I found the best kitchen rug ideas to add warmth and colour to a cooking space

From runners to washable options, we can't get enough of these kitchen rug ideas

White modern kitchen with jute runner rug.
(Image credit: Future)

Kitchen rug ideas aren't always the first thing you think of when designing a kitchen, or even when thinking about buying floor coverings for your home. Typically, rugs are more common for adding comfort and style to living rooms and bedrooms, but we're all here for bucking the trend and instead adding one to a cooking space. 

A kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in a home - it's become a spot for not just cooking, but also socialising, dining, completing homework, and entertaining. And with hard floors that can sometimes feel cold, it's a prime opportunity to add warmth for the many feet that will traipse through. 

Whether you're designing a brand-new kitchen space or looking for budget kitchen ideas for quickly sprucing up your home, rugs will be a simple way to instantly lift an interior both aesthetically and in terms of practicality. 

Kitchen rug ideas

When you're thinking about how to design a kitchen, cabinetry, flooring and worktops are often top of the list. But the key to creating your dream space that acts as the heart of the home is to focus on the details, like a kitchen rug. 

'If your kitchen is quite minimal in style, adding a rug is a great way to inject warmth and pattern, instantly adding a homely feel to your space,' says a spokesperson from Ruggable.

'Whilst very practical, the stone and tile floors found in many kitchens can leave them feeling cold (not to mention lead to frosty feet in winter!). Placing a rug will warm up both the feel of the room and take the chill off underfoot.'

1. Blur the line between a cooking and living space

Navy kitchen with runner rug in middle.

(Image credit: Future/Heather Young)

In an open-plan kitchen design, it's important to make the cooking and dining areas feel as cohesive as possible. This way, the chef will still feel integrated in any conversation occurring elsewhere and the space will feel more functional. 

A rug is a great way of achieving this flow as it makes the kitchen feel more homely, and depending on the colour and pattern you choose, it can tie in with the decor of a living space. 

'When we redid our kitchen I really wanted to blur the line between kitchen and living space, and a rug is a great way to soften the look of hard floor tiles, as well as bringing in some colour and pattern,' says our Editor-in-Chief, Heather Young. 'I'm using a vintage rug I got cheap on eBay at the moment, but I'm planning to upgrade it to a washable one in the near future.' 

2. Make life easier with a washable rug

Green kitchen with ruggable checked rug.

(Image credit: Ruggable)

Let's face it, one of the main barriers to adding a rug to a kitchen is the mess that it poses. It can be tricky to clean a rug, but spills can happen anywhere else in a home, so it shouldn't put you off. 

There are easy methods for spot-cleaning stains on an area rug, but if you're a messy cook, or you have children or pets, then a washable option will make life much simpler. 

'With food spills and other messes happening regularly, you want your kitchen rug to be easy to clean. Luckily, our kitchen rugs are water and stain-resistant, so you don’t have to fuss over that spilled glass of red wine or sauce. If your Ruggable kitchen rug does get dirty, you can easily toss it in the washing machine to keep it looking good as new,' says Ruggable.

3. Opt for an under-table rug

Kitchen dining room with farmhouse white table and rug underneath.

(Image credit: Future/Darren Chung)

If you're looking to spruce up a kitchen diner area, then a rug is a simple way to achieve a fresh look. Adding an area rug underneath a table creates a frame-like look that zones the dining space, while also acting as a practical barrier between furniture and the floor. 

This way your floors stay protected from scraping table and chair legs, and it adds texture underfoot when sitting down to eat. We recommend going for a flat-weave style or a hardwearing natural fibre rug in this area as it will be much easier to clean any spilled food out of. 

4. Go for a natural material for added durability

White modern kitchen with jute runner rug.

(Image credit: Future)

Kitchens are high-traffic areas - between time spent on your feet cooking, fetching drinks and hosting, your floors go through a lot. This is why when choosing a rug, it's best to go for a hardwearing material, like jute. 

Jute is a popular choice for living room rug ideas too as it creates a chic Scandi aesthetic and it's neutral, so you can style it up for a variety of decors. And it's just as well placed in a kitchen - it wears incredibly well so if you need to scrub it clean or it takes on some heavy footfall, you won't need to worry. 

5. Tie into a kitchen colour scheme

White kitchen with painted blue walls and matching blue rug.

(Image credit: Future/David Giles)

Practicality aside, a rug is quite frankly the perfect opportunity to inject colour and personality into your kitchen. Whether you first spot the rug of your dreams and base your kitchen colour scheme around it, or already have a wall colour to work with, creating a tonal palette will enhance the look of the room. 

6. Work in a runner

Light grey shaker kitchen with antique-inspired runner rug.

(Image credit: Future/James French)

A runner is perhaps one of the most common rug ideas you'll spot in a kitchen, as they fit perfectly alongside a run of cabinetry. The shape and size of this style of rug will cover the majority of a walkway between an island an wall cabinetry, or it will be well placed next to a sink area. 

This way, you have added padding and warmth underfoot when cooking, while also adding a stylish touch to an otherwise practical space. 

7. Add a mat to your back door

Green modern kitchen with door mat next to back doors.

(Image credit: Future)

Many kitchens will have some sort of door that leads into a garden. And while this is useful for popping out to grab some herbs, it does often mean walking mud back into your home. A doormat is a useful tool for combating this, but if you want something a bit more stylish, then a thin woven rug is a great solution. 

It provides enough protection to your floors and is the perfect spot to leave your outside shoes, but you can still easily move it when it's not in use. 

8. Consider a circular design

Kitchen with stool seating and round jute rug

(Image credit: Future)

Kitchens can be quite angular, so if you want more depth to your design then it's worth considering a circular-style rug. It adds interest to flooring, especially in an open-plan space between a seating zone and a cooking area. 

9. Create a comfy cosy kitchen

Green open plan kitchen with island, dining table and berber rug.

(Image credit: Future)

While hard-wearing rugs can be useful for a practical area like a kitchen, there's no rule against a soft, high-pile rug that adds cosiness. 

We wouldn't recommend for an area where food might be dropped, as it can be tricky to get it out of the fibres, but a fluffy rug such as a Berber style will add a snug feel to a kitchen. It's also great for adding to a modern kitchen idea, as the neutral palette is right on trend. 

10. Go for flatweave

Navy kitchen with white island worktop and red antique-style rug.

(Image credit: Future)

Flatweave rugs are a solid choice for adding a swath of colour to a kitchen design. They're popular in antique styles which are guaranteed to make a cooking space feel homely but also well-curated. 

A flatweave style can also easily be vacuumed on a carpet setting and they're easy to scrub if stains occur. They're a win-win for providing practicality without sacrificing style. 

What rugs are good for a kitchen?

 When shopping for a kitchen rug, it's best to think with functionality in mind. Colour and pattern is of course important for any home, but given how a cooking space is used, you're going to want a hardwearing option that doesn't leave you with more work. 

'Kitchen rugs are more likely to come in contact with food and liquid than home office rugs. Offering a different look and feel, leather rugs and wool rugs are often more durable and stain-resistant, making them popular options for the modern home. Think about placement and whether the rug will receive a lot of wear,' recommends Emma Cottrel, marketing manager at BoConcept.

We recommend opting for slimline styles, such as flatweave, that can easily be scrubbed and vacuumed. Natural materials are also a safe bet as they're hardwearing and often an affordable option. 

Which one are you choosing? An Instagram-worthy antique runner is top of my list. 

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).