How To Choose Rugs & Accent Mats For Your Home

Here’s our top tips for selecting great rugs:

Use: You need to know why you need a rug or floor mat. If it is for a well used room like your living room or hallway, its purpose might be to reduce the number of times you need to clean your carpets. If this is the case, you should consider a heavyweight rug with a darker pattern that will show less marks and will scrub easily without damaging its fibers. However, if it is for a less used space in your home you can choose a lighter-weight rug with a paler, washable design.

Shape: It makes sense to choose a rug whose shape mimics the shape of your room, or the piece of furniture you are putting the rug next to, or beneath. For example, you could choose an oval rug to show off your oval coffee table. Or choose a long rectangular rug to sit in front of your fireplace to protect your carpet from jumping hot coals.

Colour: If you choose a darker rug, it will help create a warmer feeling in your room and it will also make your room feel smaller. We suggest you buy small rugs made of lighter colours in smaller rooms as this will give the impression of extra space.

Season: Rugs can provide that extra layer of insulation you need to avoid turning your central heating up. For example, on the ground floor in our home, we have tiles and stripped wooden floorboards so that it is easy to clean up after muddy wet feet. Over the years we find that the filler shrinks back and disappears between the wooden floorboards, so in the winter these areas can feel cooler than the rest of the house. So, we simply roll out the rugs! These rugs are plain and pretty basic looking but thick enough to keep out the draughts. Before we had these temporary rugs, we just used to drag out some remnant carpet that we had stored in the loft when there was a really cold winter and then roll it back up again when spring arrived. The remnant carpet was just the excess from the bedrooms when they were carpeted, so there was no additional cost to buy these.

Size: The size of your rug should be dictated by: the size of your room, the size of other pieces of furniture and whether you want the rug to be the focal point of the room. Small rugs and mats with muted patterns blend into the background, whereas larger rugs that hold a central point in the room without slipping discreetly underneath furniture draw your eye towards them.

Material: Your choice of material should also reflect the rug’s function. If you want a rug next to your bed to step onto each morning, choose a soft rug that welcomes you to your day. Use harder natural fibre rugs and mats for your back doorway.  Those won’t be pleasing on bare feet. Your choice of material will also affect the price of your rug. Light-weight, machine-washable cotton rugs will be much cheaper than real wool rugs that have been hand-woven and treated for stain resistance.

Finally, our top tip for matt-hunting is to visit your local flooring centre and head straight for their racks of carpet remnants. If you are lucky you will find a remnant of an expensive wool carpet that you can have the edges bound to turn it into a rug. You could also ask for a sample mat from their showroom that you can use as a scatter rug. We pick these up for as little as £1 and use these at the bottom of our stairs (for those who forget to wipe their feet), in the hallway and in small guest rooms. They are so cheap that you can simply throw them away when they get dirty.

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