Get the right rug for your home

Loungeroom tip: The rug should fit the seating area and be as large as possible.
Loungeroom tip: The rug should fit the seating area and be as large as possible.

Where do you start when choosing a rug for your home? There are so many variables: size, material, colour, use. David Hardwick, head of products at King Living, has provided these tips to help choose the best rug:

What size rug do I need?

Picking a rug size is one element of the purchasing process that can be easily determined beforehand. It will depend on your furniture, room size and layout of a space. In terms of lounge and living rooms, a general rule of thumb is that the rug should fit the size of the seating area and be as large as possible within it. This allows for an inviting, luxurious feel and still ensures a defining boarder remains around the edges.

Hallways and smaller spaces, however, need a whole new game plan. Always opt for shapes that complement the profile of the smaller space and choose a size that won't overwhelm the room. Remember that swallowing up unnecessary floor space in a smaller area can often make it looked cramped and cluttered.

Do different rugs work on carpet and floorboards?

Deciding upon the right material of your rug will depend on your existing flooring. Generally, floorboards will work with almost any rug, however it's important to consider both colour and texture and choose a tone that complements the wood instead of working against it. For example, if you have a whitewashed, ashy toned floor, opt for a dark blue-grey overlay such as King Living's Lonsdale rug in graphite, to add a sense of definition without veering from the overall colour palette.

In terms of texture, having floorboards provides a great opportunity to really go for plushy, luxe finish. The tenderness of a beautiful wool or silk rug can work to soften a room with floorboards and is the perfect way to experiment with contrasting textures to add visual interest to a space. Rugs in open spaces with hard floors are also great for sound dampening. On the other hand, working with existing carpet can be slightly trickier. Layering on rich textures, colours or patters can sometimes lead to overkill, however with the right balance of materials, a rug can add a real sense of definition to a carpeted space.

Choosing a rug that doesn't depart greatly from your primary carpet colour will help create harmony between your existing carpet and the rug. Instead, play with different textures and fibres to create the point of contrast. This will help the rug be a distinguishable accent in the room.

What's the difference in the materials?

Rugs can be constructed from both synthetic and natural fibres, ranging from polyester to silk and everything in between. While viscose and artsilks are known for their vibrant colour and lustrous shine, wool or linen fibres may be preferred for their durability and comfort. It's all about the look you are going for and the function you want the rug to perform.

It's also important to remember that price will always reflect quality as well as construction. Hand looming, dyeing and other artisanal processes are always going to be on the higher end of the scale, but the results are often fabulously unique and visually striking.

Another important element to consider when it comes to both material and price is where the rug is placed and now prone it will be to foot traffic and wear. Natural fibres are usually the best choice for areas of medium-high traffic such as hallways due to their durability and reasonably affordable price.

Where there are areas less susceptible to heavy wear and tear such as in the bedroom or under furniture, this is an opportunity to splash out on a rug that is slightly more luxurious in both look and feel.

Any other tips?

My biggest tip to consider before hitting the shops is to use towels to map out where you would like your rug. This will help you gauge how much room you have to play with in a space and how smaller or large pieces look and feel. Also consider whether you want it to make a bold statement, or be there purely for comfort? How much of your rug is going to be on display and is going to be a dominant feature in the room? This may influence your decision when it comes to colour, pattern and texture.

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