Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Tips to Selecting the Perfect Rug

1. Soft Geometric Rug as seen in Elle from Cox & Cox

A rug is the perfect way to introduce colour, pattern or texture to a space. Rugs can be used to help define and add beauty to a room, however, choosing the perfect rug does involve a few important points to consider.


Rugs can be used to determine an area in a large open plan space, but too often we see rugs that are too small. When working out the size of your rug determine what furniture will be affected by the placement of your rug, make sure anything with four legs is sitting fully on the rug. If you are determining a space such as a seating area, you want your rug to include the sofa and any side chairs and ideally extend half a metre beyond the furniture or at least to the back legs. Don't make the mistake of placing a small rug under a coffee table, it will break up the area and make it look even smaller.  Go for as large as you can and even in a small space, think BIG. A large, neutral rug will make a small space appear larger than placing a small highly patterned and colourful rug.

Above:  Perfectly balanced - Interior design Alexander James Interiors

If placing a rug beneath a dining table, make sure you extend the rug beyond the chair area when the chairs are pulled out, you don't want guests to sit down and have two front chair legs on the rug and the back on a hard wood floor. Ideally you would want the rug half a metre beyond the chairs when they are pulled out. Also look for a short pile rug which will be easier to clean and take into consideration that there may be food or beverages spilt, so before purchasing, check the manufacturers instructions for cleaning.

A hallway or narrow room may be perfectly suited to a runner which should be the appropriate length for the hall or space. A small rug placed in the middle of a hall will make it seem shorter. A hall runner should have a couple of floorboards clear on either side of the rug. However, if you have a very narrow hallway then you may want to take the rug right to the edges of your skirting or just have one floorboard showing on either side. Make sure your rug is not too narrow as your hallway will appear narrower. If you don't have much light in your hall, you may opt for a light coloured rug, although a patterned rug could add life.

Above: Image via Best & Company


If you love the rug no matter what, you are probably not worried what it feels like underfoot but try to think about how you want the rug to feel, do you want a long plush pile or a short pile? Is it to be used in a  high traffic area or a low traffic area? If you have wooden floors rugs are perfect for adding texture and warmth underfoot and reducing noise as well as enhancing your space. Maybe you are a 'bound sisal' lover like myself, a perfect look for any style decor. However, remember sisal is not soft underfoot and if you live near a beach it can easily trap loose sand. Sisal is also difficult to clean if you spill anything. So, think carefully when choosing a rug that the material will suit the area it is going to be used in.

Beautifully textured 'Fez' rug from Cox & Cox


What is your style? Do you have a traditional or cottage style home that would perfectly suit Middle Eastern style rugs, antique, over-dyed or traditional. Or, is your home neutral, maybe contemporary and you want to bring in some colour or pattern, making a statement with a bold contemporary rug. Look at rugs as artwork for your floor, however consider the style and colour of your surrounding decor.

Above: Room design by Caitlin Wilson

Think out of the box:

A rug doesn't have to live on the floor, If you love the rug but don't have the floor space, think about hanging it on a wall or draping it over a chair or sofa. Also, don't be afraid to layer rugs, you will often see designers using smaller rugs over the top of a larger rug.

Above: Room design by Victoria Meale

Above image - Holiday house in the Hamptons photographed by Rikki Snyder

Now you have the tips, lets do a little window shopping. Recently I was introduced to Cox &, a home-ware and furnishing company featured in Elle, Homes and Gardens and House Beautiful. Cox & Cox are a fabulous one stop shop for your home including a range of rugs and importantly they ship worldwide and as you can see from the rugs below, they have a fabulous range of designs.

2. Above: A Long Icelandic Sheepskin is soft underfoot and great beside a bed or thrown over a chair or used to bring texture to a room
3. Above: I love the faded look of old Turkish rugs, this hand knotted Aasha rug is a modern piece but has been antiqued and is rich in visual texture in various shades of blue and grey

4. Above: When choosing a rug, if your decor is neutral and you are a little scared of bringing in an accent colour, look for one with a cut pile pattern, such as 'Fez', a Moroccan inspired geometric design from Cox & Cox, with tactile texture. The rug is hand tufted in 100% soft cream wool, and I imagine beautifully soft to walk on.
5. Above: I have a personal love for antique Turkish rugs that have been stripped back or over-dyed, which adds a graduated patina to the original design. This style of rug is normally at the high end bracket, however, the Beaufort rug by Cox and Cox is a modern take on antique rugs at a fraction of the price. Hand woven from soft pile cotton chenille, the short pile of this rug is perfectly suited to a dining or living room.

6. Above and below:  Perfect for a Scandi look, a casual, short curly grey sheepskin looks fabulous draped over a chair or beneath. Sheepskins are suited to most areas of a house although I would avoid a bathroom as you don't want to get the back of the hide wet.
7. Above: Make a statement in a child's room with this bold Star rug available in navy, red or grey

8. Mehair Rug from Cox & Cox

Rugs 1 - 8 are available on-line through  Cox & Cox on line.

I hope you  now feel more confident about purchasing the perfect rug for your home and take time to look at the beautiful rugs, lighting and other items at Cox & Cox, you never know, you may find that perfect rug.

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