Floor rugs tell stories of nomadic tribes in faraway places, of weavers, magic carpet rides and of age-old traditions. They are not only home furnishings; their patterns hold meaning and tell a story of the people and place where they were woven, often using ancient techniques and with a good dose of creativity and soul. Natural fibres such as wool and silk are hand-dyed and woven into a pattern resulting in the most stunning pieces, which are almost too beautiful to set foot on!
In interiors, a floor rug is essential in creating a complete room. Rugs add movement, colour, softness and ground a space. They define zones in an open-plan area, help with acoustics, feel lovely to walk on and, of course, look beautiful. The right floor rug should sit quietly in the space, connecting the colours and patterns of the room. It shouldn’t be too overpowering nor too neutral.
My personal pet-hate is when a rug is too small – go large or go home people! I have a few other rules too:
1. All of the living room furniture needs to sit on the floor rug. At least 30 centimetres of the rug needs to go under the front legs of the sofa, and depending on the layout, often the entire sofa needs to sit on the floor rug. Armchairs and side tables should also be able to fit on a rug because it should ground the space, rather than float around. Plus, a small rug will only make the room seem smaller too.
2. I am yet to see a brightly coloured, round shaped rug that didn’t belong in a childcare centre. Instead, I recommend opting for a neutral round rug or a brightly coloured rug in a more conventional rectangular shape.
3. A plush pile beige floor rug will show every mark! Unless you are able to carefully look after it, this style of rug can easily look a bit grubby. For this reason, light coloured rugs are best kept away from external doors.
4. This is an item that you’ll need to save your money for, don’t be tempted to try to save money by buying the smaller size. A rug that is too small just ‘floats’ in the space, and no matter how expensive it was, will look a bit cheap.
5. What about floor rugs under dining tables? The answer is yes, and no. It really depends on your lifestyle: if you have small children that spill things all the time, then a rug under the table is not a good idea. It also really depends on the type of rug – go for something patterned and textured that can hide small stains, and make sure it’s really large so that the table and all chairs fit on it. In an open plan space, this rug placement can help to create a zone and also with acoustics.
There are an enormous number of floor rugs on the market, however, they always seem hard to find. I’ve delved into the depths of all of the rug suppliers that I know to show you the best, in varied price points. From traditional to rustic boho, casual coastal to colourful and bold, with some neutral options thrown in, I hope that there are some ideas to get you started.
When all of the sources have been exhausted there is always the luxury of having a custom rug made for you to your exact colour, design and size. Keep in mind that custom rugs are made by human hands, sometimes they are created in the open air by multiple artisans at once. You are not only buying a beautiful piece for your home, you’re also buying craftsmanship, time and a dash of inspiration and soul. A custom-made rug is a true luxury.
Casual and Coastal
If you’re looking to keep it nice and natural, there are plenty of beautiful floor rugs to choose from. Opting for a light coloured floor rug? You’ll need plenty of interesting texture that can help disguise marks and stains. Texture is also a way to add interest to space as a lack of colour and texture can look bit dull.
Consider layering floor rugs, with a large sisal rug underneath and another patterned rug on top.
1. Rug from Tigmi Trading
2. Alpine Diamond Slate (60x90cm) rug from Dash & Albert
3. Blue Platinum rugs from Dash & Albert
4. Interior inspiration c/o Cliff Top House project by Hare + Klein
5. Latitude Collection rug Cairo in wheat from Armadillo&Co