A guide to picking the perfect rug - for every room in the house
Words by Saj Azam
Five Minute Read
A rug is an ideal piece to help make your house a home. But with so many styles, colours and options, where do you begin?
No space is complete without a rug, they're the home-essential that's a two-in-one, functioning as an element of your decor and a soft cosy treat underfoot. Carpet, tiles, laminate or wooden – whatever flooring your home possess, they're a fantastic way to introduce some warmth, personality and comfort into your space, or even completely transform an unloved area.
Choosing the right rug for your space isn't as easy as it seems. There're so many elements to consider. What size? What colour? To pattern or to plain? What about the material – what should it feel like? With so many styles, designs and choices, selecting the perfect rug can often be an overwhelming experience. So we've put together a catch-all guide to get you clued up before you head out into the wild world of rug shopping.
First things first, quality matters when you're searching for a rug. A well-made piece will last you decades of use, which you'll then be able to pass down to the next generation to enjoy and cherish. We believe when it comes to selecting products for your home, it's important to consider values like sustainability, timeless design and durable materials, so each piece you purchase is guaranteed to be crafted with care to last you a lifetime of joy.
How To Choose The Right Size Rug
When it comes to finding the right rug – size matters. Take the time to consider where the rug is going and the placement, do you want it to go underneath the sofa and come out on the other side or finish just before? If you're going for under furniture, ensure there's 5-10 inches to spare on each side – that means no one leg in and three legs out.
Larger rugs are great for sectioning off different areas and tying a room together, while smaller rugs accentuate smaller areas and add interest. Smaller rugs can also be layered on top of larger rugs, creating the perfect feeling of hygge.
Approximate recommended sizing:
Living room: All legs in with a 5-10 inch border - 300 x 400 cm | Two legs in and two legs out - 250 x 350 cm | All legs off - 170 x 240 cm
Bedroom: All furniture on with a 5-10 inch - 200 x 300 cm | Only bed - 170 x 240 cm | Either side of the bed - 60 x 90 cm | The foot of the bed - 140 x 200 cm
Dining table: Rectangle six-seater dining table with 18-24 inches excess beyond the chairs - 245 x 305 cm | Round rug for six-seater dining table - 250 cm
What Material Should You Pick?
Choosing the right material can help to set the tone for your space. Rugs can be made with synthetic and natural fibres alike. However, we recommend opting for recycled synthetic or natural materials like wool, cotton, silk and jute for pieces that are kinder to the planet and longer-lasting.
If you're looking for something completely unique, check out independent craftsmanship brand Myfelt for conscious rugs made from felt balls, Rug Solid's sophisticated leather rugs or Emko's linen Chaos rug.
Wool is a warm and sustainable option for rugs, it's a resilient material and is guaranteed to last you decades of effortless comfort. The other great thing about wool is that it's naturally stain-resistant, hypoallergenic and doesn't require as much maintenance as a synthetic rug.
Style tip: ideal for most places in the house, for premium wool rugs, check out Nordic Knots selection of contemporary designs.
Cotton rugs are generally easier to find and are a much more pocket-friendly option compared to wool. They're soft to the touch and are also a great sustainable option.
Style tip: perfect for places where you may sit on the floor, like by a fireplace or in a children's room. Looking for a cotton rug? Take a look at Danish brand Rug Solid and this handwoven piece from Tiipoi.
Made from the jute plant, jute is a strong and coarse fibre that makes extremely durable rugs, perfect for homes with pets. Jute is also a good option for the planet. It's highly sustainable, 100% biodegradable and has a very low CO2 and water footprint. What's not to love?
Style tip: great for the hallway and kitchen – areas that may receive a lot of foot traffic.
A sumptuously soft fabric, silk is also a durable and long-lasting material, despite its delicate image. Silk rugs feature a smooth texture and are ideal for any room and season, and thanks to their quality, silk rugs add an extra dimension to any space.
Style tip: makes a luxe addition to the bedroom and dressing room, like this one from Rug Solid.
What's The Best Style?
There's a whole variety of types of rugs that you can choose from depending on the location and purpose of the rug. The styles listed below are some of the most common and popular ones to consider.
These rugs are crafted using natural fibres by hand from thousands of knots. They're then usually shaved down and finished with a plush front. These rugs require the work of skilled artisans and can take months to make due to their labour intensive crafting process.
Style tip: looking to add warmth and character to a space? Opt for a knotted rug with a pattern or border, perfect for the living room or bedroom.
Woven or flatweave rugs are great for areas that have a lot of traffic thanks to their low to no pile weaving. This style of rug is flat and will have the same pattern on the front as it does on the back – making it reversible.
Style tip: as these rugs are great for busier areas, try adding a bold coloured woven runner to your hallway or kitchen.
This type of rug is crafted without knots and is made using loops of yarn, either by hand or machine. Tufted rugs often have an ultra-plush feel to them but can shed much more than the other styles.
Style tip: add a white, cream or grey rug next to your bed or armchair – or even over an ottoman, for a cosy atmosphere and soft touch.
How Do You Pick The Colour?
This element of the decision-making process is a pretty crucial one – the colour you choose will impact the feel and aesthetic of the whole room.
For smaller spaces, modern or Scandinavian style interiors – opt for light earthy tones, like cream and beige, this will give your space an airy feel and give the illusion of a larger room.
Style tip: place a light-toned rug in pale blue or cream in the bedroom for a relaxing and calming ambience.
Darker hues like navy, grey and brown are perfect for large, daunting spaces that require a little extra TLC, creating the feeling of comfort and intimacy. Brighter colours like yellow, orange and red are a good choice for rooms with large windows and lots of sunlight.
Style tip: darker coloured rugs are great for hallways and kids rooms – perfect for hiding any spills or stains. They can also make light coloured flooring pop.
If you're looking to make a statement, patterned rugs are the way to go. Ideal for spaces that need a little oomph, browse chevron, floral, geometric, distressed and bordered rugs for the perfect uplifting piece.
Style tip: neutral-toned walls and furniture make the perfect blank canvas for a bold, patterned or printed rug.
How To Clean a Rug – Care Instructions
Rugs are designed to be long lasting due to the nature of their use, however, there are some things you can do to help them live a little bit longer and free them from any spills, accidents or messes.
Hoover your rug on both sides regularly to free up any dirt and debris that may be trapped deep inside the piles. Make sure to move any furniture to make sure you get everything.
It's also advised to rotate your rug every three to six months to ensure it receives equal wear and too much bacteria doesn't form in one single spot.
If you have the extra space outside – take your rug out and give it a good beating or shaking every few weeks to remove stubborn debris.
Make sure to consult the rugs care instructions before doing this, but shampooing your rug gives it the ultimate deep clean, taking care of any dirt and stains the hoover or spot cleaning can't fix.
Why not hang your rug up and turn it into a piece of textured art or change up your aesthetic and try switching the rugs in your home around? Big or small, simple or patterned, a rug will transform your space. Invest in quality, take good care, and it'll be around for years to come.
Discover our favourite rugs