Rugs in Kitchens

Today’s topic: It’s not as controversial as painting wood, because I don’t think people who do this will get rabidly attacked, but there are definitely pro and con camps to putting rugs in kitchens.

Would you?

I would. And I did.

This is not my house, this is from This Old House, but this is what I’m talkin’ about:

Rug in Kitchen via This Old House

I love rugs in kitchens.

Our kitchen has a hardwood floor, and rugs were on that floor within 30 days after we moved in. After my fumble fingers dropped a few knives and spice jars resulting in nasty deep dents with the first month, off to I went for affordable rugs. Plus, with oak floors and oak cabinets, there was way too much wood in the kitchen. The texture and color of rugs help break up all the wood.

But I know some people wouldn’t. Ever.

Here’s the pros and the cons. First the pros, because I’ve stated my obvious bias.

  • Kitchens are nearly all hard surfaces and sharp corners, and rugs visually soften this
  • They add pattern to a space that’s often lacking this
  • They add color variation to a space that’s often monochromatic – whether cabinets are wood or painted, there’s usually only one or two colors in cabinets
  • They’re softer and more comfortable to stand on than tile or wood
  • They protect the floor from dropped things like cans and utensils

Let’s see the visual advantages to rugs in kitchens. I hope these will entice you. Then we’ll discuss the cons.

From Architectural Digest, this kitchen makeover is stunning. The white and stainless palette is so clean. But due to the nature of kitchen materials, everything is hard surfaces. The rug adds some contrast, and the color ties with the wood counters:

Rug in Kitchen - Architectural Digest

Here’s one from BHG, everything white. Everything. Imagine without the rug:

Rugs in Kitchens - Better Homes and Gardens

From Traditional Home, these are not white cabinets, but this kitchen still benefits from the pattern and color in the rug:

Traditional Home Runner in Kitchen

Featured in Apartment Therapy, here’s one of my all-time fav kitchen photos. This kitchen needs this rug. Say to the rug, “You complete me.”

Apartment Therapy Rug in Kitchen

Imagine all these kitchens without the rug. They’d be missing more than just the rug.

Finally, from Southern Living, would this kitchen have the same personality without the rug? Yes the cabinet colors have personality-plus, but the rug takes them to another level:

Kitchen from Southern Living

Now for the cons.

Yes stuff can get spilled on them. Yes they can catch grease and oil particles from the air. But you can wash them. You can vacuum them. You can take them outside and hose them off and let them dry in the sunshine. You can buy lightweight kilims and dhurries and throw them in the washing machine. It doesn’t take much more time than cleaning the rest of the house. I think the benefits outweigh the need to occasionally clean them.

Now, regarding cleanliness, anyone who knows me would not call me a germophobe. I’m not gross and sloppy, but there’s far more important things to worry about on this planet than germs in kitchen rugs. Germs on your cutting board, a different issue! We’re talking the rug here.  Really, what do people think could happen to them by a germ getting on the rug? We cook nearly daily in our kitchen. Crumbs do fall on the rug. Liquids do get slopped on the rug (only very rarely). It’s all cleanable. I vacuum several times a week. Sometimes I need to get down on hands and knees and scrub. Only occasionally. The rug is also replaceable. That’s why I got inexpensive rugs.

Yes, rugs could slide and cause falls. You should prevent that with non-slip rug pads. I would say, don’t put a rug on a hard tile, concrete or wood surface without rug pads. There is also rug tape, and although I’ve never tried this, some like Martha Stewart recommend running lines of silicone caulk under rugs to make them slip-resistant. The rugs in our kitchen have had pads from Home Decorators Collection under them, and after 4,045+ days of living here, I’ve never slid on a rug once. I’d say that’s pretty good odds.

So … what do you think? Would you? Have you?

Check out more rugs in kitchens at my Pinterest board:

Follow Nomadic Decorator’s board Rugs in Kitchens on Pinterest.

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4 Replies to “Rugs in Kitchens”

  1. I love the color and pattern they add. I have one in my kitchen, but I’m thinking of adding another, longer one on the other side of the island where there is less traffic and spillage. I’ve used the rug tape on the underside of the rug. It works well but eventually starts to deteriorate or become ineffective due to dog fur. Not a big deal, since it comes in rolls – just slap on some fresh strips!

  2. I just noticed a photo of a mostly white or cream colored rug in a kitchen. Somebody is cray-cray or only makes toast in that kitchen.

    1. Ha ha! My rugs are dark with lots of deep red. Which was fine until we got light color cats. Now I vacuum. A LOT. I have two runners on both sides of the island. I’ll probably post my kitchen in the coming months – going to paint the cabinets!

      I didn’t know about the rug tape – will have to check that out!

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