In the first of a new series, interior stylist Hannah Cork shares her failsafe tips on how to introduce the perfect rug into your scheme.
My clients often have beautifully decorated homes. Imagine clustered hung artwork, coffee tables adorned with hardback art books, curated objects and luxurious scented candles. But still they feel that something is missing. My answer? Usually, a rug.
The location of the rug is key
A considered rug is worth its weight in, well, wool. Or perhaps silk. Its function is not just limited to insulating a room and creating comfort underfoot, as important as those things are. A rug layers up a space and unites disparate pieces of furniture by acting as a platform. Your coffee table, sofa and armchairs should not be floating around your living room – place at least their front feet on a rug and you can create a considered composition and a clearly defined zone. Positioned under a double bed, with a decent amount poking out, a rug is the ideal landing pad for your bare feet, whilst creating a visual frame for your bed. Under a dining table can also look stylish, but ensure the dining chairs sit on the rug too – and wait until your toddler has grown out of dropping food at every meal.
See it as artwork for the floor
Apply the same thought process, decision making and potential investment to choosing a rug as you would choosing a piece of artwork. Go bold to create a focal point. Don’t shy away from geometric, floral, abstract or animal-print designs, and be punchy with colour. And go big – small rugs floating aimlessly look meagre. Designs with a border have a more traditional feel and it almost creates a frame around the artwork, but it may appear smaller than a contemporary rug, where the pattern bleeds right to the edge. Ensure the colours underfoot have a relationship with your existing scheme, too. Ochre stripes in the rug? Ochre cushions. A hint of cobalt underfoot? Cobalt ceramics on the console. Teal on the border? A teal throw on the armchair. You get the idea.
Mix periods and styles
With so many styles and traditional methods to pick from – from kilims to dhurries to aubussons – indulge your personal taste, but remember that the key to any successful edgy interior is to mix periods and styles. So don’t feel you need to create a Moroccan riad look just because you’ve chosen an Atlas Berber rug. As long as the colours, texture and pattern of the rug have a relationship with other objects in the room, then it will work.
The brands to watch
If you’re not the type to go souk pootling, then I’d suggest a visit to Moooi, Front Rugs, Oka or The Rug Company. In addition to traditional designs, The Rug Company have a fantastic range of bold contemporary rugs, including pieces by fashion designers, such as McQueen, Rodarte or Matthew Williamson. The Jonathan Saunders Nouveau rug I styled into the Clooney’s UK home was its first foray off the loom – and Amal’s living room was the perfect setting for some fashion-fuelled interior styling. Oka have a selection of beautifully faded rugs, while the distressed effect Erased Heritage range at Front Rugs in punchy and unexpected colourways is stunning. At the top of my wish list is Casa Pupo, whose 1960s tasseled floral rugs come in many colour combinations.