August 12, 2021

How to Choose and Care for your Rug

A rug is a foundational element that adds warmth, comfort and homeliness to a room in more ways than one. From absorbing echoing noise, to creating a layer of cushioning softness, to adding colour and texture to warm up a space, the perfect rug brings everything together and makes a room feel finished.

Choosing the right rug for your space can be challenging, taking into consideration the size, shape, material, wearability and even how to care for it. Here is our top advice to choose and care for your rug.

Selecting the size of your rug

Rugs help to visually group pieces of furniture together, creating a focal point that anchors the space and divides it into different zones. With more and more modern homes moving towards open plan living, rugs help to lay the foundation, separating a living room from the dining room from the kitchen.

A rug that is too small for a space prevents the different elements from interacting with each other, each standing alone instead of together. This can often make a room look crowded or cluttered, with a lack of cohesion.  A larger rug creates a larger frame for furniture to sit within, creating the illusion of a more spacious room.

A perfectly proportioned lounge room for our Chloe Project, with a large textured rug laying the foundation for this space.

Where to place your rug

While rugs are often thought of as one of the final pieces to a room, they are actually a great way to base your styling off since they provide a spatial frame of reference. As a rule of thumb, your rug should be large enough to accommodate the key pieces of furniture in the room.

For example in a dining room, the table and chairs should all fit on the rug, whether your guests are sitting or the chairs are pulled out from the table. We recommend your rug extends to around 60cm beyond the edge of your table for the most balanced proportions. For a living room, a clean appearance can be achieved by placing your rug in the centre of the room, and placing the front legs of your sofa or armchairs on the rug.

Rugs are a great option for protecting the more static features in your home, such as expensive polished floorboards or luxurious carpets. These are expensive investments that are worth protecting, especially in high traffic zones that are more prone to wear and tear. A beautiful rug can be placed in a dining area to prevent dining chair scratches, or in hallways to keep shoes from leaving marks and scuffs.

The Nicola Rug for one of our client’s dining rooms. The perfect addition to warm up this space, as well as protecting their beautiful floorboards.

Selecting the style of your rug

When selecting the style of your rug there are 3 key purposes we tend to lean towards to truly enhance your space.

  1. To make a statement. This is an opportunity to get creative with colours, prints and graphics to let your rug act as a piece of artwork; a central feature that catches the eye.
  2. To add some texture. Working in with the colour palette of your space, a rug with longer fibres, or one that is weaved or knotted can add interest to a space through texture and dimension.
  3. To neutralise. When the flooring of your space clashes or doesn’t quite suit the aesthetic of your home, a rug works to neutralise the tones, creating a new foundation that can be layered upon.

Your choice of rug may also depend on the wearability and maintenance of the material, and whether this suits the style and function of your space. For example, a softer shaggier rug may work in a relaxing living room or cosy bedroom, whereas a darker low-pile rug is better suited to a high traffic area like entrances and hallways (click here to read our top tips for styling your entranceway).

A custom rug for our Draper Project, designed and made specifically for this space.

Caring for your rug

Choosing to place a rug in your home is a great flooring option for adding texture and warmth, with the benefit of being easy to clean or swap out should your style change or you want to refresh the mood of a space.

Different materials require different care. Natural fibres like jute and hemp are eco-friendly materials due to their long-lasting durability and biodegradable nature. These materials easily absorb moisture and stain, so are best placed in areas that are dry and not susceptible to spills, for example a living room.

Another popular natural fibre is wool. It’s soft and warm texture generally holds its colour well and is simple to clean, it is easily vacuumed with no issues. In the first couple of months a new wool rug may shed fibres with movement, however when vacuumed this will stop over time, as it acclimatises to your space.

For a kid and pet friendly material, polypropylene is low-pile and low maintenance. It is stain and spill resistant, easy to clean and does not shed. A durable and long-lasting fibre perfect for high traffic areas. For a simple DIY cleaning solution, we suggest Bunnings’ Rug Doctor that produces results to the same standard as a professionally cleaned carpet.

The Sherwood team takes pride in helping you choose a rug that enhances your space through style and proportions. Get in touch to find out more about working with us to create your own custom designed rug!