standards for this rug is usually 2’6” x 4’. Many options are available online from Home Depot to Frontgate. The best thing is that you aren’t limited to a standard solid color. There are many memory foam sink rugs with lovely patterns and textures.

If you determined you want to place a rug between an island and cook/prep area consider a rug runner or rectangular rug. You can place two of the same, be certain the edges don’t overlap. And please know, a larger rug will actually make the space feel larger than a skimpy sized rug.

For larger rugs, measure for the proper size to leave 6” to 24” from the edge of the rug to the wall and cabinets.


Take a look at Wayfair or RugsUSA and you will see that your chosen rug will come in many size options – Round, square, half-moon or rectangular. Use the search engine filter to view only the specific size/shape you desire.

I suggest for the sink/prep rug, you consider Half-moon or rectangle. For the larger space between island and prep/cook cabinet runs, consider square or rectangle as these are the best size to adequately fill the space.

Limit the choice of a round rug for placement under a kitchen nook dining table – and then, only if the space would be complemented by the round shape. For the dining nook rug, you want it large enough for all chairs to still be on the rug when pulled out to sit down.


You want to keep the pile of the rug low enough that it is safe for passing through. Kitchens get a lot of traffic, so a flat weave style rug with a non-skid pad underneath will be a safe, lovely option.

Low-pile rugs offer excellent durability and beauty. There are indoor/outdoor, low-pile rugs which perform great and come in various patterns and colors, and spills come out easily and quickly!


westport ct interior design help with kitchen rug selection

Whether you want to add a playful touch, bold color or timeless elegance, the color and pattern of the kitchen rug that you choose to set the tone for your final look. Stick with neutral tones for a cohesive, traditional aesthetic that adds comfort without overpowering the room. Complement the existing color scheme by picking up a color used in other decorative accessories

When mixing colors, just remember the 60-30-10 rule: keep 60 percent of your décor in the dominant color of the room (this is usually the color of your walls or cabinets). The next 30 percent is the primary accent color and the remaining 10 percent is an extra accent color, which you can easily incorporate into the room with decorative accessories. Following this rule, choose a rug that picks up your secondary color to coordinate nicely with the kitchen’s existing color palette.

Need the help of an interior designer for your Westport CT or Fairfield County home?  Give me a call today at (203) 677-1161 to discuss your design challenges.