Any floor rug that defines a space. The shape and size of such rugs matters a million times more than their colour, weave, texture, provenance, memories or design. These evidently have their importance, but area rugs primarily set the space and are an intentional part of a design scheme, chosen to make a room more visually pleasing and comfortable.

When choosing an area rug, the first consideration should be to size and placement, and then to material: does it need to be soft underfoot, to contain rising dust to catch dirt, or to lead the eye in a certain direction.

* Rugs have a significant but often subliminal effect. They can be used to define an area, to direct traffic, to change the balance of a room, to stabilise it, open it up or make it more cosy.

* Whether sofas and chairs are placed on or around a rug makes a significant difference: rugs should always go under things–not in front of them, as they are there to homogenise and add value, not as items to be individually displayed.

* Many rugs–and all woven rugs–are works of art in their own right: whether an antique or a new piece designed by a fashion designer, a respected weaver or copied from archives, they need to complement the rest of the furnishings and the style you’re after. As independent artworks rugs can also be hung on the wall, as a traditional tapestry might.

* Contemporary rugs are very often specifically designed by well known designers to fit into contemporary surroundings, whether as a subtle tonal addition or as a particular complementary element.

* These tend to be knotted and made in Nepal with good quality, soft but hardwearing Australasian wool.

* Neutral rugs that sit on a natural stone or wooden floor without too much interruption, to soften and hold the room are available in sisal, cir, hemp, jute and flat weave wools. These can be plain or patterned, though generally the self-weave creates the pattern.

* Long pile rugs for bedrooms, bathrooms and sitting rooms are comfortable and look very luxurious, and work well in contrasting bright colours or as tones within a theme.

* Skins and hides can be joined to shape or left as cured. Cowhide, sheepskin and goatskin have wonderful natural colourings and a variety of pile depth. They are hardwearing, very durable and can be chosen for warmth, look or for durability.

* Woven flat weaves with a self-pattern in close tones that don’t show dirt can look as elegant as the best jacket. Great for anything from a dressing room to the front hall.

* Stripes and checks in muted tones do the same thing, just with a bit more going on. Commissioning one is also interesting and as these will last a lifetime, quite sensible.

* Traditional rugs, whether antique or imitations, are safe options as the familiar colours and motifs have been proven to work. There is a virtually unlimited number of options to choose from, each carrying a specific style. Antique rugs cost more, but have been made with vegetal colours and have worn in so that they look immediately at home and familiar.

* Area rug styles range from tufted to flat weave to crewel works to tapestries, and bear names such as Heriz, Quashqui, Aubusson, Savonnerie, Arraiollo, Dhurrie, Kelim, Cogolin, Chinese, Persian, North American, Peruvian, Anatolian, Moroccan, Turkish…

* For the best advice talk to passionate and independent rug suppliers and designers.

* These two photos show how the choice of rug and colouring has a marked effect on the character and the tenor of the same room …


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photo shop pictures if poss.

Collage page of rugs


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