Choosing The Right Rug

Rugs are an excellent way to inject colour, pattern and interest into a tired space. They can also anchor a room which feels disjointed with multiple furniture pieces or elements. Not only this, it can add much needed warmth and comfort to solid floors, such as tiles, timber or concrete. Rugs can be a great fashion or trend piece which doesn’t have to break the bank, but there are many types to consider.

Textured Rugs

Textured rugs can be a great deal of things from a flat, woven style through to a shaggy, textured rug. They offer interest and warmth in otherwise lack lustre spaces and they can do so without being too over-powering in terms of colour and pattern. They are good options for spaces that already have a lot of colour or visual stimulation. Flat-weaves are successful in spaces which are coastal, organic and eclectic. Higher pile rugs offer a casual feel and work well in family or rumpus rooms.

Patterned Rugs – Organic

An organic pattern may feature a floral or less structured pattern such as swirls or curves. These can be considered more classic in style and provide a room with interest and movement. Similarly to carpet, they are most successful in spaces where it won’t be competing with other overly patterned elements such as a sofa upholstered in a patterned fabric. Patterns such as this can have the tendency to make a small room feel even smaller so it is often best to steer clear of these styles in tight spaces.

Patterned Rugs – Striped

Striped rugs are very popular and for good reason, they create visual stimulation in a room and offer structure where there are many loose or smaller pieces of furniture. Always consider how stripes will make a room appear, such as stripes running lengthways across a rug can create an elongated effect or draw the eye to a particular part of a room or element. Stripes work well in formal areas if in a low-pile style rug, while a striped flat-weave is slightly more casual. Stripes are great at sitting back with multiple patterns and styles of furniture and fabric, however bolder or more defined stripes are quite dominating so they are more suited to spaces which are pared back in their design and style.

Patterned Rugs – Geometric

Geometric patterns encompass a large range of styles, such as Moroccan style patterns, chevron zig-zags or anything else which is structured or contains straight lines. These rugs provide a high-impact statement to a space, so it’s best to work around the rug as the feature of the room. It’s advised that a striking geometric rug would sit back best with leather furniture, or plain block fabric upholstery. This is not to say that some more eclectic and “braver” spaces cannot be successful with the layering of pattern, colour and styles. Keep in mind they are accessories and can be interchanged as trends come and go.

Rug Sizing

One of the most difficult considerations when selecting a rug is choosing the right size for a room. There are two ways of approaching this, they can either be anchored around the furniture, with the legs of sofas and chairs placed on the rug itself (or partly on the rug), or the rug can sit just off the furniture, creating a border of which the furniture is placed around. Either way, the rug should always be slightly bigger or equal to the largest item of furniture. A rug which is smaller in length than the sofa is one of the biggest interior design “no-no’s”. Many interior designers will let you know the best option is to have your furniture on the rug which is a very tasteful and classic look, however this is not always possible if the space does not allow it. If this is the case, make sure to layer the rug with items such as coffee tables and perhaps a side table too. There is no real right or wrong here, it really depends on the space. Just make sure the rug is big enough- err on the larger side if you’re uncertain!

This rug, while not sitting under the furniture, is still larger than the biggest element, the sofa. This makes the space appear considered while not cluttering it or making the rug look like and after-thought.

This same space has a different cunfiguration, where all elements are layered on the larger rug, zoning the area.

Rug Colour

Just like any other accessory in a home, a rug can be a fun way to inject colour and interest into a room. They look lovely under beds, in living spaces and under dining tables. If the interior is quite established, try to find a common colour in the room which can be referenced in the rug too, to tie the elements together. This may be in the form of an artwork, a feature chair or cushions. If there is not much in the space, consider how colours impact a space and its inhabitants as discussed earlier in the guide. A blue rug can be then referenced again in some cushions which feature blue and perhaps a burnt orange, fuchsia or navy for example.

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