Published on August 2, 2021

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While there may not be an exact formula for deciding between square or round, plush or woven, and striped or solid, ours starts with seeing rugs as seasonal pieces rather than longer-term investments. Because with fall on the horizon (no, we can’t believe it either), creating a comforting atmosphere is top of mind—and Walmart’s offering of rugs in soft layers and textures can bring that much-desired touch of rusticity to any room.

Cowhide, Southwestern prints, and more vintage-inspired options from Walmart’s fall style collection add a lived-in feel to our homes, while nature-esque hues (think: burnt orange, cranberry, olive, and chestnut) make a room warm and welcoming. To bring that inviting vibe to your space this season, we asked four design experts to share their tips for rug shopping, plus on-trend picks for each. Style the eight options below with lots of worn-in leather, plush faux fur throws, and aged wood, and you’ll instantly be transported to a ranch out West—even if you’re in the middle of a city.

Bigger Is Actually Better 

“There’s nothing worse than an underscaled rug,” says designer Ariel Okin, who suggests measuring your space at least twice before deciding on one. “Map out where you’d like the rug to go in blue tape on your floor and you’ll quickly be able to see in real time what it will look like.” For larger spaces, stick to a textured option in a natural shade or a graphic Santa Fe–style pattern that doesn’t feel too overwhelming, she notes. Designer Erin Hiemstra agrees: “It’s often believed that you need a small rug in a small space, but that just accentuates your size limitations.”

Pile on the Layers 

When it comes to the size of the rug, there are general rules most designers abide by, like making sure that it’s big enough to fit all of your furniture on top. When it comes to shape, however, interior designers Brett and Kara Phillips urge us to have some fun: “You can always layer uniquely shaped rugs on top of a larger one that defines the space,” they share. To make the room look as big as possible, Hiemstra also suggests layering a smaller colored or printed rug over a larger neutral one.

Always Consider Traffic

The Phillipses’ number-one piece of advice? “Find a rug that doesn’t make you afraid of making spaghetti”—especially if you’re weary of placing a runner in the kitchen or entryway. “People are hesitant to put a rug in a high-foot-traffic area, but the additional color, texture, and pattern can really elevate an often forgotten space,” they add. Here, look for performance fabrics that are durable and easy to clean, and darker shades that mask wear and tear.

Set Out to Surprise 

Think of your living room as a movie and cast your furniture accordingly, say the Phillipses: “Determine whether your rug is the main character or the supporting character and start choosing the rest of your pieces after that.” You should also consider not just how the rug looks but how it feels. “Find something that surprises you—and your guests’ feet,” they suggest. “A shag or high-pile rug will add a cozy sensory moment.”

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