When it comes to home styling, the lines between indoor and outdoor living have blurred. We’re now taking the time and effort to create patios, decks, and backyards that reflect our sense of style just as much as our living rooms do. If you’re ready to update your outdoor space, consider starting with an outdoor rug – or two or three!
What’s the Best Outdoor Rug Material?
Material is the most important component of your outdoor rug. Most outdoor rugs are comprised of synthetics — either acrylic or a man-made polypropylene material, which makes them weather resistant and super easy to care for.
Why We Love Synthetic Outdoor Rugs
- Synthetic rugs last season after season without showing wear and tear.
- Man-made rugs are by far the easiest to clean and care for, usually requiring just hosing off with water or spot cleaning with mild soap and a gentle brush.
- Synthetic rugs maintain their color despite sun and weather – you don’t have to worry about fading or colors bleeding. This makes it easy to keep the rug as an anchor and simply switch out accents such as pillows, which is a budget-friendly consideration.
- Because the selection is much wider in synthetic materials, these rugs can be a more affordable choice than natural fibers.
- Synthetic fibers are often as soft as natural materials.
Synthetic Rugs: Easy Care & Cleaning
Always follow manufacturer suggestions, but in general, synthetic rugs are easy to vacuum (monthly) and rinse off or spot clean. A common cleaning solution includes a teaspoon of white vinegar in a quart of pure warm water, but many rugs can withstand mild cleaning detergents.
Sometimes you need to deal with a spot or stain without cleaning the entire rug. If someone spills a drink on the rug, pour some table salt or baking soda on top of the spot. After the crystals absorb the liquid, vacuum away the salt or baking soda, and the stain along with it.
Outdoor Rug Sizing
Outdoor rugs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from 2 x 3 ft. throw rugs to 11 x 14 ft. area rugs. To choose the correct size outdoor rug, follow the same principles as those for indoor area rugs.
- To start, choose a rug shape that complements the shape of your furniture. A rectangle or oval rug looks great under a rectangular patio dining set, while a larger, round rug works well with a four-person round patio dining set.
- Choose a long, narrow runner to add interest to a walkway or smaller balcony space.
- If you’re covering an entire patio, try to allow 12 – 24 inches from the rug’s edges to the perimeter of the patio space. This allows room to walk around the furniture, and can also make a space seem larger.
- A more flexible option for conversation or “living” areas is simply making sure the rug’s edges are underneath the front legs of the furniture pieces contained in the space.
When placing a rug under a dining set, allow approx. 30 inches from the table edge to the edge of the rug, so you can comfortably pull chairs in and out from the table.
Popular Rug Shapes
Many indoor/outdoor rug designs come in multiple shapes, so you can coordinate the same rug pattern among a grouping of rugs in your outdoor space. Try a rectangular rug under a bench and table, with a matching round rug under a nearby chair. Here are the most common rug shapes for your patio or poolside:
Trending Rug Colors and Patterns
Wait until you see the incredible variety and selection available in colors and patterns of outdoor rugs. Whatever your style, you’ll find it. One approach is to take the colors you love inside your home and bump them up in bright and bold versions. But really, anything goes when it comes to outdoor décor.
Think ocean, sky, and all the many colors found there, from green to teal to sky blue, cobalt, and more. These rug colors will help create a tranquil oasis in your space.
You may be surprised how stripes can work with other patterns – just keep your color palette consistent throughout your space and you can mix and layer pretty much anything.
Earth tones like brown, tan, beige, and gray will blend seamlessly into your outdoor space. Use these colors to anchor your seating or reflect your surroundings.
Go bold with everything from chevron to Moroccan, quatrefoil, diamonds, and every pattern in between. Geometric looks are a refreshing way to jazz up any outdoor space.
Love the laid-back look? Try a combination of dusty greens, tans, terra cotta, rust, and the like to create a flexible palette that radiates relaxation.
Defining Outdoor Spaces with Rugs
Choosing the right rug is crucial to the overall look of your outdoor area. First, have a long look and maybe even sketch out ideas of your outdoor space. Ask yourself how you’ll be using it throughout the season. Do you need a few different chat areas? A dining space? Kids spot? Want to cover some patio imperfections? You can create all kinds of different vignettes, and there’s no better place than outdoors to define a space with a rug. It draws the eye to the area you’ve styled.
Bring a cozy corner to life with a bold blue outdoor rug. You can shop the look on the Front-Porch Comforts idea board.
Anchor a patio seating area and introduce extra color and pattern with a bold outdoor rug. See this look on the Front Porch Décor: Fall is Knockin’ idea board.
Roll out style with the perfect rug. Take a look at some classic picks on our Truly Timeless Outdoor Rugs idea board.
Discover More Outdoor Inspiration…
Get style ready! Read 6 Outdoor Rug Trends for Summer.
Discover colorful ideas on our Outdoor Rugs That Pop style board.