There are many advantages to rugs: they create comfort, visually divide up the room, protect valuable wood floors and cover unattractive surfaces. See what else a rug can do with these 13 decor ideas, from living rooms to bathrooms.
Rugs create cosiness
Long pile rugs are an instant way to create a soft, luxurious surface underfoot.
Alexandra Magne designed this Parisian apartment to have a relaxed, industrial look but everything comes together around the fluffy Beni Ouarain rug in the open living room. Its low-key pattern works well with the angular style of the apartment, but softens the angles too, and gives the living room a cosy feel.
Photo: am Alexandra Magne
Rugs improve room acoustics
High ceilings create an airy atmosphere, but with minimal furniture there can be an unpleasant echo in the room.
If you don't want to soften a room with curtains, rugs can have the same effect. The textile surface absorbs sound and optimises room acoustics. The longer the pile, the greater the effect.
Rugs pull a room together
Using a variety of chairs at one table is a popular feature of relaxed interiors. A rug under a dining set can help bring together a mix of styles.
Blogger Isabel Robles Salgado used this idea in her eat-in kitchen, where old wooden chairs are combined with modern design pieces. With a two-year- old son, a mess is unavoidable, so Salgado has chosen a washable rug by Brita Sweden.
Photo: HEJM - Interieurfotografie
Rugs protect wood floors from scratches
Parquet and hardwood floors are much coveted but they can be an expensive investment. It's worth protecting valuable floors in high traffic areas such as under a dining table where scratches from dining chairs will soon start to show. Flat pile rugs are best here, because chairs can be comfortably moved around on them.
Flat pile rugs can also a stylish alternative to the unappealing plastic floor protection mats often used under desk chairs.
Rugs create accents
Monochrome designs room schemes can look neat and clean, but sometimes they could use a little oomph to liven them up.
In this Leicht kitchen the colourful patchwork-style rug creates a visual balance with the pared-back interior.
Photo: Leicht Küchen AG
Rugs mark out walking routes
This villa in Dresden, designed by Heisenbergbrenner Architekten, has slanted planes running through one single large space and connecting different parts of the home.
As a guest, it might be easy to get lost on your way to the living room, so the antique Persian rugs mark out the walking paths around the villa.
Rugs make good spaces for crawling
For those who have a toddler, interior design is associated with particular challenges. Suddenly, all loose items have to be secured and the floor made suitable for crawling.
Tile or wood floors can be made toddler-friendly with a rug in an instant and textiles can create great islands for toys and play. Colourful patterns make the atmosphere even more cheerful.
Photo: Urbanara UK
Rugs protect wooden floors from water
In a bathroom with humidity-sensitive hardwood floors a rug can protect the flooring from water damage. Choose a flat weave or low pile rug and wash it regularly to keep it fresh and hygienic.
Photo: Sonja Speck Fotografie
Rugs conceal unattractive floors
Living in a rented home with unattractive PVC floors or outdated tile parquet floors?Invest in a beautiful rug to cover up ugly floors. Investing in a rug rather than wall-to- wall carpeting also means you can take it with you when you move and return the room to exactly as you found it.
Rugs can be combined
For a truly decadent and cosy look, why not layer up rugs, with a large flat weave rug as a base layer then soft, fluffy rugs on top.
The base rug will prevent the fluffy rug from slipping and will create a bohemian feel.
Rugs can bring back memories
How about bringing back a rug from your holiday instead of a key chain, coffee mug or t-shirt? In regions where the craft of rug making is a tradition, you can find patterns that will give your home a unique twist.
Homeowner Cynthia Barcomi brought the sun back from Morocco with this flat pile rug in her home in Berlin-Zehlendorf.
Photo: HEJM - Interieurfotografie