With the endless styles of rugs available, how do you choose the right rug? It really comes down to a few factors –
· Where will the rug be located – this will help determine fibre choice and size required
· What is the colour scheme of the room
· Personal style
The location of the rug helps to determine what fibres will work best. Wool with a low pile height (10mm or less) is one of the best choices due to its durability for high traffic areas and also it’s natural stain resistance. It’s by no means impervious to stains, however spills generally pool on the surface, rather than absorb straight in due to the lanolin content of the wool. This makes it a great choice for under dining tables.
Jute looks fabulous in coastal homes, however is not always suitable for high traffic areas and can sometimes be a little scratchy, depending on how the fibre has been woven. Cotton flat weaves can look lovely, especially in bright colours and patterns, however would only be suitable to low traffic areas.
There are also newer fibres such as bamboo silk, which can create a luxurious soft sheen, and is often blended with wool to create a high-end style rug. While they still may have wool to anchor them, the silk component does make them a little less robust than a 100% wool rug. A silk blend rug could be a perfect rug for a bedroom.
Then there’s the outdoor rug, which can be made up of a variety of fibres, such as recycled PET, polyester or polycarbonate. Be warned, you get what you pay for (as such for all rugs of course). Some outdoor rugs feel like plastic, while others are soft enough to use inside and feel just a luxurious as an indoor rug. They are also perfect for holiday rentals.
The size of the rug is also dependant on the location and requirements of the rug. When choosing a rug for under a dining area, the rule is to ensure you have 600mm clearance on each side for chairs to be pulled out comfortably. Living areas can be a bit more fluid – you can either have all of your furniture sitting on the rug (a more expensive option), or furniture partially on the rug, such as the front legs of your sofa and chairs, or alternatively have the rug ‘floating’ with no furniture, bar the coffee table, sitting on the rug (most economical option).
Choosing colour and style comes down to personal choice and will depend on whether the colour scheme for the room is already set, or if the rug is your starting point. Muted, natural colours will blend in, while a pattern or bright colour is going to make a statement. Light colours are not going to be suitable for high traffic areas.
Don’t rush into making a choice – take your time, consider all the factors involved and ask a professional!