How To: Selecting & Styling Rugs

Whether you approach it as the finishing touch for your room, or the key item to build a scheme around, rugs are a big decision and big ticket item.

A rug is often used to anchor furniture, and should ideally sit under your entire furniture setting. They help define and differentiate activity zones in open plan areas, they create warmth and plushness, they add their own style to the room and can be considered art in and of themselves. The thing about rugs is that they can either finish off a room or sit awkwardly and throw off the proportions and style of the space. Being a large and costly item, you’d want to pick so well that it stays in the family for a while! Principles of proportion, balance of style, colour correction and texture all need to be considered.


Here are some things to consider when selecting rugs:


A rug should ideally run under the entire furniture setting, either continuing slightly outside items such as sofas and armchairs, or finishing just short of. There’s no hard and fast rule as to what size your rug should be, but some people like to define their size by adding a certain number of feet to their key furniture items (such as dining table or bed) to ensure the rug covers enough floor, whilst allowing ample space surrounding the furniture. Being generous is always better with the scale of rugs. In bedrooms, for instance), you could place a rug under your bed with an allowance for it to extend out of the bottom and sides of the bed for a cushy underfoot experience. Another option is to place two runners either side of the bed.

Rugs come in standard sizes but can be custom made also. Rest assured, you can keep looking until you find the right size.


An important function of rugs is that they add comfort and warmth to your flooring solution. However, different areas call for different textures, and different circumstances change the decision making process. Shag rugs or Berbers are beautifully soft and cosy, but they’re not so great with kids crumbs. Plush rugs are always better for living and bedroom scenarios – anywhere that you focus on resting and relaxing. In transitional areas such as an entry foyer or hallway, you may opt for a kilim runner or sisal rug instead.


Rugs come in so many varieties of style, colour, look, heritage, feel and size. A rug can be designated the centrepiece of your room, or something that blends in with subtle beauty. It all depends on the scheme of the room. While style is personal and will often reflect your own personal vibe, you’ll need to consider whether you want your rug to be a feature piece or something that simply adds simple texture to finish off a space.

When selecting style, be conscious of the existing colours and textures you have in your rooms. If your furniture and art are neutral and soft, perhaps add a rug that introduces some flair/drama/personality in the room. If there are no patterns in the room, a rug is a great way to introduce some. If your room is already quite colourful and features several patterns, a subtle rug will anchor it all nicely.


Rugs come in a large variety of materials that will all affect the feel, durability and price. Common materials include wool, sisal, jute, silk, hide, cotton, seagrass and synthetics. Whilst the most common material is wool (prized for durability and softness), it is not the cheapest option. Silks add a lovely lustrous lushness and shine to a room but aren’t necessarily the easiest to clean and wear easy. Cotton is frequently found in flat-weave rugs and are nice, light and affordable, but not as long lasting or comfy underfoot.

Each material has its pros and cons. Seeing as you’d most likely need a differing number of rugs for the various different spaces in your home, you would likely need to consider all the fabrications. Remember that each room’s function is different, and so fabrications then become relevant depending on the use of each space. Areas of high traffic will require something durable though cost effective, whereas areas to convene (such as sitting rooms) will call for something more lush and beautiful.


Suppliers we’re loving right now:


A little trove of one off and wonderful rugs. Coming in various sizes and unique styles, I’d check out their over dyed kilims, pom pom rugs and vintage Berbers.

Halycon Lake

Here you’ll find a broad range of subtly textured, timeless and beautiful rugs. They can be made to order in many different colours, sizes and patterns.


A bit of a hot spot with designers, a vast selection of luxury antique rugs are lovingly sourced from the Cadry family here.

Armadillo & Co.

I’m currently vibing the ‘Earth’ collection at Armadillo & Co. for simple rugs and runners in beautiful weaves.