When we want to add some warmth and personality to our homes, we think of rugs first. Think about it: they’re easy to move around, hide imperfections in your floors (and last forever). But the right rug can also do so much more than just cover up a stain or make your toes feel cosy on cold nights. The right rug can help you achieve the high-low effect on a budget, create an instant focal point without having to spend too much time thinking about it, and tie together all the elements of a room—from floorboards to furniture. So how do you choose just one?
Learn the lingo.
Before you begin shopping, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. While there are many different types of rugs out there, each type has their own characteristics and qualities that will affect how the rug fits into your home. Here are a few terms to get familiar with:
- Flat-weave vs pile-weave: flat weave rugs have a solid surface and tend to be more durable than pile weave rugs; however, they can also look less luxurious because they don’t have a “pile.”
- Cut-pile vs loop-pile: cut-pile is when the fibres are cut short or have been woven together in order create a firm, textured surface while loop-pile is made up of long strands of wool or cotton that stand upright above the surface of the rug like spikes (think wall-to-wall carpet).
- Handmade vs machine made: hand knotted rugs take hundreds if not thousands of hours to make by hand while machine made ones can be created much faster but tend not last as long due to lower quality materials used during production. Machine made rugs also tend to cost less than handmade ones since only one person needs to work on them at any given time rather than several people working together over several weeks/months which adds up quickly!
Consider your lifestyle.
When choosing a rug, consider the following:
- How you’ll use it. What activity will you perform most on your rug? If it’s primarily for sitting and lounging, a low pile will work best. If kids are going to be doing cartwheels across the room every day, an area rug with more cushion might be necessary.
- How you’ll clean it. Some rugs are difficult or impossible to clean in-house—so consider whether this is something that would cause stress for you or not (and make sure there’s an option available if it does).
- How it will age over time. Some rugs have elements of wool or cotton woven into them—which can shrink over time as they absorb moisture from spills or general use. You may want to avoid these if they’re not made of synthetic materials that won’t shrink as much under normal circumstances.
- How it will wear over time. It’s important that any new carpeting has enough give so that walking around on top of it doesn’t feel like walking across concrete; but if your home has hardwood floors underneath where people need to walk, finding an area rug with just enough padding won’t be an issue.*
Consider how these factors play into each other when selecting the perfect rug for your space!
Consider your home’s architecture.
If you have oak beams fireplace or large windows with lots of natural light they make great backgrounds for small rugs with neutral or dark colours that don’t compete with the view.
If you are trying to match all of your furniture pieces in a room together then rug patterns should also be consistent with other furnishings such as chairs, sofas and wooden shelves.
If you are looking for a unique look then go bold with different textures and colours.
Buy the right size and shape.
When choosing a rug for your home, make sure to buy the right size for the space. A rug that is too small will look out of place, while a rug that is too big may make the room look unbalanced.
The right-sized rug can help you create a cohesive and balanced atmosphere in your room. When the pieces of furniture in a room are all different sizes and shapes, you run the risk of creating an unbalanced look. A rug can help balance out this effect by tying together all of the different elements in the room into one cohesive design that looks intentional.
Don’t overlook colour.
What colours do you already have in your space? A rug with complementary colours can pull things together nicely, while an opposite-hue pairing can add some visual interest and make an otherwise boring room pop. For example, if you’ve painted your walls bright yellow and white stripes trim all of your furniture, adding a bold red area rug would be ideal; however if those same walls are painted dark blue with gold accents throughout (think royal palace) then choosing a neutral-colored piece would be best here too.
Rugs can hide stains or blemishes on your flooring, making them ideal for high-traffic areas like hallways and foyers which often get dirty from shoes. The presence of an area rug can also serve as a focal point for the room while creating conversation zones around it.
In short, picking the perfect rug involves choosing the rug that meets your unique set of criteria. The one that you would be happy to see in your home for years to come. Whether that’s a traditional print or a hand-knotted masterpiece is entirely up to you.