Inject some cool into your room with a rug

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Whether you would call yourself a devoted follower of wooden flooring or a loyal lover of tiles, chances are, at some point, you’ll need to insert at least one rug somewhere in your house. 

A room that lacks that certain excitement factor can greatly benefit from the right rug, as it can visually tie all the different pieces together. The right rug can anchor a room, define it, and add character to any space. 

But how do you know which rug to choose? Is it as easy as choosing a plant for the coffee table, or more complex? Taking into account material and finishing such as French needlepoint and Moroccan cotton, it’s safe to say that choosing a rug can’t be done with your eyes shut. 

So, let’s narrow down the hints and tips to help you select that perfect touch to your room – a comfortable yet stylish rug.

Which room needs that rug?

Most rooms can benefit greatly from a rug area – apart from providing comfortable surfacing, they also offer inspiration for colour schemes (and also the perfect solution to hide unpleasant flooring blemishes). Which rug to pick, however, will depend on which room you’re rug-shopping for, as different rooms portray different settings and functions; therefore, the right rug will have to fit in perfectly. 

For example, hallways with high-foot traffic will need a rug that’s durable and strong, while bedroom rugs will experience less stampeding. Shopping for a bathroom rug will require something that can withstand both feet and dampness, so take your room (and its accompanying activities) into account first and foremost.   

homify hint: A rug can be a great partition between different rooms, such as seating and dining areas. This is especially useful in studio apartments, or large open-plan rooms.

What size should I go for?

modern Dining room by Deirdre Dyson LLP
Deirdre Dyson LLP

FISHSCALES hand knotted wool & silk rug from the 2013 DESIGNS FROM THE DEEP collection

Deirdre Dyson LLP

Your rug should fit the size of your seating area (whether or not you’re picking one for the living room, TV room, or dining room). Ideally, all the furniture should be on the rug, but front-legs only (for the couches) is usually a good compromise. The idea is that your feet must be on the fabric, not the floor, when sitting on the couch. 

For the dining room, you want to be able to pull your chair out and still be on the rug. 

homify hint: If you use more than one rug in a room, make sure they’re different sizes. Same-sized rugs tend to cut a room in half visually. 

To give your inspiration a workout, see some stunning examples of dining rooms and how some of them incorporate the size of a rug.

What about colours and patterns?

If your room already has a lot of colour and patterns, then you might want to stick with a one-colour rug – either in a neutral shade or a colour which complements your existing space. 

In terms of choosing a pattern, don’t focus on your rug as a stand-alone piece. The rug will read as one of the “larger” items in the room, so be sure to take into account the tones of your floor, walls, and other fixed finishes, and see how they all gel together.

Should you really want a patterned rug with many shades, it’s easier to choose the rug first, and then add in furniture and accessories afterwards to coordinate everything. 

Whether it’s a rug or lighting, see some tips on How To Make Your Home Sexier.

And the style?

classic Living room by Deirdre Dyson LLP
Deirdre Dyson LLP

Deirdre Dyson PAPILLION hand knotted wool and silk rug

Deirdre Dyson LLP

To decide on a style, look at your existing furnishings. You are free to mix things up a bit (a contemporary geometric rug with your vintage furniture, for example), but make sure your rug incorporates one of the neutral colours on the wall / upholstery so that it blends in with the overall colour scheme. 

Feel free to create a bit of contrast. If your draperies and furnishings have a large pattern, choose a smaller motif one for the rug. But to stay safe, don’t try to mix more than two patterns per room. 

Two popular choices for rugs are traditional and Moroccan. Traditional rugs tend to feature flower and fine motifs, with rich-tone borders like gold or navy. They are typically made of wool, cotton or silk. With their elaborate borders, they can help define seating and dining areas, and bring a classic look to a room. 

Moroccan rugs are typically made of wool or cotton. Originating in Morocco, they lend an exotic look and a plush feel to living areas and bedrooms.

Which pile for my rug?

rustic Bedroom by Allnatura
Allnatura

Massivholzbett Alexandria

Allnatura

“Pile” refers to the thickness of the rug and the length of the fibres in the rug’s weave. Obviously this differs from one design to another, but the two basic piles available are high and low. 

High-pile rugs: 

• Are softer and fluffier. 

• They’re not too suitable for high-foot traffic areas, as their threads and fibres are prone to twisting and being crushed. 

• They require more work in terms of cleaning and maintenance, especially when stain removal is involved.  

• They shed more, as their threads and fibres become loose and settle on the surface. 

Low-pile rugs: 

• Have a general flat appearance.  

• They are very easy to clean and maintain, and are more durable.  

• The perfect option for dining rooms, as the low pile makes the movement of chairs easy. They also work well in a playroom/nursery, where toys need to easily slide over the rug area.  

• As they hide vacuum- and shoe marks very well, they are the best choice for high-foot traffic and activity.

Which material do I go for?

 Walls & flooring by louis de poortere
louis de poortere

Velvet Edie Interior

louis de poortere

One of the things to consider is personal taste. Which feels best for you when walking on it? If you prefer a softer touch, then natural fibres like wool and cotton should be considered. Organic fibres such as jute and sisal can also feel soft underfoot, but lack the physical warmth of a woven rug. 

Remember: contrast can be your friend. If your furniture is of the sleek and leathery kind, consider a rug with a longer, fluffier pile. If you have a soft fabric seating (like velvet), a smooth and hard rug (like sisal) can look fantastic. 

Also keep in mind the practicalities of the rug: How often will it need to be cleaned? Will elderly people (or those with limited mobility) be using the area? If so, refrain from a high-pile rug that can be a tripping hazard. 

Keep all these tips in mind when rug-shopping, and enjoy! 

See how the Italian professionals at Ceramica Sant’agostino conjure up magical flooring.

And there you have some basic tips to help you choose your next rug. What other ideas can you add to our list? 
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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