Interior designers all agree: a rug can either make or break a room. A carefully chosen rug is comfortable and brings a space together, whilst a poorly chosen rug can clash with existing furnishings and look out of place. Buying a rug online is often more affordable than visiting a retail store and there are nearly endless options of sizes, materials, and colours to choose from online. We’ve created this helpful guide to take the guesswork out of buying your perfect new rug.
Function & material
The best place to start when buying a new floor rug is to consider what function the rug needs to serve, as this will help you narrow down the most suitable material to meet your needs. Rugs are available in a wide variety of materials, from plant-based fibres like cotton and jute; natural fibres like wool and silk; animal products like hides and leather; and synthetic materials like nylon, polyester and polypropylene.
Each material offers a unique look and feel. Ask yourself the following three questions to help determine what material will work best in each area you want to style:
- Is the space a high traffic area?
- Are stains from pets or children likely?
- Is ease of cleaning important to me?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the above three questions, you should consider a durable and easy to clean material, such as wool. Alternatively, you may be looking for a rug to accent a piece of furniture, such as a runner under an ornate cabinet, which may allow for more delicate fibres, like silk. Let’s explore a few of the most common rug material types below:
Wool rugs are an extremely popular choice as they are durable (think high traffic areas) and will look elegant in your home for years to come. Soft and comfortable underfoot, wool feels extra cosy thanks to its insulating properties. Wool contains lanolin, which means the fibres are stain-resistant and easy to clean. Shedding occurs with all wool products but will decrease over time.
Our wool rugs suit: high traffic areas, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms
If you’ve been admiring an earthy or coastal interior design aesthetic on social media or the covers of glossy magazines, it likely featured the rich textural beauty of a jute rug. In addition to the neutral tones, many people appreciate its durability and renewable nature.
Our jute rugs suit: high-traffic and sunny areas, living rooms
Rugs of manmade fibres can include polyester, polypropylene, viscose, and others. These rugs are stain and moisture resistant, making them an excellent choice for pet owners and families with young children, where cleaning spills and little accidents are a part of the daily routine. However, these synthetic fibres generally aren’t crushed.
Synthetic rugs suit: low traffic areas, bedrooms, sunrooms, and some synthetics are suitable for outdoor use.
Another practical consideration, the size and shape of your rug will depend on the room and furniture. Use a tape measure and mark out your space to avoid your rug being too large and creasing into the walls or, conversely, looking too small and dwarfed by the contents of the room.
Be sure to consider doorways, door swings, fireplaces, and other obstructions. A helpful guideline is to leave at least 30cm between the edge of a rug and the wall. Also, try to ensure the rug is large enough to fit under all four feet of tables and chairs; however, smaller rugs can work well under the front half of sofas.
There are no set rules for size; rather, it is helpful to think of a floor rug as a tethered design element that defines a space, creates balance, and anchors furniture.
Colour and style
Bold or striking patterns can serve as a focal point of interest for a room and can work if you have a courageous design palette. However, keep in mind the novelty of that bright statement rug may soon fade or make it difficult to style the room with complementary decor.
If you’re new to purchasing rugs online or you want to stick to a more timeless design, consider monochromatic colours and simple patterns. PSA: simple doesn’t have to mean boring!
To create a unified look, you might choose to match the rug to décor in complementary shades. You could also accessorise with vases, pillows, or other items in the same colour as the rug.
The style of your room is equally as important. Is your room coastal chic and suited to an earthy jute rug or neutral wool hues? Perhaps you’ve eclectically decorated your space in an art deco style where a bolder geometric patterned rug would fit right in?
The colour and style of your rug should be harmonious with the style of the room and align with your unique tastes.
Shopping for rugs online in Australia may feel a little overwhelming as you’re spoiled for choice. But keep in mind the key elements of material, size, and colour when choosing your new rug, and you will save time and money. Most importantly, these tips will help you find the perfect rug that is functional and beautiful, enhancing the aesthetic and feel of a room to reflect your individual style.