Rugs do much more than keep your feet warm. They are an important element of interior design, tie the individual components of a room together and highlight your personal style. They range from conservative to really conspicuous. Their down-to-earth, all-round talent comes in a wide range of versions – from premium silk to cheap and simple. We will show you beautiful rugs, give you tips on the right way to use them and tell you about the various manufacturing methods in a little Rug 101.

Ground-based eye-catchers

Rugs can really make a statement. This rug's rhombic pattern characterises the whole room. The black and white contrast matches the muted furniture well, with only a few natural colours as highlights.

Photo by Cynthia Lynn Photography

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A rule of thumb: the more lively the interior, the simpler the floor covering should be; the more minimalistic the furniture, the more extravagant the rug can be – as in this colourful hallway. Together with light wall colour, the few items of furniture are an exercise in restraint. By contrast, the floral rug stands out all the more.

By the way, you don't have to make do with the prefabricated rug patterns available commercially; some rug manufacturers can even print your own photos on rugs. So now you can showcase your favourite images on your floor. And rugs don't always have to be rectangular either; round or oval rugs are just as popular. And rugs with motifs, in a wide range of irregular shapes, are now commonly found in children's rooms.

Photo by Company C

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Conservative room dividers

There are many ways to break a room down into different zones: sideboards, screens or plants as dividers. It’s much easier to divide a room with rug islands and be just as effective, especially in open rooms like this one – a large woolen floor covering separates the living room conservatively but clearly from the kitchen.


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Find out how to choose the right rug for your space

Besides the shape and size of a rug, of course the manufacturing technology also determines the look. Good rugs are well crafted products – the complexity and material determine the price.

Photo by Siggada Kilims Ltd

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Woven rugs

The principle is simple – there are weft threads and warp threads. The pattern of the flat woven fabric appears differently on the front and rear, so woven rugs can be used on either side. Natural materials like wool, jute, cotton, hemp, sisal and silk are most popular. For example, classic rag rugs are woven.

Knitted rugs

With flat, light rug textiles, the weft threads are not threaded into the warp threads along the entire width of the weave, but only to the edge of the bordering colour areas and then returned, which makes patterns and motifs possible. For example, most kilims are knitted. The technique is similar to that used for tapestries.

Tufted rugs

These rugs have a backing fabric which is given a third dimension via loops of thread. While tufting was previously only possible manually, it can now also be done by machine. To secure the pile, the underside is generally rubberised, which makes tufted rugs harder to clean than woven and knotted rugs.

Today, tufting is the most frequently used process to produce rugs.

Photo by BoConcept Germany GmbH

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Felted rugs

Nomadic tribes from the highlands of Kyrgyzstan turn the wool from their sheep to felt and sew them to create these images. Today, this traditional way of producing rugs is inspiring young designers’ modern creations from sustainable materials.

Knotted rugs

The rule of thumb for knotted rugs is the more knots the more valuable. A rug pile is created by knotting pile loops to the warp threads. The threads are knotted around knots across the entire width of the rug. The higher the knot density per square centimetre, the finer and more valuable the rug. The pile is either made of wool, or for finer rugs, glossy silk is used. As a different colour can be used for every knot, any conceivable pattern is possible. After completing the rug, its pile is either cut to a single length using simple hand scissors, or cut to various heights to match the pattern, to create a three-dimensional look, as shown here.


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Knotted rugs from the Far East are called Persian or Oriental rugs. Owners love their splendid, typically Oriental designs that have been handed down over many generations. Oriental rugs have been growing in popularity recently, particularly as each is unique and people appreciate how the traditional, thousand-year-old patterns match almost all interior styles, as this example proves.

The designs used for oriental rugs are typical of a specific region. Classic Persian rugs generally have floral patterns. Southern Persian nomadic rugs, known as Gabbehs, are more geometrically abstract.

Photo by Alan Design Studio

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Fur rugs

Fur is wonderfully warming for bare feet and also brings something archaic into the home.

Fur goes particularly well with restrained, modern designs. As rugs, they are just as suitable for bare stone floors as for laminate or timber floors. To create a special contrast, combine fur with cold surfaces like glass or chrome.

Photo by Holly Marder

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As fur is a purely natural product, the individual skins differ both in size and in patterns and colours. Each fur is unique and very special. Sheep and lamb fleeces are available in classic white, and more and more frequently also in black or gray, and are also suitable as chair or sofa throws.

Photo by Stephani Buchman Photography

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Wooden rugs

Yes, they exist! For example, by the company Böwer. "Mortimer", designed by Elisa Strozyk, is made of teak with a blue linen underlay, and has a unique feel. It is made up of many small triangles and offers a real three-dimensional sensation.

Photo by found4you

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Cork and felt rugs

The cork and felt rug design by Dutch producer Danskina is a truly original combination of materials. The rug combines the positive properties of both materials: warmth (felt) and anti-slip characteristics (cork). This combination creates a delicate striped pattern.

By Photo by Atelier Lamisse

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Care tips

The most effective way to clean your rug is with a vacuum cleaner. And although many would disagree, even deep-pile rugs are easy to clean in this way. For short pile, you should use a vacuum cleaner with rotating brushes.

And if you do ever have a little accident, there is no need to throw your rug in the bin. Almost all stains can be removed with gentle shampoo and lukewarm water. Tough stains can be taken care of by treating them quickly with salt.

In spite of this, you should consider professional thorough cleaning every few years, to prevent dust mites etc. making their homes in the rug.

Photo by Cadrys

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See all the different types of rugs you could choose from on Houzz

This ideabook was first published on Houzz.