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A well chosen rug can pull together all the essential elements of a space and turn them into a cosy room, but it’s important to get the right floor covering for your scheme. Whether you want to create a focal point or be elegantly understated, check out these smart ideas to help you style with rugs like a pro.

Create a harmonious backdrop

The right rug should ground a room, giving a balanced, harmonious feel. The soft sheen and muted, grey-blue tones of this rug provide the right amount of colour and texture for this contemporary living room, without overwhelming the scheme. It supports the space rather than making its own statement.

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Play with pattern

Use a patterned rug as the starting point of your decorative scheme. Pull out the colours and use them in the rest of the space by choosing cushions, art and furnishings that work tonally. In this room, there’s a wealth of pattern, but the carefully edited, cohesive colour palette makes it feel restful.

Bring out other colours

In an eclectic look, the right rug can make a room’s colour palette sing. Here, a geometric pattern in a strong shade of red injects just the right amount of formality. It also sets off the strong blue and yellow tones to mouthwatering effect. Far from being overwhelming, the room is warm, inviting and relaxed.

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Support your scheme

It sounds obvious, but your choice of rug should support your overall room scheme. This delicately patterned rug in a soft shade of blue reinforces the airy, feminine feel of the space with the right degree of formality.

Include some layers

If you have a small rug that you want to use in a larger space, stop it from becoming lost by layering it. Choose a larger rug in a neutral shade and layer the smaller rug on top to create a focal point in the space. In this room, a natural fibre-base rug works perfectly with the smaller one.

Make an entrance

Entrance halls are the perfect place to inject some colour and pattern using a bold rug. As you’ll always be moving through the space, you’re unlikely to tire of it. The trick is to keep the other details elegantly simple. In this sunny entrance, a textural grass cloth wallpaper in a beautiful smoky blue is the perfect backdrop to the vibrant rug, which becomes a confident, considered detail.

Find a range of rugs on Houzz

Get in the zone

In an open-plan space, large rugs are the perfect way to create smaller, more intimate zones. Break up the space and highlight a cosy living area by marking the boundaries with a rug. Here, the designer has used a neutral design that tones in with the rest of the space to give it cohesion.

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Pep up a neutral look

A key element of good decorating is about interesting layering, and a rug can add the perfect layer to a neutral room to stop it looking dull. The trick is to bring in texture and understated detail. Here, the scale of the rug feels luxurious, while its rhythmic pattern brings movement and interest to an otherwise plain scheme.

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Give your space the edge

To create a considered look in a formal space, choose a plain rug with a contrasting edge. Here, the wide blue band sets off the deep blue velvet sofa, and gives strong definition to the seating area.

© Mikhail Riches

A patterned rug is a great way to introduce texture and balance to a pared-back, modern look. This colourful design warms up the space with red and mauve tones, while the geometric pattern plays up the clean lines of the room’s architecture.

This article has been first published on Houzz .