Backyard Basics: Outdoor Rugs

Posted In Design - 07/05/2018

Having a seamless flow from indoor to outdoor living spaces is what furnishing your back yard is all about. Outdoor rugs create open-air rooms that allow you to fully capitalize on your alfresco areas and expand the way you live. More than simply catching dirt to prevent it from being tracked indoors, outdoor rugs delineate spaces while adding color, texture and definition to your patio, deck or veranda.

Outdoor Rug Construction and Materials

Most outdoor rugs are woven and comparatively flatter than indoor counterparts. Though longer pile outdoor rugs are available, the increased height is more apt to trap dirt and debris within the pile, requiring more effort to keep clean.

Outdoor rugs are manufactured from weather-resistant synthetics like polypropylene and olefin to resist mold and mildew while holding up to the sun, rain and fluctuating temperatures that an outdoor setting brings.

Where to Place an Outdoor Rug

Versatile, flexible and stylish, outdoor rugs can be used on any fairly flat surface in your back yard to create a foundation for your patio dining, poolside lounge seating or back yard conversation spot.


On wood deck outdoor rug reduces the chance of getting splinters in bare feet.  The rug will also protect the wood and the deck finish from getting marred when chairs or tables are being moved.

Lawn or Garden

An outdoor area rug is an ideal way to temporarily expand your entertaining space by creating welcoming conversation areas or dining rooms in your garden or lawn for parties and events. The rug can cover loose soil areas and will help with footing for party guests. Don’t plan to leave an outdoor rug on a lawn permanently or it will damage the grass beneath it.

Patio or Terrace

On the patio, an outdoor rug will help keep the patio furniture from scraping or chipping stone and minimize furniture wobble caused by irregular natural surfaces. Plus it adds softness under foot and provides a cooler surface for bare feet when the mid-day sun heats the stone or tile.

Balcony or Porch

On the balcony or porch, an outdoor rug rests close to the door. Perfect for catching soil, it will help you keep the dirt out and your feet clean when coming inside. If you have windows or glass doors that enable you to see both spaces at the same time, pay particular attention to make sure the styling of your indoor and outdoor rooms complement each other.

How to Care for an Outdoor Rug

Cleaning and maintaining an outdoor rug is as easy as a swift sweep with a broom or spraying it down with the garden hose. Most dirt and debris will wash away from synthetics with little or no scrubbing. If you have caked in soil, a brush and mild detergent should do the trick. For best results, allow your rug to dry completely in a sunny spot with plenty of airflow.

In milder locations where you use your back yard year-round, feel free to leave your outdoor rug outside all 365 days of the year. However, if you experience harsher or very wet winters, you will extend the life of your rug by storing it for the off-season. Simply rinse out any dirt or soil and allow the rug to dry completely before rolling it up to stow.

For more on how to decorate the spaces in your back yard have a look at our related articles: Creating an Outdoor Oasis and  Outdoor Living.

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