Top Tips for Decorating with Rugs According to an Interior Designer

Rugs are a great accessory to add to any room, either to insert a pop of colour, lift up the spirits or even just to make the room look extra cosy! All designer rugs can anchor a room, define it and add to the rooms existing décor. In order to get the best out of your rug you need to understand what the goal is and ensure it doesn’t look cluttered with an added feature. Rugs can separate areas so make sure the definition is added to the right place.

To help you decide just how to start your rug journey, interior designer Vanessa Arbuthnott has shared with us her 7 tips for decorating with rugs!

1) Rag rugs

In the kitchen you may opt for a long runner, but rag rugs can work just as well. Rag rugs are a great fit for the kitchen as they have a casual vibe but also makes the kitchen seem more inviting and cosy. They are washable too which means any accidental spillages can be wiped away easily so there is no need to fear any stains will be left. Rag rugs come in a variety of patterns and textures so you can find one which suits the style of your kitchen.

2) Only half

People make the mistake of trying to fit in all four legs of each furniture item on the rug itself, but this leads the rug becoming worse for wear especially if the furniture in question is being used on a regular basis such as a chair. By placing only the front legs on the rug this will help to maintain an elegant look and keep the rug intact.

3) Change up your shape

Most rooms have irregular floor layouts since they aren’t closed in by four walls. This means that a perfectly shaped square rug might not the best option for your room as it gives it the illusion of a smaller space. If your room is round or has a curved wall, then a round rug is great to mirror the space and in narrower space opt for a rectangle rug to make the room seem bigger.

4) Get the size right

The main purpose of any rug is to add something extra to a room without overpowering the space or eliminating the style, so the size of your rug is really important. Before you purchase a rug measure the floor space and consider if any corners of the wall are uneven. If you are looking for a smaller rug, then remember not to go too small even if you are unsure on the exact dimensions of your space. You don’t want your rug to look odd if it is too small and placed in the middle. Rugs that exceed the edges of the furniture can make a room appear larger.

5) Protect your rug

Always take good care of your rug as you would with your carpet. Always use a rug pad, it is essential in keeping your rug in top condition and in shape much longer. If your rug was an investment, then you want to make sure it lasts a long time and looks brand new. Regardless of the type of floor you have under your rug it needs be protected. Area rug backings can sometimes be rough which could be a risk to the floor with things such as colour transfer being a possibility. It helps in preventing slipping and to keep the area lying flat in one place.

6) Warm up your space

An area rug is one of the details that makes your room look finished. It can help to warm up and soften hard surfaces like wood and tile flooring which have a typical cold feel to them. Ensure that your area rug has a texture which can be linked to home warmth and comfort especially in long and narrow hallways that can appear cold and eerie.

Aside from a new rug in the hallway or your living space, you can also use your heating as a decoration. You can think about having electric wall radiators and decorating it.

7) Don’t overthink the colour

Don’t spend time trying to match the exact colours of the rug as this can lead to it looking artificial. If you’re redesigning the room or doing one from scratch, then a great trick to use is to start with a rug and pull the colour choices from there. A tribal rug is a great place to start as they match with everything. Rugs that have a lot of potential design and colour elements are great as they are not locked into any one aspect and you can change the colour of the wall frequently whilst the rug is still in perfect condition.

Eve Crabtree

Eve Crabtree is a journalist with a passion for interior design. She keeps up to date with the latest trends in the interior industry and regularly tests her hand at crafting and redecorating during her spare time.