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How to choose the right rug

Written by Lucy Winters-Underwood, Founder of Lucy Winterwood Luxury Interior Design Studio. Serving St Albans, Harpenden, Hertfordshire & North London.

Following on from our previous blog post we thought it might be super helpful to answer some of the most common questions we get asked regarding sourcing and specifying rugs. "How to choose the right rug?"

Now, above all, as we have already explored, we believe that rugs are indeed ‘art for your floors’ they are the underestimated finishing touch you didn’t know you needed!

In pulling together space planning and room schemes we always consider the impact that a rug can have on the room in question as part of the initial conceptual design process. Whether the rug is being used to ‘zone’ an area, to create a soft and welcoming space to entertain, play, or purely for an aesthetic touch the size, colours and pattern should all be carefully considered.

So where do we begin, when helping you? For us – space planning! This way we can dictate the size and composition of your rug.

How to choose the right rug? Complimentary Blush Pink & a Neutral Palette

A Relaxed, Intimate Living Space with a Blush Pink and Neutral Palette by Katherine Pooley

Our go to material would be a silk rug, the material is luxurious, sustainable, buttery-soft and shimmery. Silk rugs are high-quality investment pieces for your home which will last generations. The thin fibres allow for tighter weaves, more intricate patterns and details, and the strength of the product means a high football is not an issue.

Not only is silk our preference due to its beautiful aesthetic, it also offers a hypoallergenic quality, adapts to both heat and cool temperatures and requires zero harmful chemicals. Both good for the environment and our daily well-being.

A Carved Silk Rug creates textural diversity within this Earthy Palette

A Carved Silk Rug creates textural diversity within this Earthy Palette. By Helen Amy Murray, for The Rug Company

Where silk is not always an option, our next point of call would be a silk and wool blend. As with silk, wool is another highly durable, strong and hypoallergenic material. With its natural stain barrier and strong qualities, it can withstand high traffic.

Integrating a silk fibre into your wool rugs weave will add a lustre and create that luxurious look and feel. If this is not something you are looking for than a fully wool blend would be your option. Wools are can come from across the globe, New-Zealand Wool and Himalayan Wools are highly regarded as the best in quality.

A combination of Wool and Silk Rug in an Ochre, Gold tone

A combination of Wool and Silk Rug in an Ochre, Gold tone by Bethan Grey

Is a silk rug out of your budget, but high up in your vision? Then Viscose is for you. Viscose is a more affordable alternative to silk, a man-made fibre that still has that luxurious look and feel. A natural blend, usually, of wood pulp, banana leaf, bamboo and cotton fibres. By eye alone it is hard to distinguish the difference between silk and viscose. The downside to viscose is the durability – more prone to staining, and not as hard-wearing. In a full project restoration for example, we may use viscose in lower traffic areas such as bedrooms. And focus more of the budget on those key rooms for everyday use.

A Silk & Viscose Ombre Design Pink Rug

Oliver Burns A Silk & Viscose Ombre Design Pink Rug by Stepevi

As with everything there are always a plethora of other options available, at Lucy Winterwood we prefer natural materials over synthetic, for example wools made from Mohair, Cashmere, Angora, Alpaca or Jute, Sisal and Seagrass.

A Natural Aamaya Wool and Jute Rug in a Neutral Bedroom Scheme

RH - Restoration Hardware. A Natural Aamaya Wool and Jute Rug in a Neutral Bedroom Scheme

If you need help souring, designing or making a rug work with your interior design schemes get in touch.


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