Choos­ing the right rug for your space – and how to style it

Your Home and Garden - - Contents - Text by Vanessa Nouwens.

Of all the de­sign el­e­ments you can use to style your home, rugs are one of the most pow­er­ful – and the most ver­sa­tile. The right rug can in­ject some lux­ury and per­son­al­ity into a space, cre­ate tex­ture and warmth, help to re­duce noise, de­fine var­i­ous zones within an open-plan space and even tie a decor scheme into a co­he­sive whole.

A good rug is a ma­jor pur­chase so we sug­gest you take some time to un­der­stand ex­actly what you need be­fore hit­ting the shops. Think care­fully about colour, size and tex­ture in re­la­tion to your space so you can in­vest in a rug you’ll adore for years to come.


Never un­der­es­ti­mate the im­por­tance of tex­ture when choos­ing a rug. A room dec­o­rated with the right com­bi­na­tion of tex­tures can feel so much more invit­ing and one per­fect rug can be the fi­nal touch that brings it all to­gether. When se­lect­ing a rug for your home, con­sider the fin­ishes of your ex­ist­ing fur­ni­ture. If you have a leather sofa, a hand-wo­ven or hand-tufted rug will soften the mas­cu­line aes­thetic. If you have vel­vet lounge fur­ni­ture, con­sider adding even more glam­our to the room by us­ing a soft cot­ton rug with a velour fin­ish. If you have a neu­tral room and sofa, add a tex­tured, loop-pile rug in a sim­i­lar hue to add sub­tle in­ter­est.


Rugs aren’t just for cov­er­ing up bare floors – they can be a de­sign fea­ture, too. If you have white or wooden floor­boards, lay­er­ing two jute or sisal rugs can look amaz­ing. Dif­fer­ent shapes work best, such as a rect­an­gle and a cir­cle, or a cir­cle and an oval; have a play and see what works in your space. An­other way to layer rugs is by plac­ing them on top of car­pet to add depth and di­men­sion. If you have a low, cut-pile car­pet, a tex­tured or heav­ily wo­ven rug can re­ally en­hance the room’s look.

home zone

Rugs are ideal for zon­ing a room into dis­tinct ar­eas, es­pe­cially in open-plan homes where liv­ing and din­ing spa­ces of­ten blend into one an­other. To en­sure the space is bal­anced it is im­por­tant to choose rugs that com­ple­ment, rather than com­pete with, each other.

state­ment style

A rug can be a great fo­cal point for a room and a good start­ing point for its decor. If you fall in love with a rug in a bold colour or pat­tern it is a good idea to re­peat that colour in other places around the room so your rug be­comes part of a co­he­sive de­sign. Cush­ions in the same colour or pat­tern will help tie the space to­gether, as will a piece of art­work or fur­ni­ture fea­tur­ing one or two hues from the rug.


Circa rug, $39.95, from Mocka.

Karla rug, $517.50,from Bo­hzali.

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