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Rugs Buying Guide – everything you need to know before buying a rug.

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 by Matthew Legg

If you search around the internet
you will find a wide range of online stores selling area
rugs of all colours,
fabrics and sizes. The choice can get so overwhelming that you can’t see the
wood (or rug), for the trees. A quality area rug can be an expensive investment
that will enhance your room so it is worth taking a few things into
consideration before buying.

Where is the rug going to be situated?

Probably the most important
factor of all. A rug that will go well in a hall or living room may not be so
good in a bedroom or bathroom. Really soft luxurious rugs are great in the
bedroom, hallways often need harder wearing rugs that are easy to clean. A rug
in should reflect the style of the room.

What type of rug?

There is a huge range of
materials out there. Wool, cotton, hides, paper, grass, bamboo synthetic are all
widely available.

Bamboo, paper and grass
rugs have an organic quality and can the neutral colours will give the
room a simple charm.

Hide rugs, although not
everyone’s taste are amazingly soft to walk on.

Leopard and tiger print
cowhides are a real statement and a touch of kitsch to your home. Great
in the bedroom or a boudoir!

Leather and suede rugs have a very
masculine quality and are very hard wearing with some amazing textures,
in the right room this a real style statement.

Leather shag pile rug

Style and colour

possible you should plan your room with a theme, although a rug
will often be the last thing to be added, ideally it should be
planned from the start. There are a lot classic design styles
which you can follow.

Minimalist themes have low
clutter, whites and neutral colours. A thick
shaggy rug can bring an interesting
contrast and still follow the style of the room.

Gothic uses dark colours, with
splashes of strong colours like red, purple, green and gold. A rich dark red or
brown wool rug would be well suited.

Kitsch or retro, often walks a
fine line between tacky and tasteful. Unusual, quirky retro objects, browns and
greens. A leopard print cowhide rug works well here.

There is a wide range of design
trends to draw inspiration from and to list them all would be another guide in

Different rugs for different rooms

The right rug should reflect the
what the space is used for.

leather rug

Luxury wool rugs are
great for bedrooms and living rooms.

Brightly coloured rugs
are very popular in children’s rooms and nurseries at the moment.

Sisal rugs a good in
bathrooms and can also be used as a drying mat beside the bath.

Leather and suede rugs
are great in modern offices and have an executive feel reflected in the


Good suppliers will have the same
rug in several different sizes. It’s a good idea to measure and mark out the
size of your rug with masking tape so that you can see how it will look in your

How much foot traffic will your rug be subjected

Always worth considering as some
rugs are easier to clean than others. Even if the rug is easy to clean a hallway
is not a great place for pure white woolen rug that you will have to clean every

Will the rug get wet?

Back doors, kitchens and bathrooms are
all places where the rug will get potentially get wet.

Most rugs won’t get damaged this way but
wool rugs can look matted and grubby when wet.

Sisal and bamboo rugs are a great choice
for a wet area.

sisal rug


Although prices vary it is
important to remember that you get what you pay for. If a similar rug is
massively cheaper from a particular supplier then it may be because the quality
is not as good.

For wool rugs look for how deep
the pile is, the knot count, if shown, and also where the wool is sourced from.
A lot of the best rugs are made from pure New Zealand Drysdale wool and if you
see this it is a mark of quality.

If the rug is made animal hide it
is worth considering if it has been ethically sourced or not. Good manufacturers
will use hides that are a by-product of the food industry. If you see exotic
animal hides then stay away as you will be supporting the slaughter of the
animal just for it’s skin.
Animal print cowhides although not everyone’s taste
are a much more viable alternative.

Where to buy an area rug?

When looking at online sellers
always check out their returns policy. Some will only offer an exchange and you
may have to pay for the return shipping yourself which can be expensive on a
large rug.


Very important especially if you
have children or pets. Some rugs are much easier to clean than others. Some
resist stains well and some are just really hard wearing. It’s worth researching
this a little before buying.

Choosing the right rug.



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