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Make your floors a feature

If there is one element in every home that deserves a little more attention, it's floors. While walls, furniture and accessories are essential in decorating a room - without the right flooring you might as well not bother.

Think of rug as the finishing touch for floors.
Not only eye candy, rugs can be used to define a space in open-plan living areas, pull together cohesive design, provide protection from flooring that is easily scratched, or add a splash of colour and texture to a plain setting.

Choosing the right rug for any room in a home, but particularly a living or open plan area, not only adds colour and texture but allows you to be that bit more creative.

In a rented home, rugs offer an easy way to cover up boring or drab carpets or flooring. A colourful rug can instantly update a dull room and the best thing about using rugs to decorate - you can take them with you when you move out.

Several factors should be taken into consideration when choosing a rug. While pattern and colour are obviously your first consideration, size is also just as important. A rug that is too small will be lost in a large space, whereas a rug that is too large may overpower a small one.





Here are some tips to guide you with your choice of rug:

Big or small
For a living space use your sofa or lounge suite as a guide; the rug should measure a slighter wider than, and fit under, the feet of the piece, as well as any other pieces that form part of your seating arrangement. For a dining room the rug should be slightly larger than that of the space taken up by the table and chairs and allow for chairs to be pulled out.

Plain or pattern
It's important to choose a rug that harmonises with your style of decor. For example: A busy geometric pattern would look odd in a room decorated in cottage style, whereas it would look perfect in a trendy urban apartment.

A shag-pile rug in a dining room has to be one of the worst choices you can make if you have children. You will spend so much time cleaning the rug that eventually you will want to toss it out - so be practical - use an indoor/outdoor rug for easier clean-up. However, shag pile rugs are back in fashion (revived from the seventies!) and do look oh so gorgeous.

Pets in the home? A white rug and a black cat or dog spell disaster, vice-versa a black rug and a white cat or dog. Before you rush out and buy a rug, think about where it will be placed, who uses the room and how much time you want to spend cleaning it!

Wool or sisal
If you are looking for high quality, durability and luxury underfoot, nothing beats wool. For more practical flooring you could consider jute, coir or sisal as more natural alternatives. In fact, choosing the material that your rug is made of is almost as important as choosing the rug itself.

An attractive rug can be anything from a sleek, minimalistic style, abstract design, organic pattern, stripes or ethnic, all of which are still trendy, as are thick, luxurious accent rugs. Jute, sisal, sea grass, hemp and coir are made from renewable resources and have become a popular choice for homeowners. Ideal for casual settings, bear in mind that these types of rugs are not for high-traffic areas, as they aren't easily cleaned.

What can you afford
Set yourself a budget before you go shopping. Prices easily creep into the thousands for designer rugs. Keep an eye out for end-of-year sales, online bargains and auction sales. If you've been practical in your selection, a rug should have a permanent place in your home and not need to be replaced frequently.

If you have set your heart on a large rug but can't afford the price tag, there are a few tricks to keep the price down:

  • Look at the option of buying carpet and having it cut and bound to size.
  • Small, inexpensive rugs can be sewn together to create a bigger rug.

Carpet tiles are a great way to add interest and texture to floors without spending a fortune. This is also a practical idea for kids' room floors that are tiled or laminate, and provides a soft surface for play.

Swapping or replacing soiled carpet tiles is easy and you can change  the colour and style without buying a new rug every time.