WHAT ARE THE PROS OF PUTTING A RUG UNDER A DINING TABLE?
First up, the pros of putting a rug under the dining table. The first positive spin on a dining table rug is that it really anchors the space, creates a zone in the kitchen diner or dining area, and can nicely mirror the table under which it sits. 'A rug under a dining room table is an absolute must for this exact reason,' says interior designer Marie Flanagan of Marie Flanagan Interiors. 'Without a rug to anchor the space, a table and chairs can get lost in the room.'
'Like wall art and wall coverings, rugs help carve out a dining area within a home,' says Guillaume Coutheillas, founder and creative director of interior design agency, frenchCALIFORNIA. 'Rugs can be very powerful tools when working to anchor a space. We opt for rugs that frame the dining area, making it larger and clearly delineated from the rest of the home. For example, for the unit we designed in SELENE in New York City, we used larger rugs under each dining table, opening up the space while adding a new layer of texture and tone.'
Aside from what a rug can do to visually zone the room and break up the space, rugs in the dining room also help to add visual softness and texture to the space, bringing the feel of a luxury dining room. 'A rug under the dining table creates an atmosphere in a room, especially under a wood floor it gives warmth to the room,' says Pierre Frey. 'Wool is a good option as it is very durable and washable.' 'Carpet also helps to absorb the noise,' says designer Grey Joyner, 'so when you are all seated at the table, it doesn't seem like there is an echo.' Another benefit of the underfoot texture is how the rug can help protect a hardwood floor underneath from scratches from chairs and table legs over the years - the texture provides a protective element that won't chip away your flooring.
WHAT ARE THE DRAWBACKS OF A RUG UNDER A DINING ROOM TABLE?
So what are the drawbacks? Designers are sometimes against putting a rug under a dining room table because of how messy the space can get. But this totally depends on what kind of home you have. A family space might be more prone to spillages from the dining room table - it is a functional space for eating and socializing after all, but others might be more suitable where the dining room is more of a formal set-up. When shopping for a rug, think about how the material will work in the space.
WHAT MATERIALS AND SHAPES WORK WELL UNDER THE DINING TABLE?
Ultimately, when it comes to how to choose the right dining room rug, it comes down to the material, size and shape. Material-wise, you might want to think carefully about what type of living room you have. Is it a busy space frequented by family? Or is it a more formal dining area that is refined and elegant? Wool might be suitable for the latter, but likely to get damaged or spilled on in a family room. 'Try and choose a rug with lots of pattern or something that has some indoor/outdoor properties in the make up (either PET, or polypropylene),' says Grey. 'Or even just an easily cleanable material like a Nylon.
Sisals and jute hold up well under a dining table, and are good when it comes to camouflaging dirt, but they soak everything right up. Avoid high-pile rugs, which tend to trap food in between the fibers. A flatweave, low-pile rug is best, easy for your chairs to move back and forth over, and can be made out of synthetic material that can be easily chucked in the wash. Ruggable has good options for stain-proof, machine-washable pieces. In terms of color, tread carefully. 'To mask soiling, we recommend either using quite saturated colors or when using a light color, to mix close shades to create a vibration in the surface instead of a flat color,' says Sarah Henry, managing director at La Manufacture Cogolin.