When it comes to finishing off a room, a rug is a key ingredient.
Annie Loveridge, director of The Ivy House, puts it simply: “Rooms look better with a rug.”
With the ability to transform a space, introduce a sense of luxury, personality, softness or edge, rugs are an element you want to get right.
The first thing to think about is what you want the rug to do for your space, suggests Loveridge.
“Do you want it to provide a soft flooring area or is it more cosmetic? Do you want it to unify a space or define an area?” she asks. A rug can pull together a mixed selection of furniture or it can be a bold statement in a neutral furnishing scheme.
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“Get out the measuring tape,” is Loveridge’s first suggestion. “Measure your space. Getting the size right is key.”
A rug that is too small draws the eye in, makes the space feel smaller and furniture feel disconnected. Too big and the space will feel cluttered and stuffy.
A simple way to get an idea of size is to take four A4 pieces of paper and place one in each corner of where you want the rug to go. Your eyes will travel to those four corners and will help to give you a good sense of the size.
“A common solution is to have a rug that sits within the furniture,” says Loveridge. Ideally all furniture is touching the rug, for example the legs of a couch should be on the rug. “But don’t place furniture on the shorter ends of the rug as it will draw the space back in,” she warns.
Choosing the right shaped rug all comes down to the purpose of the rug and the room it’s in.
Take a dining room – a rule of thumb in design is that repetition creates harmony, says Lillian Baker of Furtex. If you have a rectangular dining table, it’s normally a good idea to choose a rectangular rug.
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“Make sure there is room extending beyond all sides of the table. When the chairs are pushed back they should still stay on the rug,” she says.
The minimum that allows for this is 75cm on each side, says Loveridge, so the ideal rug size is generally at least 1.5m larger than the table in each direction.
In a bedroom, any shape goes. “A large rectangular rug can frame a bed really well, but a circular rug will add a little bit of fun and something like a cow hide will add some interest.”
COLOUR AND TEXTURE
In a living room, it’s important to consider the sofa and wall colour and the atmosphere you want to create.
If it’s calm and relaxing you’re after, Baker suggests going for a wool or jute rug in a natural colour palette.
Creating a playful, energising space? “[Look for] primary colours, bold patterns or … luxuriously dark and moody jewel tones,” she says.
Baker says layering rugs adds texture and personality. “You can never have too much of either in your home.” It’s also a great way to fill a space.
“Try contrasting textures and styles – a jewel-toned antique patchwork floor rug over a larger textured jute rug for example.”
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