Don’t overlook the importance of a stylish rug. From muted mats to colourful carpets, the right choice can transform an entire room. It pays to look to the floor during the design process, when furniture is being ordered and paint colours chosen. In fact, giving due consideration to the size, colour, shape and placement of the rugs around a room can have a sizeable impact on the cohesiveness and warmth of a space. Here, three tips for fabulous floors.
“Rugs are pivotal in creating warmth, reducing noise and defining spaces,” says Mirvac’s senior interior designer, Svetlana Balalovska. “We’ve become so accustomed to their use in modern design that when we see a living room without a rug it often feels bare and incomplete.”
For the uninitiated, choosing the right addition to suit timber floors, tiles or, indeed, wall-to-wall carpeting can be daunting. However, rugs are the perfect accessory for defining areas in open-plan living spaces, allowing you to create zones for getting cosy on the sofa or eating meals with family and friends.
“They can logically break up the space,” adds Balalovska. “A rug helps anchor the furniture in a room to create cosy, intimate areas.”
Don’t forget to consider where dining chairs rest when people are seated– it can be unstable to have the front legs of the chair on a rug and the back ones off.
According to the experts, the biggest mistake people make is choosing too-small rugs. “Bigger is better,” says Sally Pottharst, co-founder of Armadillo&Co, the socially responsible global brand whose rugs are hand woven from natural materials by Indian artisans. “A small rug makes everything else look out of proportion. The rule of thumb is the edges of a rug should just exceed the furniture under which it is placed and leave some of the floor showing.”
Balalovska recommends putting your dining table and chairs in place and mark the perimeter with masking tape. Then measure the area of the whole setting to determine the size of the rug. Don’t forget to consider where dining chairs rest when people are seated– it can be unstable (or at least visually unappealing) to have the front legs of the chair on a rug and the back ones off.
Once you’ve worked out the dimensions, it’s time for the biggest decision: colour. The experts agree it can be easiest to choose rugs made from the same material when you’re working in a living space that includes zones that are close together. Don’t want to be too matchy-matchy? Perhaps try one rug with a solid colour and another that picks up that shade in a pattern.
If you’re starting from scratch with your interior, you’re in an enviable position, says Pottharst: “A rug is often treated like an afterthought, but my advice is to choose it first – don’t wait until all the furniture and accessories are already in place because that makes it trickier to find a rug that will blend seamlessly. Deciding on the foundation early can really help guide your design decisions.”
Like an artwork, a bolder rug can inject life and fun to space.
According to Balalovska, the beauty of a Mirvac home or apartment is that the interior finishes have all been selected by a team of professional interior designers.
“When you purchase with Mirvac you have the finishes and perfectly scaled floorplans available to you, which makes choosing a rug much simpler,” she says. “You can take the plans with you to the store to get advice on rug size.”
Pottharst suggests choosing hard-wearing materials, such as jute, for high-traffic areas, and plush, wool rugs for bedrooms and areas where children will play on the floor.
Of course, sometimes you already own a complete set of furniture. And if, like many, you’ve always been drawn to neutral tones, now is the time to take a chance. “Like an artwork, a bolder rug can inject life and fun to space,” says Balalovska. “When a rug is well co-ordinated with the furniture, it makes the perfect statement piece.”