Dos and Donts with Buying, Positioning and Using Your Rug

Rugs tend to be overlooked somewhat, as unless you have a home with cold floor surfaces, this kind of purchase is usually an added luxury item once all the other furniture is selected. For those of you with laminate or wooden floorboards, buying a rug is a careful consideration, and many are put off by the sheer cost of adding such a large item to your home which is under your feet most of the time. Many people opt for the sales to invest in one, but drawn to the price than the practicality or the size of the space which the rug will end up inhabiting.

Types of Rugs

  • Area - the common name for any rug covering a large floor space.
  • Runner - a thin and long carpet used for a hallway or corridor 
  • Mat - Used collect dirt from footfall at entrances and exits to your home. 
  • Skins or Hides - natural animal fur or skin.

Choosing The Right Material

There are various materials and construction processes for rugs, which dictate the longevity, price and use:

Wool - this material is soft, full of warmth and colour. It can come as hand-woven, hand-tufted, hand-loomed, or machine-loomed. The construction of it dictates the quality, level of detail, and ultimately the price! Upkeep is minimal, and wool is naturally stain-resistant thanks to its natural oils that prevent dirt from adhering to the yarn. Another great thing is as its a durable fibre it will spring back into shape, so can withstand heavy furniture and high-traffic areas.

Natural Fibre - very popular as they have an organic look and the neutral textures and flat weaves adapt to any setting. If you want a natural choice but casual look to your living or family rooms, you can't go round with jute and sisal.

Cotton - easy to look after, these are a quick, inexpensive way to change the look of any room and ideal for kid's bedrooms and kitchen sink areas as they can withstand getting dirty on a regular basis.

Hair/Hides - used for decorative purposes for bedsides and living areas, these are not easy to clean and expensive purchases. Just make sure you also buy rug pads or a liner for the underneath to stop them from slipping around to prevent them from becoming health hazards in your home!

Synthetic - extremely durable, colourfast and perfect for high-traffic areas, and usually much cheaper so can regularly be replaced to keep in line with interior trends. Great for any kitchen, cellar or utility room.

Choosing A Rug

Image: nuLoom

Image: nuLoom

When choosing a rug, consider the scale for your space and the furniture that will surround it. Adding a rug to a dull room can anchor a space and add a focal point, helping you to layer your room's decor in the process. Buy one that's too small it will float on the floor and make it look as though there are invisible borders around all your furniture. You can use a rug to define and space, a bold colour or pattern can visually cut a room into two distinct areas, handy for a studio apartment or multiple purpose room like an open kitchen/living room.

Buying a rug while designing the entire room early on in the process, will help to accent wall colours with your furniture, rather than it becoming an afterthought in your interior design process. Colour can be the basis for your design scheme or just an easy way to turn up the volume to a very plain and neutral space. Don't be afraid of bright colours or patterns, as these will gradually merge into the background once you get used to them. 

Right Size Rules

Floor Rugs - subtract 90cm from the length and width of the room, as leaving the floor bare at the edges will make your room look larger. 

Dining Table Rugs - leave at least 60cm of the rug from the edge of the table out on all sides, as this enables your chairs to stay on top of the rug even when you pull them out. 

Runners - aim for them to be 10cm narrower than your hallway and 45-60cm shorter. Make sure they are wide enough to accommodate both feet on the rug when you walk.

The Right Shape

Round rugs soften angular rooms which have a lot of corners or large windows. The arrangement and design of your furniture will also dictate the form too. As a round dining table may work well with a rectangle rug, and vice versa. Experiment using contact paper and cutting out various shapes, in multiple sizes as this will save you time and money. 

Final Tips & Advice

Try matching your rugs with your throws and cushions enabling you to swap them out depending on the time of year, so your interiors are always in season.

Invest in good rug pads or liners to stop any slippage or 'creeping'. Make sure you get the right size and material for your floor too.

Now shoppingh for that perfect rug shouldn't be so intimidating!

Love Omar x

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