5 ways an outdoor rug can instantly transform your garden

Give your garden a mini makeover with our favourite outdoor rug ideas for every space

colourful outdoor rug on a decked dining terrace
(Image credit: Cuckooland)

If you're not yet on board with the idea of having an outdoor rug in your garden, we think it's time you reconsidered. Our gardens are increasingly becoming an extension of our living spaces, so it makes perfect sense to design them in a similar fashion to the inside of our homes and ramp up the style and comfort factor. 

The latest outdoor rugs are hardwearing, super durable and will happily survive a summer downpour, which, let's face it, is always a distinct possibility. Still not sure how to use an outdoor rug to best effect? Check out our top five ways to add one to your outside space, then head to our outdoor rugs buying guide to find the perfect one for your garden. 

1. Create an outdoor living room vibe

stylish outdoor living room with rugs and festoon lights

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

Chances are you already have an outdoor sofa or two in your garden, but throw a rug into the equation and you'll be surprised by the difference it makes to the overall look and feel of the space. A rug helps to zone this spacious seating area and draw people into the space. What we really love, however, is how these Weaver Green outdoor rugs from John Lewis have been layered up to create added interest. Cosy outdoor living at its best. 

2. Make your dining space a focal point

colourful outdoor rug on a decked dining terrace

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

Placing a rug underneath your table will highlight an outdoor dining area to create a more intimate atmosphere, as well as add some comfort underfoot for your dinner guests. Choose one in a bold accent colour and then team it with accessories such as tableware in similar tones to bring the whole scheme together. Made from hand woven recycled materials, this Fab Hab San Juan outdoor rug in dark blue from Cuckooland is reversible so you can opt for bold blue or the more subtle white and blue colourway on the reverse. 

3. Add pattern to a patio

monochrome outdoor rug on a patio

(Image credit: Lime Lace)

Landscaping materials are a big investment so it often makes sense to opt for a classic, neutral paving design that won't date. But all that beige can run the risk of looking a little bland at times, which is where a patterned outdoor rug can come to the rescue. Even a subtle design such as this Art Deco geometric outdoor rug from Lime Lace can add interest to a neutral patio and liven up the space as and when required. This stylish design is available in three sizes, so there'll be one to suit patios big and small. 

4. Cosy up a fire pit area

boho garden with a fire pit, several outdoor rugs and cushions

(Image credit: Morso)

The evenings might be getting a little cooler, but that doesn't mean you can't still get outside and enjoy your garden. Create a relaxing spot in a corner of the garden with a few colourful rugs thrown on the floor, a liberal scattering of cushions and a fire pit in the centre of it all. This Ignis fire pit from Morso is made from cast iron for a durable finish and is a great buy for small spaces. Simply add marshmallows for fun evenings alfresco.

Top tip: you might want to move your outdoor rugs and seating area slightly further away from the fire pit than this if young (and unpredictable) kids are also enjoying the fire pit action!  

5. Introduce colour to a small garden

bold outdoor rug and deckchair in a small courtyard space

(Image credit: Talking Tables)

In small gardens it can be tricky to find ways of introducing lots of colour without bold tones completely dominating the space, but a vibrant outdoor rug can work wonders for adding a splash of colour underfoot. To enhance the feeling of space in a narrow courtyard garden such as this, a longer outdoor rug design that looks more like a hallway runner will help to visually lengthen the space and can be a better choice than a more standard rectangular option. 

More outdoor living advice:

Beth Murton
Editor, Gardeningetc

For the past 18 years, Beth has worked for and contributed to a number of leading magazines in the UK, including Real Homes, Ideal Home, Period Living, Grand Designs and Good Homes amongst others. Now the editor of Gardeningetc.com, Beth's attention is firmly outdoors. Her own garden is a really important part of her family's home, and she loves spending time tending to the veg patch or entertaining friends and family at a summer BBQ or alfresco pizza night.