There’s no question that a well-appointed home is as essential to fulfillment as is a healthy, loving relationship. When it comes to decor, the best rug has the same effect as the chemistry between two people who are crazy about each other. It invites you in, brings out the best in you and your home, and makes everything come together.

Finding the perfect rug can be as delightful—and as daunting—as diving into the dating pool. Like dating, casual relationships are inevitable. Small area rugs are the perfect way to try out a new design style or colour scheme without too much drama, perhaps in the foyer or den. While flings are fun, though, there’s nothing in the world like true love—that exquisite Persian, Scandinavian, or French design that feels like it was made just for you.

Also like dating, there are thousands of articles about how to find “the one.” Much of the advice still applies:

Be confident.

You know what you like and don’t like. Trends come and go, but taste lasts a lifetime. Choose a rug that imbues your home with timeless design and says something about who you are. Of course if you don’t know exactly what you want, that’s ok too. Don’t be shy about asking a specialist for their help. People who are in the rug business are in it because they love it, and they’re happy to share their wisdom.

Don’t settle.

It’s tempting to skimp on an item of decor that you’re just going to walk all over anyway. But those cheap rugs from fast fashion megastores are the relationship equivalent of a one night stand. They look good for an instant and then betray you by fading, shedding, and worse. Investing in a quality piece, in contrast, is like falling in love—you’ll be walking on cloud nine forever.

Compatibility is key.

Choose a rug that suits your lifestyle. Are looks important to you? Splurge on that handwoven French Aubusson. Can’t go a day without redecorating? A high-pile shag resists permanent indents from furniture feet. Got little ones scampering under your feet? An easy-to-clean flat weave will make your life easier.

Try an app.

At times, it can feel like there are too many fish in the sea, and the sea is vast; how are you supposed to single out your match made in heaven? With the time-honoured tradition of using a matchmaker. That’s all Tinder and OkCupid are; the modern-day tech substitute for what was once a highly skilled profession. Rugs, of course, have their version.You whisper your preferences into their ear, and a designsavvy expert sorts through a bevy of available textiles, saving you from the potential heartbreak of a mismatch.

Humorous comparisons aside, you can’t deny that when you walk into a home without the warmth of a rug to welcome you, the whole house feels cold—lonely, even. The right rug will make you and your home feel loved, and just like Prince Charming it’s out there waiting for you. So next time you’re visiting a showroom on the hunt for a new rug, consider the romance of hand-knotted Tibetan wool and luxurious silk. Who knows, it may even be love at first sight.

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