A beautiful rug adds warmth and interest to any room, but buying the right one can be a baffling exercise. Follow these tips to get the perfect look.

Apadana

• A Persian carpet of exceptional quality can become an heirloom piece – but, then again, maybe you’re looking for something to spruce up the lounge rather than something to pass on to your children. Something else to consider: if you have your heart set on a Persian, will you be happy with a machine-made rug or do you want hand-made only, a more costly but more durable option? Decide what you’re looking for before you head to the shops, advises Jonathan Chiuma of Apadana.

• There are two critical factors to consider before you buy, says Apadana’s Naser Ghaheri: your budget, and the size of your room. Don’t forget to measure the space before you start shopping.

Apadana

•It’s a good idea to bring along a picture of the room where the rug will be placed, says Meryl Millar of Millar’s Oriental Rugs. You could even take samples and swatches of the upholstery and curtain fabric, or a cushion.

• If you can, take a few rugs home so you can be sure. This way, you’ll be able to see what the carpet looks like in context. Try to get a sense of it from every perspective, Millar advises: pile carpets are woven in one direction, so they have a light and a dark side, and you might find that you simply don’t like the look of it from certain perspectives. By the same token, you might find that a rug that looks fabulous in daylight loses some of its lustre under electric light.

Millar’s Oriental Rugs

• “Don’t be afraid of the wild card; the rug that doesn’t fit in with your scheme, but which really grabs you. Often, the most unlikely rug is the one that works,” Millar says.

Millar’s Oriental Rugs