A rug is an important accessory. Since the 5th century BC, rugs have been prominent in the home. That’s a lot of history. Too much to delve into for this blog. But, it means a few thousand years of product development and a wealth of options. Rugs are featured the world over – resulting in an endless number of styles, designs, shapes, sizes and materials.
Choosing the right home accessory can be difficult even for the world’s most interior-savvy, especially when the accessory has an endless number of options. That’s why we've created this 7 step guide on how to choose the perfect rug for your living room. In short:
- Measure the space
- Determine your budget
- Consider your lifestyle – in which room will the rug be placed?
- Make sure the rug complements the style and colour of the room
- Decide on a shape
- Think about rug texture
- Add a rug pad – to stop movement against the floor
Measure the space
When choosing the perfect rug for your living room the first step is to measure the space. We’d generally suggest leaving 10- 20 inches of floor between the walls and edges of the rugs.
If the room is large, choose a rug that incorporates all of the furniture items – a simple, yet effective way of bringing the room together. If the room is small, use a smaller rug that sits underneath the centred coffee table. It protects the floor from the coffee table, adds an extra layer to the room and will create a more inviting aesthetic.
Determine your budget
What is your budget? Understanding how much cash you have to splash on a new rug is crucial when shopping for a new rug.
Rugs can vary dramatically in price – mostly due to size and the material the rug is made out of. So, once you’ve measured the space you can then decide on the size of the rug. The material will then be dictated by your budget. For example, hand-woven rugs vs factory made rugs are one of the biggest price differentiators. Patterned vs print, tufted vs knotted, shaggy vs modern, can also have an impact on price.
Consider your lifestyle
If the living room is a high traffic area with heavy footfall, it might be worth thinking about the rug’s durability. Check to see whether the material of the rug is stain resistant, understand its martindale count – the higher the count, the more durable the fabric. If the rug is in fact in a high traffic area consider using a strong material. Wool, for example, is an incredibly durable fabric and is naturally stain resistant.
If the room is a formal setting and has a touch of sophistication; a second reception room, perhaps? A less durable fabric would work; silk, chenille or linen might be a good option and will look beautiful in a nice environment.
What's the style and colour of the room?
Style and colour are an important area to consider, if a little obvious. Making sure the rug compliments the room’s colour palette and aesthetic is key. If the room’s colour scheme is eclectic or dark you want to contrast with a neutral colour for the rug. And vise-versa if the room is neutral then choose a bold colour that ensures the rug is contrasted. You might also want to introduce patterns to the room. If that is the case then a patterned and textured rug in an otherwise plain schemed room would work well.
As we do with cushions and throws, if you want to add another interior design to the room, a rug is the perfect way to do this.
Choose the shape of the rug
Hands down, rectangular rugs are the most popular shape. Why? Because they can be used in almost every room without a second thought.
The shape of a rug should fit with the layout of the room and the shape of the furniture in that room. Sofas are (mostly) rectangular. It’s the same with coffee tables, side tables, TV cabinets. Hallways are rectangular in nature, the same with beds and dining tables. Most places in the home, where a rug can be placed, has a rectangular shape. That being said, there are occasions when this pattern goes a-skew; a circular coffee table, a toilet or bathroom rug, a child’s bedroom, faux animal rugs, to name but a few.
My point being: furniture shapes often depict rug shapes. So, choose wisely and with the furniture in mind.
Choose a texture that works
The texture of a rug can help a room feel inviting, cosy, and minimalist. For example, a shaggy rug will give the interior a relaxed feel; a jute rug will give the room character and texture; a wool rug will not only add texture, but add a touch of warmth to the room; a knotted rug will create an aesthetically pleasing feel to the room whilst adding a subtle texture.
The texture of a rug can help the overall feel of the room in a number of ways. It can add interest to an otherwise minimalist room, bring a room together, and create layers and interest.
A minimalist room, for example, with a combination of tones and shades, can be paired with a rug with a matching colour palette, but only if its texture adds interest. This will make it stand out instead of being drowned out by the room’s colour scheme.
Add a rug pad
If you have a wooden, marble, slate – non-carpeted – floor, it might be worth adding a rug pad into the mix. A rug pad guarantees that the rug stays motionless when being stood on.
Imagine a child running around the house, suddenly slipping on the rug and face-planting the floor – afternoon ruined. If a rug pad was placed underneath the rug then the situation would have been avoided – and more importantly, tears saved.
Rug pads are one of the home’s most underrated items, fact.
One last thing: if you buy the rug online, double check the returns policy. More often than not, there will be a favourable returns policy, which means: you can try before you ‘buy’. Purchase multiple rugs in different styles, designs and patterns (chuck it on the credit card), and see what the rugs look like in-person. Send back the ones that don’t work. Easy.