Open-plan living rooms, kitchens and dining spaces can be difficult to furnish and decorate to make them feel homely. Sometimes they’re just too large, and making each area feel different to the rest can be tricky. While using different kinds of flooring can mark out each zone, it can also make some rooms look small and disjointed. But the right combination of rugs in the right places may be the answer, as well as bringing an individual style to each of the areas.
‘Rugs offer a chance to inject a little personality into a room so don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles, sizes and shapes, and find out what works in your space,’ says Anna Del-Molina, carpets and rugs buyer at Carpetright.
So whether you’re just moving into a new house with one main open-plan room, or you’ve extended to create a multi-functional room, here’s some advice for creating impact and a sense of home.
USE PATTERN – BUT DON’T GO OVERBOARD
‘Pattern doesn’t need to mean overwhelming, colourful, contrasting prints,’ says Anna. ‘It’s about finding a design that you love and will create a point of difference to your room. A subtle stripe or a geometric print, in a muted hue, can have just as much impact on a scheme as a bold, bright design.’
PLACE WELL AND LAYER
How you use your room will impact where to place your rugs. ‘Perhaps you need a splash of colour under a coffee table and should choose a similar shaped rug to place underneath. Layering rugs under a dining table can also help protect the floor from spills and splashes – patterned flooring being most forgiving,’ says Anna.
If you want to use a few rugs in different areas of the room, opt for similar shapes but different yet complementary shades or designs to create a cohesive look. Choosing similar rugs in different sizes will also create unity in the space.
REFLECT YOUR COLOR
Adding a new rug is one of the easiest ways to introduce colour without a large investment. ‘But think carefully about the use of the space and its existing colour scheme,’ advises Anna. ‘Consider a minimalist style if you already have focal points, such as statement wallpaper, in the room or look at bold and patterned rugs to brighten a neutral room.’
Rugs are particularly well suited to wood flooring as they add a level of comfort and help to warm the décor by contrasting with the natural look.
‘Importantly,’ says Anna, ‘be sure your rug’s in keeping with the style of a room – a bold geometric may not be suitable for a space with period features while a faded traditional design may clash with a modern scheme.’
GET THE RIGHT SIZE
Consider scale carefully as you wouldn’t want a large rug to overpower the space or a small rug that gets lost. A circular rug can soften a living room with straight furniture by drawing the eye.
‘Placing a rug centrally in the living room often balances a room,’ says Anna, adding: ‘However, a rug should be positioned where you’ll get most use and enjoyment from it. For instance, you might prefer to have a soft and sumptuous style directly in front of your sofa so that you can sink your feet into at the end of a long day!
‘Finally, don’t forget furniture can be placed on top of a rug so it might be worth considering a larger style that will carry the pattern underneath a sofa or armchair.’