Pulling a room together: Rugs

Rugs are an absolute must for creating the finishing touch to just about any space.  In a tiny space, a rug adds depth; in a large room or open plan area, rugs can help define spaces and add intimacy.  Many people assume the ‘safe’ option is to go for a plain rug in neutral tones, but I think these are actually best suited to a very specific look – ultra-contemporary, for example, or the scandinavian look with blonde woods and a mid-century modern feel to the furniture.

Going for pattern and colour in a rug can really add the magic to your room. There will be a link between the motif or a colour in the overall decor and the rug, without overly matching, that creates that ‘aha!’ feeling, the look is complete. Rugs add a touch of luxury, soften hard edges, and invite you in to a space.

Oriental style rugs are superb for bringing pattern and colour into a scheme, without overwhelming. These are, if you like, the ‘safe option’.

Becky Harris, writing for Houzz (a fabulous site for interior decor inspiration), put together a lovely ideabook on how these rugs work with any decorating style.

Since oriental rugs can be a significant investment, it is really important to see them in the space you intend before you commit to a purchase.  A good store should allow you to see the rug in your space before making your final choice.

Layering, or grouping smaller rugs, is another great way to create a very personal finishing touch to your space. To pull this off, you need to pay attention to the colours – there should be some consistency – and not too many colours competing for attention. The example shown here makes a strong statement with yellow and pink, and the two rugs are essential to pulling off the look.  Take away one rug or the other, and the scheme wouldn’t work –  the stripey rug on its own would verge on tacky; the pattern rug alone would be nice but too much yellow. Together, its just right.

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