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Rugs 101: Why you need one, and what to get!

A rug is not something you place on the floor just because there's space to fill - they can complete the look of your room, and add texture and warmth as well. So don't under-estimate the decorating power of this one item! 

Decorating with rugs is simple - you either begin with a rug as the starting point of your decor, scheme and build on it, or treat it as the finishing touch, drawing on colours from other elements in the room. 

living room, rug, lounge chair, sofa
Design: Museum Homes

The Purpose

Before choosing a rug, consider its purpose. If it's for decoration, your choices are very wide - they can be broadly categorised into Oriental or Persian, classical, contemporary, transitional (blend of contemporary and traditional), resort (flat weaves and neutral colours), and skins.

You might also want to use a rug to protect your wood floor from scratches and dents caused by furniture or pets. Rugs are also great for cushioning footsteps outside bedrooms, and reducing the incidence of slips and falls by young children and the elderly.

Rugs are also the perfect way to carve out spaces for open-plan living (as seen below), and they don't take up any vertical space. 

living room, rug, dining room, open concept
Design: The Association

 

Home theatre rooms are always carpeted as soft surfaces help to absorb sound (as seen below)

Home cinema, home theatre, rug
Design: D' Perception Ritz

 

The Materials

How a rug feels depends on the material it's made of.

Wool- Soft, strong and durable, wool comes from sheep, goats, Ilamas and alpacas. The material retains dyes very well and is naturally resistant to fire, water and stains. 

Silk- An expensive material, silk has the softest lustre, and is best used for low-traffic areas.

Cotton- Cotton rugs are usually flatwoven rugs known as dhurries, which are casual, soft and durable. Made in India, they are available in a wide spectrum of colours. 

Synthetic- Rugs made of synthetic heavy-duty materials such as nylon, polyproplyene or olefin, polyester, and acrylic are durable and easy to clean. They also retain colours better, so exposure to sunlight is less of an issue. 

Size and Placement 

According to local carpet specialists and rug retailers, the rugs sold here typically measure 1.4 x 2m, 1.6 x 2.3m, 1.8 x 2.3m and 2 x3m, with the largest option being 3.6 x 2.7m. The size you need will depend on the size of the room in which the rug is to be used, and the placement of furniture. To make your space look bigger, try not to have the rug stop at the line of the sofa, but go a little underneath.

living room,rug, dining room
Design: Design Intervention

Go for the largest size for dining rooms, and take into account not just the size of the table, but how far back the chairs are pulled. The chair legs should always stay on the rug. You can have mor than one rug in a large space, as long as the colours are coordinated, but do vary the size. Same-size rugs tend to divide a space into two.

 

Maintenance

Give rugs a once over with the vacuum cleaner once a week to remove dirt and dust (spend a bit more time on thoe with a longer pile). Giving your rug a professional cleaning once a year witll extend its life, rejuvenate flattened fibres and revive colours. Some fine-carpet dealers also repair worn-out edges and curled corners.

Professional cleaning removes grime, kills microorganisms and gets rid of odours. If a spill happens, act fast to reduce the possibility of staining by blotting the moisture with paper towels. Start from the outside to prevent spreading, then apply a safe cleaning agent, or call in the professionals.

 

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