THE INSIDER’S RUG RULES
Style? Purpose? Under furniture or not? James Treble helps you find the perfect fit for your home.
James Treble explains how to choose the right style and shape for any room.
1 ZONE YOUR LIVING AREA
THERE ARE MANY GREAT REASONS to add a rug to your home, from bringing warmth and character to disguising outdated tiles or timber. Before buying, look at the style or theme of your home – and if you don’t have one, let the rug be the beginning of a new look, starting from the floor up. Remember that pattern and texture will still work in years to come, but a bold colour may go out of style.
If you have a pet or young children, look for easily cleaned styles, like hardwearing jute, which won’t cause allergies and can be taken outside for a hose and dry in the sun. And buy the best quality you can, as a great rug will last a lifetime and more. Here I’ve outlined four different room scenarios to help you decide on the right rug for your home. Where there’s a large surface area, the rug becomes part of the room. These two different styles of rug (above) work successfully to create zones. The bold striped rug under the dining table provides drama and makes a statement for the dining zone, while the living room rug has subtle texture and pattern. Dark furniture in the living room balances the dark stripes of the dining area rug.
SHAPE Under a rectangle dining table, a rectangular rug is a no-brainer. The stripes add to the feeling of width in the room. Choosing the same shape in the living area allows the rugs to work harmoniously, without being “matchy matchy”.
PLACEMENT The dining suite can comfortably sit on top of the amply sized rug, even when the chairs are out. The separate living zone is defined by the lighter rug, and both rugs run in the same direction. A size larger would allow the front legs of the armchair to sit on the rug, but its slender legs don’t look out of place directly on the floor.
STYLE Size and shape should relate to the room size, as well as furniture placement. Rectangular rugs suit most room layouts, but it’s worth measuring living areas (and hallways, entry and bedrooms) to ensure a comfortable fit, with some floor exposed around the perimeter. Mixing and matching rugs adds character, especially to an open-plan room.
2 DEFINE DINING
Adding a rug to a dining area creates an inviting feel, making any event special. The trick is to use a rug that’s in the right proportion for your dining setting. This lighter rug (below) helps to separate the dark rustic dining table and floor, allowing the timbers to match without blending into each other.
SHAPE This rectangular rug works perfectly for the rectangle dining table, while the wider border adds the feeling of width in the room. It could even be slightly longer to accommodate the header chairs when people are seated.
PLACEMENT The effect of rug and furniture placement can change the visual dimensions of a room without moving any walls. Note that this room is longer than it is wide, so placing the table and rug along the wall instead of along the window makes the room feel wider. Placing them the opposite way would make the room feel longer and narrower.
STYLE Really consider the style of rug you place under a dining table, as it’s obviously a high-risk food drop area! For example, avoid an expensive silk rug – save something like that for a low-traffic bedroom.
RUG RULE Positioning the front feet of the sofa on the edge of the rug integrates your space. In the zone Use rugs to map out the different “rooms” in an open-plan space.
Rugs are great for renters: they bring together old furniture in new surroundings. RUG RULE Choose easy-to-clean materials for under the dining table.