A rug can dramatically change the look and feel of a room, so read this guide before buying. We currently stock, Bayliss Rugs, The Rug Collection Rugs and Armadillo & Co.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to finish off the look of a room is to add a rug. Yet it is an item that you should actually consider first. Flooring is often an afterthought, and even when it is added, many times it's done incorrectly. That's because a large part of decorating with rugs is based on the principles of proportion. Not to mention balance with colour and texture and the element of style, too.
Think about the following before you make your decision.
A rug needs to be scaled to fit in with the rest of your decor. A small rug in front of a large sofa will seem miserly. As a rule, it's best to be generous and treat a rug as an anchor point for a room.
If you have the space, place all your furniture on a rug, says Mandie Wright, interior designer at Tailored Space Interiors. "A large rug grounds a furniture collection."
Zones You can also use rugs to define different zones of a room. Therefore, in a large open-plan living space, you could use a rug to differentiate the living from dining areas. The furniture in each space could be placed on its own large rug. If you're not sure, use newspaper or masking tape to map out the size of the rug you're considering, says Jodie Fried of Armadillo&Co.
Getting it right There are two options for choosing the correct size, for a living room you may choose the contemporary oversized method [mentioned above] where you place all of your furniture on top of the rug – in most cases a 2.5m x 3.5m size is best – or the traditional method whereby you place your sofas around the rug and only your coffee table on top."
In general, a 1.6m x 2.3m rug is the same width and length as an average three-seater sofa, Joanne adds. If you're putting it under a dining table, a six-seater generally needs a 2m x 3m rug and an eight-seater a 2.5m x 3.5m. These sizes should allow for the chairs to still be on the rug when people are sitting on them.
And while 2m x 3m and 2.5m x 3.5m size rugs can look huge when they are hanging in a showroom, they usually seem smaller when placed on the floor at home, Joanne says.
When it comes to dining rooms, rugs really need to be large enough to accommodate a dining chair in the pulled out position – the chair legs should not ‘fall off' the rug.
Think first Be careful not to fall into the trap of buying a rug simply because you like it, without considering your circumstances, climate or lifestyle. People who select a rug based on their lifestyle or usage requirements are happier long term because their educated choice means the rug will look better, be easier to maintain and, best of all, will last much longer.
Ask yourself Is there much foot traffic in the room? Do you have children or pets? Do you want the rug to be a feature of the room, or simply add subtle texture and finish off a space? Does the room get much sunlight?
Options Classical styles include Persian and Oriental rugs. More contemporary rugs can be made from plain, natural materials such as sisal, jute and hemp. They can also add graphic elements to a room.
Graphic imagery and patterned rugs can add another layer of texture to a space where existing furniture may be a little lacking in strength. Placing an interesting rug within a furniture setting has an instant impact and refreshes a space immediately.
Approach Whatever style you choose, when decorating any area, it is often best to build the scheme from the floor up. Set the atmosphere and palette by selecting the rug first. In most cases this will guide you towards your complete desired interior. If you are selecting the rug after you have furnished the room, however, look for colours in a rug that complement a favourite piece of artwork or blend in with your soft furnishings.
Texture and colour "A rug can be a great way to introduce these into a room – use natural sisals for warmth, and plush woollen rugs for colour."
Balance Just remember that if you add a colourful rug to a scheme, you need to ensure it balances against all the other elements you are considering for the room. These include fabric and paint swatches as well as furniture and lighting shapes and sizes, says Mandie Wright.
Colour doesn't just mean bright, either. Rugs made with traditional weaving techniques and natural dyes that have a ‘faded and worn' quality, can add a timeless character to a room.
Renting? And, of course, rugs are a great way for renters to add colour or interest to a room when painting walls or hanging artwork is not an option. Likewise, bright colours work well in areas without much furniture, such as hallways entrances or stairs.