Top Tips: Decorating with Rugs

decorating with rugs

Sounds odd. We usually think of interior design as being colour schemes, paints, wallpapers, cushions, sofas and a whole heap of other soft furnishings. Rarely do we give advance thought to the flooring.

It is a conversation that takes place in homes across the country, “what about the floor?” All too often, people will opt for wall-to-wall carpets, unsure perhaps of how to treat the hard floor underneath to make it look ‘right’.

And then, when people do think of rugs, they think of a block colour one that hide a spills and stains, or something that the car curls up on. But, it is time to think again about rugs. Decorating with rugs is something that can not only create a room, but give a sense of the scheme being ‘finished’, adding layers, textures and warmth to a design.

So what’s the best way to go about decorating with rugs?

·       Inject a point of interest

Rugs styles, colours and textures are far from boring; in fact, quite the opposite. With rugs from across the world telling stories of cultures and traditions of times gone past, getting the right rug for the right space could add a whole layer of interesting that you never thought possible.

Take the ‘top of the stairs’, for example. A place in many homes that lacks colour and warmth. Essentially a transient area of any household, the mad dash from the bathroom to the bedroom and back again, it is not an area that we think too much about.

But on decorating the hallway, why not take a look at this space and add some texture. Small spaces are not an issue with rugs; they come in all shapes and sizes from narrow strips to larger rugs, that can fill voids and spaces, adding warmth and colour.

·       Add the coziness factor

Hard floors are great, especially with pets and children around; the muddy footprints, the pet hair and sticky finger marks can be wiped away quickly and hygienically. But, let’s be honest, in the depths of winter, with the wind and rain lashing at the windows, there is nothing quite like a roaring fire and coziness in a room.

Hard floors are not high on the coziness scale, hence the purchase of a suitable rug can bring your room’s ranking right up the comfort scale. With so many different textures and piles with rugs, you can have one that your bare feet can sink into but still offering a great, easy ‘surface’ to clean.

·       Add some romance too…

Odd to think of rugs adding romance to a home; this is more to do with the look and feel of a room, in which adding an appropriately styled rug will add a touch of that ‘something else’. For example, those looking to create a traditional room, with sympathies towards eras gone by might opt for traditionally styles rug that is not only timeless but classic.

·       Colour and pattern

decorating with rugs

Some people are wary, frightened even of adding too much colour, too much pattern into their interior design schemes. Clearly, painting a wall a vibrant shade of orange only to find it makes the room feel and look like the size of a cubby hole, detracts from the look you were aiming for.

A rug is one option to testing colour, without it over-powering a room; you can have your rug blending into a colour scheme or have it as a focal point. Either way, there are some brilliant patterns, contemporary and timeless classics.

·       Don’t hide it away

Rugs can be incredibly expensive or they can be modestly priced; they can be ‘busy and patterned or they can be blocks of colour. Whichever you choose, don’t hide it away underneath your furniture… not too much at least. Rugs are meant to be seen, enjoyed and used, not hidden away under a huge sofa.

Want all this and more from your rug, but not sure how to choose the right rug?

It can be simple to choose the right tug… when you know how, like all things in life! Bear in mind the following points and rug choosing success is yours for the keeping:

  • Lifestyle – chasing muddy children and soggy pets around the house means that you need a rug that is not only robust and durable, but easily cleaned too. Bear in mind the use of colour and pattern in this scenario to give you little break in the rug cleaning routine.
  • Rug location –as well as where you intend on putting your rug, is also the purpose you want it for. Bedroom rugs tend to more sumptuous than living room rugs, simply because the footfall is less.
  • Style – rugs can complement and contrast in a room, bear this in mind when looking at rugs, whichever you choose, the rug needs to work with the tones and colours of a room.
  • Cleaning – this is really important! Antique styles rugs are great but need specialist cleaning so, if your cleaning routine runs to a whip round with the vacuum, think carefully before investing heavily in specialist rugs
  • Underfoot comfort & feel – synthetic fibre rugs offer so many benefits but depending on your stance on materials, might not have the same underfoot plush feeling that a natural fibre rug has.
  • Timeless classic…? – or a rug that fit the colour scheme and room décor as it is? That may be your aim, but if you plan on having the rug for years, then ensure that it will fit, move and change as you, your family and interior design change.
  • Budget – after all, money is the guiding principle in most purchases we make from those everyday items through to investment pieces, like rugs. Materials and designers may increase the price but not always quality. Choose well and depending on where you are purchasing from, dust off your bartering skills!

Rugs are a brilliant way of adding that ‘something else’ to a room, whether it is the feeling of the interior design being ‘finished off’ or adding interest and colour to a space, take your time to look for the right rug for you, and it will last for years and years. Chris from The Rug Retailer has provided a detailed insight into decorating with rugs.

Images: 1 // 2

In Association with The Rug Retailer

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an interiors writer and blogger and has an insatiable love of home style and decor

Find me on: Web

1 Comment

  1. Molly
    March 20, 2014 / 8:49 am

    Great tips, choosing a rug is so hard! I’ve been looking for just the right rug for months now, will go looking again with these tips in mind 🙂

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