The complete rug guide to style your home
Rugs can add texture, warmth and colour to your home, and among the most popular are bedroom rugs and living room rugs. Rugs are easier to lay down and clean than a full layer of carpet, and can go from the centrepiece of a room to a supporting role depending on your other living accessories.
Not sure if you want or need a rug (or two) for your home? Read on to discover which living room rugs and bedroom rugs are right for you!
Does Your Room Need a Rug to Add a Cosy, Stylish Look?
Before you get too excited and buy yourself a gorgeous rug, let's figure out if you actually need one for your bedroom or living room, and what rugs fit best in each space. Rugs can add a lot to the space they are in, and they can overwhelm or distract from other pieces in the space. Different types of rugs are suited to different spaces - below we explore the best types of rugs for your bedroom vs your living room.
What type of rug is best for a bedroom?
There are several great reasons for having one or two bedroom rugs, and there are options to suit small, medium and large bedrooms.
If the floor of your bedroom is floorboard or stone, you will know the pain of cold toes in the morning! There's nothing worse than putting your feet, all toasty from a comfy night in bed, onto a freezing cold floor as you miss your slippers. You can avoid this pain with a soft bedroom rug, either running along the side of your bed or resting underneath the bed and poking out the sides.
Bedroom rugs can also be used for decoration - if you find your bedroom is looking a little plain, a colourful bedroom rug might be just the thing to liven it up!
In the bedroom, you can safely use rugs that normally wouldn't survive in a high-traffic area like the lounge room. Plush, fluffy rugs and high-pile shaggy rugs are comfortable choices that are well suited as bedroom rugs, as they won't be subject to the amount of foot traffic that could damage them.
What type of rug is best for a living room?
The living room is the space where you spend most of your leisure time at home, where you'll be watching TV, playing with your dog or just walking through it to get to other areas. Living room rugs will make any footwork in this area a little softer on your feet, plus they can protect your floor from any spills or damage - a rug is much easier to clean or replace than your floor!
Living room rugs can also be powerful decorating tools, so if you want a new centrepiece for your living room or just want to compliment another piece of furniture or art, some rugs for the lounge room can be just what you need.
Because of the high amount of foot traffic they receive, living room rugs should be made of durable materials like polypropylene or wool. Stylish rugs made of natural materials like seagrass or jute are also appropriate for the living room, as they look stunning and are hardy enough to stand all sorts of weather and tear.
Choosing The Best Rugs to Match Your Style
Like any piece of furniture or art, rugs can come in all sorts of colours, sizes and shapes to suit your home. The kind you get should be based on how it will be used, how much of it will be seen and how it matches up with your bedroom or living room.
What Are The Best Rug Materials?
Rugs can be made from natural or synthetic materials, with each one having its own positive and negative qualities. Things like durability, softness and easiness to clean can all depend on the type of material, with large variances occurring between both categories.
How To Choose the Best Rug Colour To Complement Your Room
The rug colour you choose should depend on the room and whether you want it to blend in or stand out. Be aware that some materials are easier to colour, so the material and colour combination you've always dreamed of may not be possible.
Colours you can use to blend in and allow your other furniture to shine include white, cream, beige, or light brown. You can have patterns, but keep the colours in them neutral so they don't stand out.
For a rug that is the focal point of your room, choose colours like orange, dark blue, red or emerald. Bold patterns like stripes or zig-zags are perfect, as well as more intricate mandala-like designs.
What Rug Shapes Are Best For Different Spaces?
Rug shape can be a tricky one, as it can be influenced by your furniture, the shape of the room and even the shape of any windows on the walls.
Round dining room rugs go wonderfully underneath round tables and in circular rooms. But they can also be used to make smaller rooms seem large - the fact they don't extend to the corners of the space can make the floor space seem bigger than it is, making round living room rugs a smart choice for smaller lounge rooms.
They also invoke a less formal feel than square or rectangular rugs and are great for making rooms feel cosy, which is why you often see them used as kid's bedroom rugs and in nurseries.
If you want a really unusual and dynamic look, multiple round rugs layered in a single room can work wonders. Layer colour gradients or contrasting hues for maximum effect!
Rectangular rugs bring clean lines and a sense of formality to any room, and most of the time, bigger is better. Have your rug underneath your whole dining set, living area or bed if you can. If possible, try to keep at least 50cm from the edge of your room to the edge of your rug, as living room rugs that extend all the way to the walls can make your room feel cramped. Smaller rectangular office rugs can go under side tables or desks. On the other hand, long rectangular rugs called runners can go down a hallway or at the foot/side of your bed. Ensure that any bedroom rugs you have are positioned or pinned so you won't trip over them in the dark.
How To Clean a Living Room or Bedroom Rug
Rugs are subject to all sorts of wear and tear, so it's important to take good care of them. Foot traffic, scrapes from furniture and drink stains all plague bedroom and living room rugs, so make sure you are cleaning them in a way that won't damage the colour or texture of your rug.
Here are our top tips on how to clean rugs:
- Dirt - get the vacuum out, stat! If someone walks across your rug with dirty shoes or a pet has a bit too much fun in your backyard before coming inside, you need to get rid of the dirt as soon as possible. Once it gets stamped into the fibres of your rug, it becomes a lot harder to remove, so vacuum up the dirt while it is still loose. If the worst happens and you have a dirty smudge on your carpet, try wetting and blotting the stain from the outside in, so as not to spread the stain. If it is more stubborn, use a mixture of vinegar and warm water before you blot.
- Wine - the big bad. Never leave a red wine stain until the day after your celebration, as a dried stain is much harder to clean. Blot up as much of the wine as you can with paper towel, then pour a little cool water into the stain. This will loosen the red wine and allow you to lift more by blotting. When you can't lift any more of the stain, make a mixture of baking soda and water, in a ratio of 3:1. Apply the paste onto the stain and wait for it to dry before vacuuming up. If that doesn't work, you can try a professional carpet-cleaning mixture.
- Coffee - whether it be a full-blown spill or just a ring, you don't want the brown stain of coffee lingering on your rug. First, blot as much liquid as you can from the carpet. Once you aren't lifting anymore, add some cold water (much like with wine) and continue to dab. If there is still coffee left and you don't have carpet cleaning mixture on hand, you can make some with two cups of warm water, one teaspoon of white vinegar and one tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Apply with a clean cloth and dab away. Continue adding small amounts of cold water to the stain until you have blotted it all away.
There are two major things you need to remember when trying to clean your carpet. One - never scrub! Vigorously scrubbing a stain will just mash the stain into the fibres of the carpet. Two - if all else fails, call in the professionals.
And don't forget to check the label on your carpet! Some carpet materials, like cotton, are suitable for tossing in your washing machine.
If you are worried about rips or dents in your carpet, consider the material. Soft, fluffy carpets like shag will become matted and dented if they are under furniture or in areas of high traffic, so save them for bedrooms. Carpets made of sisal and polypropylene are much more resistant to damage.
For more tips on cleaning your bedroom and living room rugs, check out our full guide here.
Common Rug Mistakes
When choosing and styling your new rug, keep an eye out for these common mistakes.
- Placing a rug that is too small under a dining table can be dangerous. If you slide your chair back and it catches on the edge of your rug, people can trip and fall - not something you want in an area with food and furniture! It can also cause scratches on your floor if the chairs are pushed back onto the same piece of the bare floor every time. Make sure your rug extends well past the back of a tucked-in chair at your dining table.
- Hiding your rug under heaps of furniture is sad - show off your beautiful rug with pride! It's okay to have the back of a lounge chair or the top half of your bed off the carpet - that way you can extend it out and your lovely carpet will be on full display. These pieces of furniture won't be moving, so you won't be damaging the exposed floor.
- Choosing the wrong material for the room can lead to the rug being damaged. Avoid thick, woollen rugs in areas with high humidity like a bathroom or kitchen, otherwise they can become mouldy and off-colour. Thin, soft rugs made of silk are wonderful for the bedroom but will be easily damaged in high traffic areas like the living room. Natural materials like jute are hardy but can feel rough underfoot and so shouldn't be used in places where you'll have bare feet.
Discover Lovely Rugs For Every Room at Spotlight
A rug can improve the look and feel of any room if chosen with care. Keep your floors clean and your feet cosy with any of our wonderful rugs and mats, and if you're still unsure, why not check out our handy rug buying guide?
You can shop the full range of our rugs online, or head to your nearest Spotlight store and one of our friendly staff will help you choose the perfect rug for your home.