The ultimate rug guide – a designer’s tips

The ultimate rug guide – a designer’s tips

It’s easy to make a mistake with the size of the rug for any space in your home. I can understand that buying a rug can cause confusion. Mainly, because there are fundamental interior design principals you may not be aware of that can help direct your purchase. So here is my ultimate rug guide that covers placement, style, material and price.

Rug Placement

The two important interior design principals you need to know about rugs include; that rugs are used to define a zone and rugs are grounding. What this means is that the rug sort of brings the furniture together. Another way to think about it, is that a rug gives the furniture meaning.

For example a dining table and chairs without a rug can seem like they’re floating aimlessly in the space, almost like they don’t belong.

But add a rug and suddenly the dining table and chairs are firmly planted in the space, they belong together but in the overall room as well. They have meaning.

In any room there is positive space and negative space. Both are important to a successful room. The positive space is taken up by the actual pieces of furniture that define a function. The negative space is the empty space in and around the furniture that allows the flow of movement.

Essentially the negative space is the pathway to access the furniture. Bearing this in mind the rug is an important part of the positive space. So if you’re thinking about not adding a rug to your room because it’s too confusing, now you know that a rug is an important piece to define the positive space in your room.

Style for your rug

Another important point to consider when selecting a rug, other than placement and size, is style and colour. With clients I work with we define a design strategy at the very beginning of the project. A design strategy is deciding the style goal and a colour scheme.

I define a design strategy because it helps with decision making on various selections such as furniture and furnishings easier. A design strategy also ensures that I work through the design process as quickly and easily as possible.

How does knowing your style goal impact your rug choice? Let’s say for example your style goal is Mid-Century Modern, then you might like a geometric pattern. Another example would be if your style goal is Hamptons you might like a distressed looking oriental rug.

With the sheer volume of choice knowing your style goal will help you narrow down your rug options. The next important aspect to help you select a rug is colour. In case you don’t already know, a good colour scheme starts with three colours.

Once you define a colour scheme and you have selected the colour of the focal pieces of your space such as a dining table, sofa or bed, then you can select the rug from your colour palette. For example, if your colour scheme is black, white and grey. Let’s say your bed is black, your bedside table is white and then your rug will naturally be grey.

Time and again it has proven that knowing your style goal and colour scheme from the beginning of your home interiors project will be your guiding light in all your selections.

Best material for your rug

There are many factors that impact the choice of material for your rug. Ultimately budget maybe the final determining factor but when I work with clients material is a key focus. Material matters with families and small children, pets, allergies and personal preference. For example, some clients just don’t like artificial materials such a polyester.

In deciding the best material for your rug, consider who is using the space and how the space is used. For example if you like to walk around bare footed or just socks, then a rough jute rug won’t work for you.

Rug in a natural material may shed and be less durable.  If you have kids and your rug is in a high traffic area this might not be a suitable material for you.

The floor’s surface and temperature may also impact the material choice of your rug. You might prefer a rug with a dense pile if your space is cold.

Of course these are all the considerations I take in account when selecting a rug for a client but most people focus on cost, colour, pattern and size. So knowing the different rug materials available while maybe be good to know, it may not be a priority for you and that’s ok.

Price of your rug

Ultimately your budget will probably be the most deciding factor when selecting your rug. And this is perfectly reasonable. There is room for cheap and cheerful but bear in mind that the quality of a cheap and cheerful rug will be poor. And soon enough your budget buy will look shabby bringing down the overall look and feel of your space and basically undoing all your hard work in styling your space.

So while above I said that knowing your style goal and colour scheme is paramount in deciding on a rug, price matters too. Do your research, understand the cost of the best value rug in your price range and consider it an investment.

I’m a firm a believer of being patient, saving a bit to get the best quality piece you can afford that will stand the test of time. I’m also a firm believer in avoiding landfill and filling your home with pieces that mean something to you personally and contribute to your design story and frankly a rug from Kmart will not do you, your design story, or your home justice. You deserve better.

My aim with the furniture packages in this blog is to make decision making when styling for your home easier. I also want to help you minimise expensive mistakes when shopping for your home.


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