More than just underfoot comfort, rugs have become a defining décor element in living areas. Whether it’s the anchoring piece to your dining room or perhaps the pop of colour and pattern in your kitchen, there’s been an increase in love for the humble rug.


As Suzanne Sharp of The Rug Company points out: “Most rooms need a rug – a room without a rug can appear unwelcoming and unfinished. It brings a sense of luxury to a room, particularly if it is of good quality and high-standard craftsmanship. The colour, pattern and texture … all lend a feeling of comfort and personality to a room. A rug can be a real statement piece around which a room is anchored, or it can be a more neutral design that will blend seamlessly into the space, giving a tranquil appearance. A large rug can unify a room wonderfully, while a number of smaller rugs can break up a room and define different areas.”

With this in mind, we chat to the experts in the industry who share all you need to know to achieve the ultimate #ruggoals in your home:

The Rug Company

Trend alert

According to Charles Gonsenhauser, third-generation rug dealer at Gonsenhausers Fine Rugs, the eclectic mix of patterns and designs is trending right now. He says: “This is probably due to the current decorative style we’re calling ‘the well-travelled home’. Some people call this the global nomad trend but we feel there’s more to it than that.” This style is all about “capturing the personalities of the people occupying the space”, he says. “There’s an authenticity to it as well as the ability to transport us to somewhere else.”

The colour code

Rugs are the industry’s answer to adding colour. The Rug Company’s creative director, Milly Wright, has noticed the rise in rugs with colour: “We see colour creep back into rugs, particularly in rich and dusky hues; playful combinations of mustard and ash blue, deep plum and teal. Pink is still sticking around and getting mixed with almost anything.” While the beauty of colour is often feared, as we all try to play it safe with neutral shades, Wright has witnessed, in the past year, that clients “maximise their interiors and are experimenting with excessive colour throughout their home”. “We are all moving home more often, especially in cities. A brightly coloured rug is the perfect way to make a space your own – a vibrant rug can really energise a space and brings a touch of individuality and personality to even the most basic of interiors.”

The Rug Company

Buyer’s guide

With so much on the market, it’s important to know how to trim down your options. Monique Vanderlinden of Hertex advises that home owners consider the following factors: colour, pattern and size; the area or space where the rug will be used; the atmosphere they want to create; which furniture pieces the rug will/may complement; the season; as well as the durability of the rug (depending on what it will be used for).


Suzanne Sharp of The Rug Company rounds up a few pointers to keep in mind before swiping that card:

• Always opt for good-quality, handmade rugs over tufted ones because not only do they look much better, but also they last much longer. As any genuine appreciator of beautifully made things will know, there is a huge difference between a hand-tufted rug and a hand-knotted rug. A 9”X6” hand-tufted rug takes a day to make, and an equivalent hand-knotted rug takes 16 weeks. Check the reverse of a rug. On a genuine hand-knotted rug, the design should be clearly visible on the back as well as on the front. You should be able to count the thousands of knots!

• Make sure you buy a rug that you really love and not just one to suit your interior. It is not like cushions, curtains or a sofa, but something that should last forever, so you must be happy enough to have it in any room or even a different house.

• Be confident with the pattern and colour – choose the rug like you would a piece of art. A rug can look totally different at home to what it did in the shop, so try it at home first before you buy it. If you are unsure, and not confident about what you want, a good rug shop will have the professional advice at hand and will let you take the rug home to try.

• Always go for the largest size you can as it gives generous, calming effects to the room, and will allow you to place furniture such as sofas half on it, giving a wonderfully luxurious and flowing feel to the space. Small rugs can look bitty and mean in the wrong space.

• The direction that the room faces is very important for choosing colours. A north-facing room that never faces the sun needs warm colours, while a south-facing room can have cooler colours. Most colours work together if they are of the same tone. These are a few of my favourite combinations: red and pink, blue and green, yellow and orange, shocking pink and orange, khaki and emerald green.

The Rug Company

Top tips

How to take care of a rug:

• “We would always recommend having your rugs cleaned by a professional. Colour fastness and the intricate weaving might well be a concern, so we always recommend it be done by an expert. For smaller everyday mishaps use some warm water and a little bit of washing-up liquid but avoid using chemicals and strong detergents as these will damage the rug.” – Charles Gonsenhauser, Gonsenhauser

• “Vacuum regularly. Blot spills immediately. Polypropylene outdoor rugs can be hosed down with water – therefore these rugs are very pet- and child-friendly.” – Monique Vanderlinden, Hertex