Choosing a rug can seem a difficult task, so let our experience help you
Many people come to us just 'looking for a rug', however, we find very often that people don't quite know where to start! This is a guide that we have put together so you can find the perfect rug for your home.
For a start, size does matter.
Lots of people make the mistake of compromising on a smaller rug because large rugs can be expensive, but buying a rug that’s too small is a false economy as it will only make your room feel awkward. Instead, measure your seating area and use this as your guide. A rug should be big enough for the legs of all your furniture to be on, whether that’s sofas, armchairs and a coffee table in the living room or a dining table and chairs. For rooms where your sofa or bed is against the wall you can get away with a smaller rug and position only the front legs on it, although aim for the rug to extend at least halfway underneath the furniture to maintain pleasing proportions.
For more in-depth ideas and tips, check out our room ideas page
Practical considerations are important here. For high traffic areas like a hallway or large living room you need a rug that’s durable, so go for wool or a rug made from a natural fibre like sisal, coir or seagrass. If the rug is for your bedroom or under your dining table, you can get away with a tufted or knotted wool rug with a deeper pile that feels softer under foot. On hard floors make sure you use a non-slip rug mat underneath any rug.
Wool - This is the most common rug material and is chosen for its high durability, resistance to stains and dirt, and its versatility. Wool rugs are the strongest, most vibrant fibre and the most resilient when walked on. Wool adds extra warmth and is a natural product. It has a tight woven pile and is soft underfoot meaning it is suitable for any living area. All wool rugs will shed initially this is because they are from a natural fibre source. Also, Wool also has a natural moisture repellency.
Natural Materials - Materials such as jutes and sisals are made from plants and grasses around the globe. These types of rugs are hard under foot but strong and durable. Great for providing organic look and feel to a room through calm shades and natural tones. They are always the most popular choice for kitchens and hallways because they are usually short in height, meaning they are harder to trip over, and can be brushed or vacuumed.
Synthetic Materials - Materials such as polyester, acrylic & polypropylene come in a variety of long and soft or short and dense pile heights, with some designs handcarved to create a 3D effect. The rich and vibrant shades available on the market lend themselves to intricate designs that make a statement piece to any living space. They are often durable, easy clean and well-suited for use in high traffic areas around the home. Unlike wool rugs, they do not 'shed'.
Any statement piece will be most successful if it’s not made to compete with other elements of the room, whether that’s in terms of colour, pattern or texture. So, in a room that already has lots of pattern, opt for a rug in a single bold colour to pull the patterns together. Or if the room already has a striking colour scheme, use the rug to add a hit of graphic pattern picking out one or two key accent shades. In neutral rooms or if you’re picking your rug first, you have the freedom to go wild and choose a really striking rug that will be the focal point of your room. If bright colours are too much for you, you can still make a statement with a graphic monochrome rug.
Some natural fibres can discolour slightly when exposed to natural light over long periods of time. If only some parts of your rug are exposed to the sun during the day, regularly turning it will help to ensure it doesn’t become patchy. Where you have a rug, you may also notice a difference in colour between covered and non-covered areas of flooring over time.