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13 fresh rug ideas to shape your living room

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Ed Hawes
how to choose a living room rug

A rug can make or break a living room design. With the power to pull an entire room together, rugs are a key part of decorating your living room - so there’s just one question: Which rug should you go for? 

Wonder no longer, we’ve come up with some key questions and information so you can get the best living room rug ideas for your space.

How do I choose a rug for my living room?

Choosing a rug for your living room can be a big task. Whether you’re looking to decorate an empty living room or if you want something to breathe new life into your space. 

To start picking the perfect rug, ask yourself about how you want the room to look, what do you want your living room to do for you and how much wear and tear are you expecting in your living room. With that said, here are the types of rugs that are great in living rooms.

What type of rugs are there to choose from?

The type of rug is a functional consideration. The material and style of rug can vary widely depending on what you use your living room for and how much durability you need. 

Your selection of rug also depends on the space that you have, for example if you need a smaller rug to go under a coffee table, a high pile rug might work well, but if you’re looking for a rug for a large space, a classic wool rug would be ideal. That being said, here is a guide to our living rug ideas and Swyft's collection of rugs.

Shag rugs

shaggy rug ideas

Shag rugs get their name from their ‘shaggy’ appearance. These uneven, high pile rugs are ideal for someone who wants a comfortable rug underfoot. Shag rugs come in many different shapes and sizes, from coffee table rugs to entire floor coverings. Cleaning and maintaining a shag rug can be more expensive and take time and might not be great for people with pets, as the hair can get stuck in the high pile. Some shag rugs are less hardwearing than others, particularly if you’re vacuuming often.

High pile rugs

high pile rugs

The high pile rug is a popular way of decorating your living room. High pile rugs themselves have looser and taller fibres, which gives you more warmth and comfort than other types of rugs. However, if you want a flat, easy to clean rug, then a high pile rug might not be for you. High pile rugs are good for people who want to curate a cosy space.

Woven rugs

woven rugs

Woven rugs are exactly what they sound like - they are made through the weaving process. They are more resistant to foot traffic than high pile rugs, but decidedly less comfy to sit on. Woven rugs are usually less colourful than other types of rugs too, but require less maintenance like hoovering.

Natural material rugs

natural material rug ideas

Rugs made from natural fibres are growing in popularity due to their sustainability and durability. The materials used for natural material rugs are usually wool, cotton, sisal, jute, bamboo and even hemp, silk and leather. These rugs can be made using different techniques so they’re quite diverse and hardwearing - including to make woven rugs and high pile rugs.

Felted sheepskin rugs

sheepskin rugs

A felted sheepskin rug is a type of rug that is made of 100% sheep’s wool - without hurting the animal. As the rug is made from the clipped sheep fleece applied to wet felting, the rugs are as soft as traditional sheepskin rugs without the needless harming of the animal. Normally a bit more pricey, less hardwearing and coming in smaller sizes, felted sheepskin rugs are great to draw the eye, but not the best for an entire living room rug.

Cowhide rugs

cowhide rugs

Contrary to popular belief, most cowhide rugs are sourced from the meat and dairy industry as a byproduct of consuming cows. Whilst a vegetarian or vegan would most likely not appreciate a cowhide rug in your living room, it isn’t as cruel as killing cows just for their skin. Even though there are fake cowhide rugs out there, all this type of rug are likely to wear and tear. You can avoid this by rotating your rug every couple of months to avoid worn looking spots.

Silk rugs

silk rugs

Silk rugs are coveted for their intricate designs. A little more on the pricey side, silk rugs are very durable but can lose their sheen quickly if they’re placed in a high-traffic area. Most people who have silk rugs tend to display them on walls as opposed to using them for their intended purpose to avoid any damage coming to them. Silk rugs are often decorative items to protect them.

Double rugs

cream rugs

What’s better than one rug? Two (or more)! Depending on the size of your space, you can layer rugs to add some interest and texture to your living room. Firstly, put down the biggest rug and build the texture from there. The first rug should be durable, preferably made from natural materials, then add in a patterned rugs or two and go for the smaller rugs.

Rugs to pick based on the colour of your sofa

blue sofa cream rug

Now that we’ve covered the types of rugs out there, it’s time to pick the colour of your new living room rug. Choosing the colour of your living room rug can be tricky, because there’s no way to hide it if it doesn’t match.

The easiest way to build your living room interior design is to create a colour palette based off the tone of your sofa. Here are some tips on how to match your rug to your sofa.

Rugs to go with a blue sofa

As for colour matching a blue sofa, you have lots of options. Go for metallics if you’re looking to create a cool, modern aesthetic to your living room. Or go bright all over and decorate with jewel tones, embracing the maximalist trends that have been dominant over the past few years. There’s also the option for patterns - pick a rug with a pattern that has elements of the blue in it and simply place down.

Rugs to go with a brown sofa

Brown sofas are great for creating a natural and a neutral feel to your living room. It can be best to keep with the outdoor aesthetic and try out a rug made of natural materials, pile another (smaller) rug on top of it or under a coffee table to create a comfy feel. Otherwise, you can mix up your sofa and rug combination by choosing a bright rug to contrast the brown sofa, stick to deeper blues, greens and reds to make sure that there isn’t an overwhelming colour scheme.

Rugs to go with a tan sofa

With a tan sofa, you should go for a patterned rug with some interest. Think cream (if you don’t have pets or children) with geometric patterns, a Moroccan rug with ornate patterns, or a Nepalese styled rug. Tan sofas go well with high pile rugs or animal style rugs to echo the sentiment of nature and natural materials. Don’t forget that you can mix and match rugs and pile them on top of each other - probably with a natural material rug underneath.

Rugs to go with a beige sofa

If you’ve got a beige sofa, it might be a good idea to keep the tones muted when it comes to looking for a rug and get your interest somewhere else. Keeping colours on the ground light is a great way to make sure that your living room makes the most of its natural light. If you want some interest, go for a simple geometric pattern on your rug - and don’t forget to add some floor plants!

Rugs to go with a grey sofa

So you’ve bought a grey sofa and you don’t know what rug to get to match? Go for gold! Making a statement with your rug is within your reach as you add interest to your floor by adding an unusual or bright rug - or Swyft's pink patterned rug. Grey sofas are a great way to start your living room interior design as a blank canvas to build off, so choose a rug that speaks to you. High pile or flat, patterned or plain, grey sofas give you the ideal start to your unique living space.

Remember, flooring fashion might change every season, but it’s important that your living room speaks to you. The way that you decorate your home should reflect you, especially your living room as you spend a majority of your time in that space. 

You can unify a scheme or a room by using a rug, so get thinking about how you want your living room to look and get the ideas flowing. If this blog has inspired you, have a look at Swyft's versatile collection rugs

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