So how to choose ?
Choosing the right rug is often as much about the way it looks and makes you feel as how it feels underfoot. Think about where the rug will be located and what purpose it will serve in that room. Is it a focal point or simply a soft layer that adds a cosy feel?
A rug does not need to match everything in a room but it often works best when it compliments the tone and/or style of the existing furnishings.
Who uses the space ?
Think carefully about how the space is used and how people interact within it. Rugs can fundamentally change our behaviour.
Ultimately the use of the space will determine the purpose of the rug. For example, if you sit on a sofa to watch television and no one sits on the floor, the rug serves the purpose of warming up and defining the space making it feel more homely. However, you never engage with it and it is simply a layer in the overall style of the room. Now what would happen if a traditional style of rug was substituted for a soft shaggy rug? This might encourage you to sit on the floor, which ultimately changes your relationship with the space.
Natural fibre rugs such as sisal or jute can give a room a more relaxed, organic, country feel. Sisal works both for a more casual look and as a layer in contemporary spaces. It can be surprisingly soft and textural underfoot.
Anchoring a room
Equally, rugs can anchor furniture and bring a space together. It is also worth noting that without a rug in a seating arrangement, a coffee table can feel like it is floating. Be practical and think about the long term consequences of your choice. If you have children a deep pile or white rug may come with risks.
Also think about the practicality of your choice. Kelims or low pile rugs often work well if large objects are being placed on top of them and are great under a dining room table as they do not catch on the bottom of the chair legs and can handle accidents that are bound to happen. The same style of rug can be a trip hazard in an entrance hall as they tend to ruck up at the corners. Think practicality vs. style and weigh up your options.
Whats my style ?
With so many variables, making the right choice can seem very daunting but remember you live in the space you are creating so ensure the rug reflects your personality or style. Don't buy it just because you can or it fits a fashion trend. Here are a few more tips to help you make the right choice:
Feature v trend
A statement rug can transform a dull or flat space giving a focal point to a room. But be careful - a bold pink stripe might seem like a trendy and stylish statement in the moment but it might come back to haunt you, being out of fashion in relative short period of time. Ask the question will it work long term.
Texture v style
Textural rugs are great for creating a sense of warmth and can add a layer of sophistication to any space. Wool provides the softest touch but can shed lots in their first 4-6 months. If you're after a lush, deep, pile rug without the need to clean regularly then shaggy synthetic rugs work well without the fuss. Natural fibres such as sisal generally have a short pile and can be surprisingly rough underfoot – maybe not the best options for bedrooms. Let your own sense of style guide you. At the end of the day everyone has a personal opinion - there is no right or wrong answer.
Synthetic rugs can be ideal for heavy traction or family spaces. Given that synthetic rugs are relatively inexpensive and have the appeal of being low pile drop, easy to clean you can often be a little more adventurous with the design without breaking the bank.
Flatweave or kelim rugs can add immense pleasure to a space, they can be layered up to create a rustic look and being flat piled are usually reversible or easily removed / uplifted for cleaning.