The West

Magic carpets
Mineral Rug, from $4950, from the Neighbourhood Collection by Bleux at Designer Rugs.

There's a lot of pressure on the humble floor rug, which can make or break a room. Here's what you need to know to choose the right one.


Perfect for layering with a cosy sheepskin, Neville Barnes, owner of Scattermats Rug Warehouse, said inexpensive flat-weave floor rugs were becoming hot underfoot as people steered away from shaggy-style rugs.

"Flat-weave rugs are made with the fibres running horizontally rather than vertically and this has many advantages," he said. "They're easy to clean and because there's no pile to flatten, hard wearing, too."


In a new twist on grandma's favourite florals, Jenny Jones Rugs owner Jenny Jones said anything nature-related was huge this year.

"Think leaves, trees and flowers in abstract, oversized and overlaid designs," she said. Animal skins and prints were fashionable underfoot, too, according to Ms Jones.


Artisan Rugs owner Nick Stepanovski said there was a growing trend toward shimmer. "Adding some Chinese or bamboo silk to the rug gives it a slight sheen and a bit of glamour," he said.


"Organic designs are also on-trend, with flawless symmetry and uniformity being replaced with primitive and playful patterns," Ms Jones said.

Mr Barnes recommended natural rug fibres such as jute, sisal and recycled materials.


Simple geometric patterns remain on-trend, according to Mr Stepanovski. "They've been around for a while and are still going strong."

  • SIZE IT UP *

Ms Jones said size should be the first consideration when choosing a rug.

"The right-size rug will bring everything together and create balance," she said. "A rug that's too small will bring the eye in and make your room look smaller."

To make your living room appear larger, Ms Jones suggested having all furniture sitting on the rug, including sofa and chairs.

Mr Stepanovski said the right-size floor rug could define a zone in large living areas and improve acoustics.

"It will absorb and reduce sound, which is especially important for open-plan homes with lots of hard surfaces," he said.

In the dining room, Ms Jones said a rug should be long and wide enough to pull out a chair to sit down without its legs coming off the rug.

Mr Barnes suggested using a bed sheet or large piece of fabric to gauge how a floor rug would fit in your space. "Fold it to the desired size and move it around to find the best position," he said. "As a rule, lighter-coloured rugs make a room feel larger while darker colours create the impression of cosiness."


Mr Stepanovski said choosing a floor rug first could help you direct your home's interior design.

"You can choose colours and accessories for the rest of your home based on the colour palette and style of your rug," he said.

"On the other hand, if it's an existing home then the rug will need to complement your decor."

When hitting the shops, Mr Barnes suggested taking fabric, paint and floor samples from your home. "It seems obvious but don't forget your measurements," he added.


The often large price difference between hand-tufted and hand-knotted rugs is due to the way the rugs are made, according to Ms Jones.

"Hand-knotted rugs can take up to a year to make, and hand-tufted rugs take about two to three days.

"Hand-knotted rugs are made entirely by hand and primarily use hand-spun wool, whereas hand-tufted rugs are actually made with a hand-held mechanised gun."

'The right-size rug will bring everything together and create balance.' Jenny Jones

The West Australian

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