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Rugs Buying Guide

Rugs Buying Guide

A well-chosen rug made from the right fabrics can provide a warm and comforting feel to any room, whether it sits on top of hardwood flooring or it’s used to add an extra dimension to bedroom carpet. Just like any other accessory or furniture item in your home, the type of rug that you choose will depend on factors such as the amount of floor space you have, the furniture surrounding it, the layout of the room and the look and feel that you want to achieve with the rug. This guide will introduce you to everything you need to know about buying a rug, from the layout to the material and more.

The Layout of the Rug

When it comes to buying a rug, you need to make sure that it will fit in the space it’s intended for. You will probably have in mind the place where the rug will sit, whether this is beside the fire, as a centrepiece in your living area or to add extra comfort to the bedroom at the side or foot of the bed. The rug that you choose will depend on how the room is used. Rugs will serve different purposes in different rooms, framing furniture and in some instances, creating a focal point in the room. Understanding the layout will help you narrow down your search while making sure that the rug will work with your existing décor, furniture choices and room layout. Let’s take a look at some of the different room layouts and how they work.

The Classic Layout

Space can be a premium in smaller rooms. In these tight spaces, furniture will often be placed along walls to increase the floor space. If this sounds like your living room, choose a rug that is large enough to sit underneath a coffee table and the front two legs of the sofa. This creates an illusion of a border while providing a soft carpeted space in the centre of the room

The Floating Layout

This layout is perfect for larger spaces or rooms that are used on an occasional basis. These rooms can accommodate much more furniture but with room to spare between each piece. Even with rooms that have lots of space, chairs and sofas will usually be grouped together in either an L shape or close together within the centre of the room. This is known as floating. A large rug can therefore work well as a centrepiece.

The Dining Layout

The dining table is usually positioned towards the centre of the room as the main focal point of the dining area. It must be properly situated to provide the most comfortable experience. Measure the table and room with care, making sure that you add two feet on either side for the rug. If the furniture and the rug are in the right proportions, square tables will work with a circular rug and circular tables can work with a square rug.

The Bedroom Layout

Bedrooms will either be carpeted or the installation of some click laminate flooring. The addition of the rug creates a warm feel to the room. The best shape and position is a rectangular rug across the room slightly away from the foot of the bed. Whichever layout you are hoping to achieve, don’t forget about the position of furniture and rug size to achieve the best aesthetic and fit.


Once you have the rug layout decided, it’s time to think about what material you would like the rug to be. Many rugs are made from pure wool and the type of yarn that is used in the manufacturing process will not only have an impact on the pattern or design of the rug but also its texture, feel and colour too. There are many types of materials used to make rugs. Here are just a few:

Wool is a traditional rug material known for its longevity and it can be used in a number of different ways to create different textures or softness. This type of material is both hard wearing and resilient to high traffic areas, making it suitable for family homes and regular use.

This might not be the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to rug material, but it can be a great fabric to use as a rug. It is not only soft, it’s hard wearing too and perfect for tightly woven designs. Cotton rugs are perfect for patterned designs and they are affordable too particularly when combined with other materials.

A jute rug is one that will create a more rustic feel due to its thick woven material. It is rugged and will blend well with cotton to create an appealing, contrasting colour design.

Beige in colour, this material is woven and created with a cotton backing to support the weave. Hemp rugs are a hardwearing choice for any room.

Rug Types

The real beauty of a rug rests in its construction. The styles and designs of rugs have changed over the years and the rugs that you buy today will use the latest manufacturing techniques to produce the desired effect. There are lots of different types of rugs including:

Knotted Rugs

These may be slightly more expensive because they take more time and skill to manufacture, but they do offer strength and durability that you need, particularly if it’s walked on frequently. Different coloured threads can create intricate patterns. The quality of a knotted rug will depend on the thread count per square inch. Intricate designs have a higher number of knots.

Tufted Rugs

These are incredibly comfortable to walk on and they are made using a canvas frame. The wool is punched over the frame and then the rug is then backed to hold the pile in place. These types of rugs are really hard wearing but they offer a soft feel and smooth texture. These are great for complex or unusual shapes and contrasting colours

Woven Rugs

Made through a traditional loom weaving process or by hand, this type of rug will combine a cotton mix which makes the rug much more affordable. Suitable for creating a collection of colours and a unique texture.

Rug Design

There are two ways that you can choose your rug. Design your room around it or incorporate your new rug into your existing colour scheme. Patterned rugs would become the focal point in the room while neutral rugs will blend in with your existing colour schemes and furniture choices.

When it comes to choosing a rug, texture is perhaps one of those things that is often overlooked. When choosing a neutral coloured rug, texture can really make all the difference. A room with a variety of different textures will be richer and more layered.

Flat woven or hand knotted rug styles with a single colour or neutral tones would work well if your walls or furnishings are patterned or busy. If your home has a more neutral tone, textured and patterned rugs which are patterned or hand tufted can complement the surroundings.

The colour of your rug will depend on a number of factors including carpets, furniture, available space and the room. If you want to use the rug as a statement piece, you should choose a colour that will contrast with the flooring or carpet underneath. A dark grey or black rug would look great against a light carpet. Make sure that the rug you choose complements the flooring.

It’s easy to choose a rug but it’s also easy to choose on that conflicts with the existing décor in your room. Choose the key colour palette that you want to use in the room and then match your rug to this colour scheme. If your colour scheme is grey make sure that the rug you choose also includes hints or tones of grey.

The Living Room

There are usually three types of rug that will work well in the living room. These include:

A small rug – Perfect for small living rooms where the rug is placed in the middle of the room with a coffee table as the centre point in the room. This will create the appearance of space. Make sure that the rug sits neatly in the area and that it is in proportion with the rest of the room.

Medium rug – Where furniture overlaps slightly onto the rug. The front legs of a sofa will sit over the rug. This is ideal if you don’t want the rug to take up the entire floor space and if the furniture is placed next to the wall.

Large rug – Suitable for open plan living spaces which will effectively define the area. Space should be left around the perimeter of the furniture to make sure that it’s not sitting on the very edge of the rug which can make it look oversized for the room.

Dinning Room Rug

Rectangular – Ideal for dining tables. The rug will work for rooms of all sizes. If you are using a rectangular rug in the dining room, make sure that the chairs sit on the rug even when they are pulled out.

Round – Best suited to round dining tables or small rooms. A circular rug should always be used with a circular table and the size that you need will depend on the dimensions of the dining table. Round rugs also accentuate the space making any room look bigger.

Runner – Best suited to the kitchen or diner, a runner rug is a great design choice and adds a more modern feel to the room. Patterned or colourful rugs will also add character.

Bedrooms Rugs

Runner – At each side of the bed if there is enough space. This is a great way to add colour and style to the room with matching runners on either side of the bed. Make sure that the runner is wider than the bedside table and runs the full length of the bed.

Medium – The bed will overlap slightly onto the rug. This will add character to the room without filling up the full space that is available.

Large – When you place the bed on top of the rug this can clearly define the sleeping area. Bedside tables and most of the bedroom furniture should also sit on the rug.

Buying a rug is so much more than simply choosing the colour and style. It requires careful consideration to determine the right colours and placement to make sure that it works for the space it is intended for.


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