When winter arrives we look for ways to add layers and a wonderfully simple way, is to warm up the floor with a beautiful rug. Words Kylie Jackes
Fibre and style
Before embarking on a rug buying expedition, it’s important to know what to look for. Firstly determine the key function of the rug and how durable it needs to be. Is it for a kids’ bedroom where there will be floor games and potential spills? Is it for a high traffic area like a hallway? Will it be a focal point? Or do you want it to play more of a supporting role and subtly add another layer of texture and softness to a room?
If it’s durability you’re after natural fibres like sisal and hemp are great hard-wearing options and their neutral colour can make them particularly forgiving in high traffic areas. Wool and wool blends are another great option, yet if you have young kids or are considering placing it in a dining or living area, opt for darker tones which can help conceal spills and marks.
For an easy-care option, synthetic fibres like polypropylene have numerous benefits. Being moisture resistant, it repels spills and is easy to spot clean making it great for kid’s areas. Polypropylene is also one of the most colourfast options, so it’s ideal in a sunny position with some rugs like Unitex Marquee White, able to be used outdoors
Sizing it up
Proportion lays a key role when selecting a rug. A common mistake is choosing a rug you love, only to realise it’s far too small for the space once you bring it home. Ideally you want the rug to ground key pieces of furniture within a zone. For instance in the living area it can be used to anchor a coffee table, a pair of occasional chairs and the front legs of your sofa. If it is for the dining area it should be large enough to comfortably accommodate the table as well as the chairs when they are pulled back to sit in. The last thing you want is chair legs slipping off the edge of the rug. In bedrooms, as a general rule, a rug should extend from the bottom two thirds of the bed so it can warm your feet when you hop out in the morning. To determine a suitable size it can be handy to use tape and mark out the floor area where you want the rug to sit, then measure the dimensions.
A beautiful room begins from the ground up, so consider what type of rug will complement your floor type and interior style. Timber provides a timeless foundation for any coloured rug, with both dark and light tones working to either contrast or tie in with a spectrum of shades. For example in a room with dark floors like Plantino Engineered Oak Royale in Sienna, a light rug like Bayliss Ivy Cream Fog will help lift the space and define the zone. While a light on light combination like Plantino Engineered Oak Royale in St Moritz, teamed with a Bayliss Alpine Haze rug will promote a spacious feel and provide a neutral base for furniture.
It’s its visual impact you’re after patterned graphic rugs like Unitex Gold Pink, Matrix – Crayon and Nomad- Multi will add punch and act like a piece of art on the floor. To ensure the rug gets the attention it deserves, just ensure you keep surrounding soft furnishings neutral.
If you can’t find the rug you’re after off the shelf another option is getting carpet cut and edged in a custom size. This can work well in a hallway with timber floors where you want to introduce some soft wool underfoot, which may have been used in the bedroom. Choosing a neutral shade or solid coloured carpet to convert into a custom rug is also a great option in spaces where there’s already a lot of colour and pattern. If you’re rug is subtle it will allow the other elements in the room to shine.