When decorating a nursery, certain must-have pieces of furniture (cribs, changing tables, glider rockers) and even décor (mobiles, baby blankets, stuffed animals) come to mind. But there are less obvious things, like rugs, that can make just as powerful of an aesthetic impact on the space. “Whenever we design a kids’ space, adding a rug is always a great option to break up the area and create comfort,” says Tammy Price, of Los Angeles-based studio Fragments Identity.
When it comes to choosing a rug for a nursery, material and weave are important details to consider, according to interior designer Naomi Alon, from Little Crown Interiors in Orange County, California. That’s because, in children’s rooms, “one of the biggest issues is going to be staining,” so Alon told us she “usually tries to find materials that are going to be relatively easy to clean but also soft,” like poly blends and wool — the latter being a material recommended many of the other designers we spoke to. In addition to picking a stain-resistant material, Alon adds that rugs with bold prints can also be a great choice for spaces prone to accidental spills. “Pattern is also a great way to hide the stains that can’t be cleaned out,” she says. And don’t confine yourself to rugs designed specifically for the babies’ or kids’ rooms either (if taken care of, the rug in your nursery could be the same one your child uses in his or her “big kid” room). “Most of my clients want a more sophisticated look, as the overly juvenile look isn’t as popular anymore,” Alon notes. To find the best rugs for nurseries, kids’ rooms, and playrooms, we spoke to 16 interior designers and stylish parents about their favorites. Below are their picks, which include shag, monochromatic, antique-style, and graphic rugs, ones with versatile geometric patterns, and more than a couple that aren’t from the kids’ section.
Best shag rugs for nurseries
Lisa Janvrin, founder of YouthfulNest, an online interior-design service for nurseries and children’s rooms, calls Kroma Carpets’ machine-washable faux-fur rugs the “it” rugs of baby rooms. “Every baby and child brand and beyond seems to have their own version [of the faux-sheepskin rug], but the Kroma Carpet version is such a great price point,” she says. The fact that they’re machine-washable, stain-resistant, and easy to wipe is crucial, as “parents are typically passionate about keeping the nursery clean and safe for their baby.” Janvrin loves the cloud, star, and moon shapes in particular, adding that she’s used them in all types of décor schemes, including modern, boho, and Nordic. She notes that their affordability and range of shapes and colors make them great for layering, too. Alon also likes to layer Kroma’s washable rugs on carpet or larger area rugs. She says that they’re great for putting down on a “high-traffic spot or a reading nook, or anywhere you know your kid is going to spend a lot of time,” as “they’re super soft and then you can just throw them in the washer if you need to.”
Nursery designer Sherri Blum of Jack and Jill Interiors (a favorite of famous people like Tori Spelling and Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss) agrees that sheepskin rugs are an ever-popular choice for nurseries. But she prefers natural sheepskin to faux, telling us her favorite source for sheepskin rugs is Auskin, which makes rugs of “top-notch quality” — three of which she has in her own home. “Regardless of the colors, themes, or design style of the nursery, I always encourage parents to select wool rugs,” Blum says, explaining that it’s an all-natural fiber that is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to spills and soil. While not specifically designed for children’s rooms, Auskin’s rugs like this one can work just about anywhere, and come in a variety of shades and sizes.
For a basic — but still classic — shag rug that’s a little more versatile, Blum recommends this style by Surya. She told us she’s used this rug to decorate several spaces, including a nursery she designed for the Cake Boss. Hand woven with 100-percent New Zealand wool, “it has an interesting texture with varying widths of fibers,” she explains, adding that it’s “so very soft to walk on.”
For a more colorful take on shag that’s still nursery-appropriate, Los Angeles-based designer Seyie Putsure of Seyie Design recommends this 100-percent wool, Beni Ourain–inspired rug with colorful zigzags and tassels, which add just the right amount of playfulness. Putsure told us she often turns to Pottery Barn to find rugs for kids’ rooms, because “they have cool designs and are very well priced.”
If you don’t want to go full shag, here’s a flat-weave option that incorporates a little fluff from Crate and Barrel’s kids’ line, Crate&Kids — a brand that two other designers also say is a go-to for fun and high-quality nursery rugs. Marketing consultant Ashley Simon chose this style for her child’s room because she “wanted something that felt appropriate for a nursery but could really live in any room.” Trimmed with a wool border and fringe, and featuring a woolen diamond emblem at the center, this rug is super soft, according to Simon, who adds that it’s “perfect for tummy time.”