As everyday spaces which are in constant use, kitchens have a high level of footfall – a durable kitchen rug can help protect hard floors as well as to cushion from sounds, making for a an overall calmer and homely environment.  Whether you’re designing a new kitchen or looking for quick kitchen ideas to update your space, rugs are an easy way to instantly lift the mood of the space plus there are a huge array available. 

Kitchen rug ideas – the best kitchen rug designs to add warmth underfoot

As kitchen rug ideas are available in such a huge array of materials, colors and patterns it can be easy to get carried away with design matters, but when it comes to choosing kitchen flooring ideas there are important practical considerations to take into account. After all, being the heart of the home, kitchen floors are in constant use and often cover a larger surface area than other rooms in the home. ‘When choosing a rug for a kitchen, practicality is key,’ says Sabina Miller, head buyer at Heal’s (opens in new tab). ‘Think low pile options in areas in the kitchen as these as they are less likely to pick up detritus from busy family life.’ In addition to the pile, it is important to take into account material, especially in busy areas of the kitchen such as the kitchen triangle – the route between the sink, refrigerator and stove. Rugs or runners made from hardwearing natural materials like wool, jute and sisal are all good choice for these busy areas, but do ensure to fit an underlay underneath them if laid in a kitchen to prevent the rug slipping.  Alternatively, if you are looking for a rug to position under a table to help define a dining area you may wish to consider more decorative designs with a higher pile to bring coziness and comfort. 

1. Choose a hard-wearing runner

Family kitchen ideas are busy rooms with high footfall so it’s important that the flooring you choose is durable. Stone flooring ideas make a brilliant solution but can leave kitchens feeling cold, so to warm up the look – and add texture – why not add a low pile but hardwearing rug or runner make from jute or sisal? Adding a rustic feel, they make great country kitchen ideas. ‘Natural fibres such as Jute are hardwearing and our Big Jute is surprisingly soft underfoot,’ says Lorna Haigh creative director Alternative Flooring (opens in new tab). ‘Each has characterful texture and most wear well in high traffic areas.’

2. Bring a folky feel with an antique rug

If you are looking for ways to warm up a freestanding kitchen then an antique rug can be really effective, as demonstrated by this cozy kitchen belonging to antique and art dealer Ambrice Miller. As well as adding to the quirky, relaxed feel of this 17th century home, this antique runner helps off-set the industrial touches of the stainless steel worktop and range cooker. Being narrow, runners are also a great way to liven up small kitchen ideas.

3. Bring a lived-in look to a country kitchen

Set in her converted Cotswold barn, the kitchen of Lisa Mehydene, founder of Edit58 (opens in new tab), proves how rugs and textiles make the perfect finishing touch for a homely, country kitchen. ‘Due to its rural setting, I wanted this country kitchen to have a lived-in look, and not feel remotely as if everything in it was new,’ says Lisa Mehydene. ‘I love textiles and have used these to add a unique feel. I just find they help achieve the “always been there” look I was keen to create.’

4. Bring texture to a monochrome kitchen 

Crisp white marble surfaces and charcoal cabinetry are a sophisticated pairing and a popular black and white kitchen idea, however, the stark contrast can be sometimes harsh on the eye.  This type of monochrome interior can also appear ‘flat’ if you don’t introduce texture and subtle tonal variety. But put together carefully, it’s a great way to add drama and style. The addition of antique wall sconces, assorted artworks in vintage gold frames and burnished fittings also serve to add personality and warm up the look. 

5. Warm up a minimalist kitchen

With its sleek floor to ceiling glass doors this modern kitchen really blurs the boundaries between outside at in. While it bathes the space in light and creates the illusion of space, the glass can leave the space feeling cold on winter days, however, the simple addition of a deep pile Berber-style rug brings a layer of softness underfoot instantly injecting warmth and texture into the space.  Minimalist kitchen decor and white kitchen ideas go hand-in-hand, so it pays to keep your color choices simple, understated and fuss-free. 

6. Use a rug to zone a kitchen diner 

‘As well as adding decorative interest, rugs can make useful open-plan kitchen ideas to help separate cooking and eating spaces. Set underneath a farmhouse table, this antique rug helps define the dining area in this kitchen-diner, giving it it’s own personality. What’s more, the rich reds and blues help lift the muted palette and rustic textures of the industrial-style converted coach house bringing a feeling of warmth and sophistication. 

7. Choose classic stripes

If you’re looking for a simple, pared-back rug for a classic Shaker kitchen then you can’t go wrong with a classic stripe. While they may be simple, they still offer a touch of pattern and scope to play with color and rhythm. ‘Stripes are timeless and the variations infinite, from classic fine pinstripes to contemporary asymmetric bands of color,’ says Andy Guard, creative director at Roger Oates Design (opens in new tab).

8. Choose a bold pattern

If you have a large expanse of floor space in your kitchen it can make a great area to display a decorative patterned rug, and can serve to make the space feel more homely and intimate. Patterned rugs are also a great choice for busy areas, indeed ‘a lively colorful pattern creates both instant atmosphere and helps to hide dirt and marks,’ says Lorna Haigh, creative director, Alternative Flooring (opens in new tab).

9. Choose neutral designs in natural materials

In a world in constant flux, we’re increasingly looking to our homes to serve as calming environments to retreat. Decorating with neutrals and natural materials is a brilliant way to create grounding, soothing spaces. Adding a runner, made from rustic natural fibres, in muted earthy tones can make a beautiful finishing touch.  ‘Born out of a desire to reconnect with our surroundings, the neutral rug trend sees design enthusiasts taking subtle inspiration from the great outdoors; by creating a palette reminiscent of the natural world,’ says Becca Casey of Becca Interiors (opens in new tab).  ‘As we increasingly look to balance self-care and wellness with busy schedules, there is a growing desire to simplify our interiors and create calming spaces that inspire inner peace, says Punam Chada, buyer at Carpetright (opens in new tab), comments. Combining neutral tones with nature inspired patterns, such as woods and foliage, creates a sense of tranquillity that is perfectly imperfect. For a cozy style that remains simplistic in its approach, layer textures through accessories in mixed materials.’

10. Create a focal point in a large kitchen

Kitchens with a large expanse of floor can be left feeling cold and empty, but the simple addition of a rug in a rich, warm color can instantly help anchor the scheme bringing life and warmth to the rest of the space.

What kind of rug is good for a kitchen?

Kitchens are busy places with high footfall, so ensure to choose a rug which is made from durable, hardwearing materials. ‘In terms of materials, there are so many out there to choose from,’ says Noemie Deed founder of Cosy Coco (opens in new tab). ‘100 per cent wool is a great option and renowned for being exceptionally hard-wearing, resilient to crushing and indenting. Wool also has a natural ability to resist staining and is therefore easier to maintain than rugs that are polyester-made.’ Rugs made from other natural fibres such as jute and sisal also make good solutions. ‘Runners made from 100 per cent sisal are practical kitchen flooring ideas as they are hardwearing and stain resistant,’ says Jon Flannigan product manager, Kersaint Cobb (opens in new tab). Natural fibres also have the benefit of being more sustainable than synthetic materials.  When placed in cooking areas, rugs can easily be damaged by spills and dirt build-up, so do consider washable or stain resistant designs. Rugs with a low pile are better suited to kitchens as they are less likely to trap dirt. 

Where should you have a rug in the kitchen?

Where you place a rug in a kitchen and what type you choose will depend on the purpose it is to fulfil.  Hardwearing rugs and runners with a short pile work well positioned in busy areas such as the kitchen triangle – the route between the sink, stove and fridge – as this is in constant use. Laying a rug here can provide an extra layer of protection to a hard floor as well as bring softness under foot, but it can also help cushion sounds and falling objects. Rugs can also play a role in zoning spaces. When positioned under a table they can help to define dining areas in open plan kitchens as well as provide a visual focal point in kitchens with large expanses of floor – in this case you may look to more decorative designs with a deeper pile.