A rug is a key design piece that makes a strong impression, influencing the look and feel of any room. There are many factors to consider when purchasing a rug to ensure you are making a sound investment. In this article I cover some of the key considerations.
It’s important know which fibres will perform best in your space. Beyond the desired look and feel, consider if the rug will be in a high or low traffic area and if there are pets or young children in your home.
Natural fibres are not only a sustainable choice, they’re also beautiful, breathable, and can be hardwearing.
- Wool is luxuriously soft, stain resistant and highly durable; ideal for high traffic areas. Being a natural fibre there is some potential for colour fading, so it is important to take this into consideration. If you are choosing a dark or colourful rug, it is best to avoid full sun.
- Silk is a premium fibre that retains its shape well. More knots per square inch mean that patterns can be intricate, but silk does require specialist cleaning.
- Bamboo silk is an accessible alternative to silk. It's similar to viscose but derived from Bamboo. This delicate fibre isn’t suited to high traffic areas, but when paired with wool it becomes more durable. We recommend MicroSeal protection to protect from spills.
- Jute is a plant fibre with an appealing woven aesthetic and brings visual interest through its texture and natural look. Jute can discolour if it gets wet, or through regular exposure to the sun, so MicroSeal protection is recommended to improve longevity. (See below.)
- Hemp thread is strong and durable, lightweight and absorbent, with three times the tensile strength of cotton. It's mildew-resistant and its coarse texture softens over time.
- Viscose is a delicate, versatile fibre noted for its genuine silk-like softness. It’s often found blended with wool for durability and produces a beautiful sheen. It is derived from wood pulp, but is manufactured using a chemical process; therefore it is neither a pure natural fibre, nor a fully synthetic one. Viscose can stain if it receives spills, so we recommend Micro-seal protection. (See below.)
Synthetic fibres are often made to mimic the look and feel of natural fibres and can be paired with them to improve durability. Synthetic fibres are ideal for outdoor areas due to their resistance to fading, stains, mould, and mildew.
- Recycled polyester has a sustainable appeal being derived from recycled PET plastics. It’s highly resistant to water, making it perfect for outdoor use.
- Polypropylene fibre is known for its flexibility and softness, making it excellent for creating durable rugs ideal for outdoor spaces.
Rug Care - Microseal Protection
While some fibres have higher stain and fade resistance than others, Ink and Brayer recommends applying a MicroSeal treatment on all indoor rugs, especially viscose and jute. MicroSeal is a non-toxic, non-allergenic formula for permanent stain and sun fade protection that dramatically increases the longevity of rugs.
Rugs are manufactured in a variety of woven and knotted styles. It’s important to consider how the weave will wear in relation to your lifestyle. High pile or loose weave rugs may not be ideal for young children or pets and shouldn’t be vacuumed with a brush vacuum.
Size and Placement
To avoid choosing a rug that’s too small it’s important to remember that the role of a rug is to define a zone and to do that it is often best to have furniture at least partially placed on it.
Open Plan: Several rugs can be used to define the living, dining, and other areas in an open plan space.
Living Area: For large rooms with furniture in the centre, the rug should fit comfortably underneath, taking up slightly more floor space than the furniture.
An oversized rug can frame a room and create interest.
When furniture is against a wall, the front legs should be placed on the floor rug.
Smaller rugs can be placed under a coffee table, used to define specific seating areas, or to define a small space such as a reading nook.
Dining Area: The table and chairs should all rest on the floor rug. Choose a rug that’s large enough to fit under the chairs when they are pushed back from the table.
Bedroom: The floor rug should extend around the bed for a cosy look. Try placing a rug part way under the under the bed.
Reach Out for Professional Advice
When making an investment in a rug or any significant purchase for your home, it makes sense to consult professionals that can offer helpful information or advice.
Remember that when purchasing a rug through Ink & Brayer, I am here to assist you with interior design advice and guidance, so that you can feel confident that you are choosing the right floor rug for your space. I am always happy to ask the supplier any specific questions for you too.
If you'd like to discuss a rug for your home or commercial space, get in touch now - I’d love to hear from you.
If you are based in Auckland, New Zealand, you may also like to learn about my In-Home Rug Consultation Service.
So I hope that has been some help to you. Have a great week. Happy rug buying everyone!