Rugs are a great accessory to add to any room, either to insert a pop of colour, lift up the spirits or even just to make the room look extra cosy! A rug can anchor a room, define it and add to your existing décor.


In order to get the best out of your rug you need to understand what the goal is and the best placement to ensure you don't end up with a cluttered look.

To help you decide just how to start your rug journey, interior design Vanessa Arbuthnott has shared her seven tips for decorating with rugs.


Rag rugs

Rag rugs
© A Beautiful Mess

A long runner is a common option in a kitchen, but rag rugs can work just as well. In fact, rag rugs are a great fit for the kitchen as they have a casual vibe which makes the space seem more inviting and cosy. They are washable, too, so spillages can be cleaned easily. Rag rugs come in a variety of patterns and textures so you can find one which suits the style of your kitchen.


Half-on, half-off

Living room rug

People make the mistake of trying to fit in all four legs of each furniture item on the rug itself, but this leads the rug becoming worse for wear, especially if the furniture in question is being used on a regular basis, such as a chair. Placing only the front legs on the rug this will help to maintain a elegant look and keep the rug intact.


Change up your shape

Circular rug

Most rooms have irregular floor layouts, so a perfectly shaped square rug might not the best option, as it can give the illusion of a smaller space. If your room is round or has a curved wall, then a round rug is great to mirror the space, and in a narrower space opt for a rectangle rug to make the room seem bigger.

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Get the size right

Cosy living room rug

The main purpose of any rug is to add something extra to a room without overpowering the space or the style, so the size of your rug is really important. If you are looking for a smaller rug, then remember not to go too small - you don’t want your rug to look odd if it is too small and placed in the middle. And remember that rugs that exceed the edges of the furniture can make a room appear larger.


Protect your rug

Rug pad

Always take good care of your rug as you would with your carpet - you want to make sure it lasts a long time and looks brand new. A rug pad is essential for keeping your rug in top condition, but choose carefully - area rug backings can sometimes be rough, which can be a risk to the floor beneath.


Warm up your space

Rug on wood floor
© SolStock

An area rug is one of the details that makes your room look finished. It can help to warm up and soften hard surfaces like wood and tile flooring which typically have a cold feel to them. Ensure that your area rug has a texture which expresses home warmth and comfort - especially in long and narrow hallways, which can appear cold and eerie.


Don’t overthink the colour

Monochrome rug

There's no need to seek out a rug whose colour perfectly matches your existing decor - in fact, this can actually produce an artificial look. For example, a tribal-pattern rug is a great option, as they go with any scheme. Rugs that have a lot of patterns or colours are great, because they are not locked into any one style