A house is not a home, and just any old rug won’t pull your room together.
Don’t get cold feet – we walk you through everything you need to know before investing in a rug for your home.
Shape and type
Where will your rug go? Different rooms in your home will require different rugs. The most common is the ubiquitous area rug: a square, rectangular, or round rug that you can place just about anywhere for a pop of colour or to cover a slippery, cold floor. There are also door rugs and bath rugs which are typically made of more heavy duty and/or absorbent material. Lastly, hallways and staircases could benefit from runners which are long but narrow.
The golden rule of rugs? Everything on it, if possible.
Living room: If you’ve got a sizeable space, you can opt for a large rug or carpet that is able to fit all of your furniture on top of it. This is especially great for pulling together a room that has uncoordinated pieces – think Parisian apartment. Alternatively, if your furniture is up against the wall, a slightly smaller rug that allows the front feet of your furniture to rest on them works too. You can also opt for a small rug just under your coffee table in a tighter space.
Dining room: No ifs or buts: your rug should be large enough that both your chairs and table fit on it. Invest in a round, square, or rectangular rug depending on the shape of your table.
Bedroom: Just like the living room, a fully carpeted area with all your furniture on it is ideal. Another option is to have a rug just under your bed, though you should ensure that it extends out on the sides. You could even opt for runners on both sides of the bed.
Kitchen: A small mat in front of your sink is sufficient though if you have the foot space, a narrow runner works well too.
A rug in a bold colour, print, or texture can double up as an accent piece – this could range from a traditional Persian one to a modern rug with a chevron or floral pattern. Alternatively, you might want a more muted, minimalistic piece in a room that already has a lot going on for it. The same goes if you have constantly changing furniture; in this case, opt for a solid coloured rug that can complement your ever evolving tastes.
A thick shag rug works best for absorbing the sounds of footsteps, moving furniture, and dropped items. Think of your neighbours if you live in an apartment or condominium! There are also rug pads specifically made to reduce floor noise; you can layer these dense layers under your prettier rugs.
If you’ve got kids or pets or are just clumsy, what you need is an easy to clean rug that also hides stains till the next wash. White rugs? No, thanks. A cotton rug can be thrown into the wash whenever necessary. A wool rug is also a great option as its natural oils prevent dirt from adhering to its fibres. All it needs is regular vacuuming and some spot cleaning in case of spills.
Will your rug be in a place that sees a lot of foot traffic? Wool rugs are prone to shedding, but they can withstand an incredible amount of running around. Opt for flat weave (loom woven with interlocking warps) or hooked (drawn through a stiff base) rug for a rug that lasts longer.
If your rug is in a place with lots of sunlight, a bright print might also not be a great choice as you’re bound to experience some fading.
Alternatively, jute, bamboo, and sisal are also great options though they’re a little rough on the feet.
A rug with a non-slip base is ideal for homes with elderly people, children, or slippery floors.
If you move around a lot, you might want to invest in a lightweight cotton or silk rug that can be easily folded away. Heavier rugs also usually require professional cleaning – think about lugging it to and fro if you don’t have your own transport – so choose wisely.
Will your rug be placed in an area prone to wetness like the kitchen or bathroom? Rule out wool rugs which tend to absorb humidity. Instead, opt for absorbent cotton or synthetic materials, or a ‘hard’ rug made of bamboo.