Why Include Rugs & Floor Mats In Your Home Decor?

Rugs come in a range of patterns, shapes and sizes and you will always find one to suit your budget.  You can pick up small scatter rugs and mats for bathrooms and entrances and find larger rugs with more impressive patterns and finishes for high-traffic rooms such as your living room and bedroom.  You can also use long, narrow rugs to define walk-ways and protect your flooring in kitchens and hallways.

Here’s how we select the perfect rugs for our home:

Function: This is the boring part. You need to know why you want to add a rug or floor mat to your chosen room.  If it is for a high traffic room like your living room or hallway, its purpose might be to reduce the number of times you need to get on your hands and knees scrubbing your carpets.  If this is the case, you should consider a heavyweight rug with a darker pattern that will show less dirt and will scrub easily without damaging its fibres.  However, if it is for a quieter zone in your home you can choose a lighter-weight rug with a paler design.

Time of year:  Rugs can provide that extra layer of insulation you need to avoid turning your 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 for this.

Size: You need to decide how large you want your rug to be.  This will depend on the size of your room, the size of other larger pieces of furniture you have in that room and whether you want the rug to be the focal point of the room, or to blend into the background with the other decorative accessories in the room.  Smaller rugs with muted patterns blend into the background, whereas larger rugs that hold a central point in the room without sitting underneath furniture draw your eye towards them.

Shape:  It makes sense to choose a shape that echoes the shape of your room, of the piece of furniture you are putting the rug next to, or beneath. For example, choose a round rug to sit beneath your round coffee table. Or choose a long rectangular rug to sit in front of your fireplace to protect your carpet from hot coals.

Colour:  Choosing a darker colour for your rug will help create a warmer feel but will also make your room feel smaller. We suggest you opt for small rugs made of lighter colours in smaller rooms as this will keep the sense of proportion.

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, fluffy rug that makes it feel like you float out of bed. Save the hard natural fibre rugs and mats for your back doorstep. 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 rug-hunting is to visit your carpet store and check 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 on to turn into a rug.

Another tip is to ask for a sample mat from their display that you can use as a scatter rug.  Our photo shows a rather swanky wool sample mat for one of our single bedrooms that cost us £1.

by Loretta Cotterell

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