How to choose the perfect rug? Read our interior designer’s tips and learn how to find the best carpet for your home!
An area rug of quality is one that will stand the wear and tear over a long period of time. How long is that? It may well exceed 100 years! Therefore, when it comes to buying a rug then it’s best to opt for the largest possible, at the price tag you can afford. I know this may sound a bit disheartening, but I kid you not. There are rugs AND there are quality rugs. And since no one likes to waste money, it is best to invest in a quality one.
Thus, here’s what you should know when it comes to choosing the perfect rug.
How to Choose the Perfect Rug #1 / Size
One of the most common mistakes made in decorating has to do with rug sizing. A rug ideally needs to anchor furnishings. As such, it should not give out this “floating” vibe that a too small of a rug gives out.
Some claim that the furniture legs should all be atop the rug. Others say that only the front legs of a sofa will suffice. In any case, the logic behind rug sizing is that your feet should lay on the rug only and not the floor. Hence, measure your seating area and ideally choose the next size up rug.
A word of caution: round shape rugs are usually statement pieces. As such, they are best placed in a vignette or an entryway. Thus, they are not suitable for your sitting lounge for they will have that ‘floating’ rug island effect.
How to Choose the Perfect Rug #2 / Material
This is probably the second most significant factor to consider, for it has a direct effect upon a rug’s quality, feel, and life span. Acrylic, polypropylene, viscose are synthetics. Hence, my best advice is to stir away from those material options. Rugs made of synthetic materials are always machine-made, easy to clean, affordable, but they don’t last long and will never make your home look expensive.
Then there is cotton, wool, silk, jute and sisal. These are natural fibers that have different qualities to them. That is why the fiber material ultimately determines the rug’s thickness (pile), style, performance and most of all price tag. Cotton, jute and sisal tend to look more informal and rustic. The styles though, achieved with wool and silk are countless, ranging from traditional Persian to contemporary free-form designer ones.
Tip #3 / Style
Rugs come in many designs, patterns and colors. Therefore, they come in many different styles ranging from traditional nomadic to contemporary designer ones. Their motifs have an artistic appeal and are usually indicative of a distinct character and origin. Hence, you should opt for one that appeals to you best considering your lifestyle and needs.
Since rugs take up a large surface area, if you are not willing to make a commitment then opt for rugs in a soft color palette. On the other hand, Persian rugs are investment pieces with a long longevity and high value. They tend however, to have traditional motifs and a more saturated color palette.
Therefore, I recommend that for small spaces with lots of doorways around to use a single rug, as big as possible. That will make your space look bigger. I would certainly avoid rug layering – a tendency that bohemians opt for. In larger spaces, I would use more than one rug to signify different conversation pits. Don’t be scared of mixing styles i.e. a traditional Persian rug with contemporary furnishing. As long as it feels right, anything goes. Lastly, do keep in mind that some rugs are flat weave, making them ideal for both indoors and outdoors.
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Machine-made vs Hand-made
Now there are two types of rugs: machine-made and hand-made. The latter is far more expensive and for good reasons too. Moreover, some may claim that handmade rugs may be hand-knotted or hand-tufted. But only hand-knotted rugs are 100% hand-made.
Thus, hand-knotted are even more expensive. The number of knots used to be one of the clear indications of whether a rug was machine-made or hand-knotted. However, this is no longer the case. There are some quality machine-made rugs out of wool with almost a million knots per sq. cm. The other clear indication that still holds is the price tag. Hand-knotted can easily cost several thousands of Euros, depending upon rarity, design, material and size. And believe me there is no such thing as a sale when it comes to hand-knotted rugs.
Generally speaking, machine made rugs have a life-span of about 5 years. Hand-tufted rugs have a lifespan of about 15 years on average and hand-knotted rugs 50+. Vintage rugs are usually over 80 years of age.
Concluding, I would like to point out that choosing the perfect rug is very much like choosing the perfect artwork. It is something of great value, in both aesthetic and monetary terms. Hence, take the time to do your research. Save up if you have to. And know that buying an ethical rug is possible as long as you look into the terms and conditions of a rug producing region overseen by rug dealers and brands.
|| Learn more: How to choose a Handmade Rug
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