Often used as a focal point of a room or simply to let our feet feel the plush when walking, rugs have been around for centuries, and not always in the manner seen today. Authentic rugs were always handmade and made of wool, and can still be found today at prices that makes eyes water. And even though we have drifted away from traditional materials for nylon, some of us are secretly happy with being able to afford and clean our rugs so easily, so nylon is not all that bad after all.
The options with rugs are infinite when it comes to decorating. From giving an impression of a larger space to tuning down bright colours in a room, and of course, hiding those ugly marks on the floor that no one talks about, rugs can do so much and more if you just let your imagination flow. However, like every great décor piece, the easier you think it is to work with, the easier it is to mess up.
Carpets and rugs are not the same thing even though we use them synonymously. This is where size comes in. Carpets are meant to cover entire floors, corner to corner, while rugs cover smaller spaces. Having carpets in smaller spaces can make one feel claustrophobic, whereas small fluffy rugs can add depth to it. Start by jotting down room measurements, and this includes height as well.
For larger rooms, rugs are usually thrown over carpets in particular spaces to grab attention or to work as décor, because a single monochrome carpet through a space looks dull. Layering them geometrically gives the space a little lift. It really is all about juxtaposing.
Anchors to a room
A well-chosen rug has the power to ground a room like no other. We have all had experiences with badly decorated rooms, where the furniture, finishes and colours just do not match, and the whole space looks unusually distressful. Having a big rug somewhere around the centre of the room can help earth all the chaos. Of course, the rug should have colours that match with different pieces in the room; otherwise it will end up being an addition to the chaos itself.
We often end up matching everything in a space, floor to ceiling. And as much catastrophe it creates in an attire, its worse when it is in a room. While some love to have edgy contemporary themes, others prefer old school. The trick is getting your rug to be the change that neutralises the room. With a heavily modern space with sharp furniture, harsh lines and metallic objects, a rusted Turkish style rug will be your saviour. Similarly, in a space that holds antiquities and bronze accents, synthetic rugs with unconventional stripes can prevent your room from looking too dated.
An element of traditional piece, woven rugs have been around for a long time, and something that can be found in almost every home in Bangladesh. These hand-woven pieces can mostly be found in spaces that give off an organic vibe. Rooms with lots of rattan, bamboo, and rustic wooden furniture and accents are the ones where woven pieces look best in as the textures really complement each other. Just add in lots of sunlight to this space, and you have yourself a little haven. Other than that, a nicely woven rug is perfect for big families. Having kids and maybe even pets around the house can be hard on sensitive rugs. These rugs fray or stain easily. With woven rugs, these minor mishaps get easily concealed, and you will not even notice those little strands sticking out.
Smaller rugs steal the show
We do not always have to play by the rules. No one ever said there must be one rug for a single room, although that is what we always end up doing. Have a few smaller ones in different places that help turn heads to the floor. Try putting slimmer longer ones under your table, or in the entryway, a round one in the corner below your lamps, or maybe a rectangular one under that extra chair just to give it some character. Need we go on? Let your spaces overflow with texture.
Beauty of a white rug
Be it fur, wool, nylon or a shatranji, nothing beats the beauty of a pristine ivory rug. One of the best things about the colour is that it goes with almost every sort of room decor, but looks exceptionally great against a background of wooden pallets or dark marble. Decorate its vicinity with clear acrylic furniture for a crisp eclectic style or with crystal ornaments if you prefer old world aesthetics.
Contrary to popular belief, faux fur rugs can be used in a variety of spaces. Faux fur rugs come in a lot of different finishes. Some are asymmetrical with lots of white fur, and these go best in sleeping areas like the bedroom. Others with shorter fur strands and a lot of colour can be used in living spaces. Keep faux fur out of areas like the dining room, where spillage could possibly create a disaster for the rug. Another thing to keep in mind is to steer clear of faux in living areas if you have pets, as these rugs are more on the sensitive side.
There is nothing more frustrating than having an entirely monochrome room, or worse, a room overflowing with patterns and prints. Rugs are a great way to tie together these differences, and you do not even have to change much. Tribal prints work beautifully against solid monochromes like black and white in a room. Simply add in some metallic ornaments to go with it. On the other hand, if you went a bit overboard with colours in a space, throw in a muted rug with lots of texture, and it will absorb all the craziness in the room. If you have a large space with little furniture, then kick it up a notch with whimsical rugs in peacock blues and silvers.
There is something serene and calm about warm colours, and one can never have too much of it, no matter the space. Rugs with hints of mustard yellows, orange hues and creams against wooden floors create the perfect foundation for a welcoming home. If you are a busy body looking to relax, opt for such rugs with light backgrounds.
Room for the rug
Room for the rug, not the other way around, simply means to style and accessorise the space by making the rug the focal point of the room. More often than not, we choose a floor covering after everything else in the room. If you alter your way, you will see the impact a simple rug can create. This time-tested method creates just the right backdrop to bring all eyes to the floor. You can also try pairing your rugs with the curtains, and the somehow the whole space will seem very organised.
Treat as art, literally
Art does not always come in frames. If rugs on the floor are not your thing, hang them up instead. Expensive Persian and Turkish rugs are sometimes too precious; so much so that we would not even want to step on them for the risk of ruining it. For such cases and more, these rugs can work as statement art pieces that can highlight the entire room. Above the bed and couch are some of the common spaces to hang beautiful rugs, and they add a little bohemian flair to it as well. Some people like their art framed in glass, and you can do the same with your one-of-a-kind rugs as well. Ask any store that frames photos to bind your rugs, and let those colours echo in the home's ambience.
Rugs are one of the most luxurious additions that can change the mood in any space. So be it a carpet, a rug, or even something as small as a door mat, once styled properly, it can transform any boring old room into a polished and accentuated space with personal depth.
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed