Rugs and Interior Design Ideas

New ideas for decorating your home are constantly emerging from the world of interior designers and colour specialists. Here we look at some of the latest designer thinking to help you choose the best rug for your room!

Interior designers refer to a vast range of design concepts and ideas, all seemingly different and highly individual. However, we think there seem to be a few basic themes coming through that you may want to consider if your redecorating or just refreshing a room this year. Just like the designers, you can individualize any of these looks to your own personal taste - the real work and choice is often in the final detail. But starting out with the core ideas that interior specialists are currently working with might just help kick-start the designer in you.

We also want to focus on colour selection. We know our customers spend a great deal of time deciding which colour of rug to choose. Will it match an existing colour, say in the curtains or sofa, or the walls ? Will it make an attractive contrast ?

One thing to say upfront is that, if you can, it is usually best to start with your rug and work from there. Yes, as rug sellers we would say that wouldn't we ! But rugs generally come in far fewer colours and colour combinations than other fabrics, and certainly far fewer colours than are available in household paints.

For example, made-to-measure curtains, although pricier than the ready-mades, allow you to select and see the exact fabric and colour from the vast range available before the curtains are made.

Of course, you can also order a made-to-measure rug, but the colour palette of a particular rugmaker is usually far more limited than the range of curtain and other home fabrics available for you to check before you order.

When it comes to paint, the options offered by today's paintmakers are almost unlimited. You can take a colour sample to a paint store, have a special match made and buy a small sample pot to try at home. This way you can fine-tune the colour of your walls and woodwork to match any of your fabric and rug choices (though be aware that a full wall of a colour can unfortunately end up looking different to the small patch you painted as a test !)

For some really expert advice on colours, the UK's leading paint companies are in fact a great source. These companies are world leaders in colour technology and work with some of the country's leading interior designers to come up with the latest colours and combinations.

Now let's take a look at some of the current ideas that designers are working with to decorate a typical UK home.

Light and Calm

Classic whites, creams and pastel colours never disappear. Many of us will always feel relaxed in a light, airy room. The current looks appears to have moved away from the crisp lines and brilliant whites of the minimalist look that took hold in modern homes in the 1990s. Today, softer whites and creams are playing a bigger role. Interior designers are mixing fabrics and textures to create a layered effect across different shades of white. Colour experts such as Dulux suggest mixing matt and gloss paints on the wall to give the same effect of added depth in the room. They add that painting a floor or ceiling the same pale colour as the walls can give an added "zen-like" peace to a room.

The new emphasis on softer whites is great news for those who prefer quality wool rugs. Being a natural fibre, wool doesn't recreate a brilliant "paint" white - instead it is always a natural "off-white" - which works extremely well in the current soft whites/creams/pastels look.

This is a new take on minimalism - a look that really took hold in all those loft apartment development in the 1990s. Today's softer, diffused look replaces the cold whites and starkness of minimalist interiors with softer tones, and greater variety of textures and shades within a limited palette that bring a soothing calm to a room.

And a great bonus is that you don't have to live in a loft apartment to get the look right. (Did the average room ever really carry a minimalist look originally designed for big open-plan "spaces" ?) Today's layered, light and airy look works well in most of our typical rooms, from a small lounge in a modern starter flat, to the grandest of drawing rooms in a period mansion !

Creamy Rugs for Light and Space

Soft whites and cream blend with each other in this airy bedroom, with the Matrix Crochet Cream rug on a white solid floor adding a real feeling of space and light from the floor up.

Click here to see more about:
The Matrix Crochet Cream Rug.

All of our white and cream rugs.

Light & Calm - And a Splash of Colour !

In a light creams and whites environment, a splash of the right colour can create an entirely new atmosphere. Against this background, colour takes on a new intensity. Even a soft pastel colour, usually used for a muted, understated effect, takes on an unexpected vividness. Take a look at the duck egg blue rug in the picture below. This is a very soft, pastel powder blue that could work well in a very traditional room (for example brown leather furniture and chintzy blue curtains - see later). But here it is placed in a bright, light room, and the blue is suddenly very modern and crisp, and the eye instantly picks up the blues on the sofa, cushions and even some blue books in the bookshelf!

Matrix Devore Blue Rug

Even Soft Colours Can be Vivid

This bright room is flooded with natural light and the plain white walls and light wood floor add an intensity to the pastel, duck-egg blue of this Matrix Devore Blue rug. The eye also instantly pick up the other blues in the room, the sofa cushions and items in the bookshelf.

Click here to see more about the Matrix Devore Blue rug.

Light & Calm - Shift the Focus to Furniture

Here's another take on adding colour to the "Light and Calm" room, but in this case the furniture fabrics do the work. Can you really have a pink Liberty style sofa ? Well it works very well here set alongside a lovely soft creamy-white wool rug. The neutral rug keeps a sense of calm and order in the room allowing for the lively sofa fabric to burst into colour without other colours and patterns to distract. The effect of a neutral rug also works well with the current tend for one just wall to be covered with a feature bright, decorative wall paper.

white rug pink sofa

Simple Backgrounds Let Furniture Add the Colour

Here a light, neutral rug allows for darker,but also neutral walls, and a sudden splash of bright colour and pattern on the sofa, and accessories such as the large light shade

The rug here is in a simple creamy-white, but given a style twist with the braided weave which emphasises its natural associations as well as adding a hint of luxurious design.

Click here to see more about the Rope Wool rug.

Grand Designs... For Everyone !

This is another room theme that designers are working with in various formats. The idea is to bring a touch of opulence and luxury to any room no matter what the size, mainly by selecting from a palette of warm, rich colours, and adding clever feature pieces of furniture or room accessories.

Rich, deep colours have long added feeling of luxury and opulence to a grand room. But today, the look is also being extended to smaller, humbler dwellings, led by young design-oriented folk determined to make the most of that tiny town centre pad. At this end of the market, the look is dramatic and almost tongue in cheek as designers play with scale, and have fun with big fabric patterns and large accessory items. Examples include huge, ornate chandeliers strung from high period ceilings (perhaps in a rooms that's been made smaller by modern wall partitions), or massive lamps filling up what would anyway be dead space in a corner of an otherwise small room.

The same thinking also works well in a typical Victorian home. This may have a few original period features, but most of use would previously have thought the rooms too small to carry the grand, luxury look. But they can be decorated in rich reds, purples and browns, with a large feature piece of furniture or ornament providing a nod towards a more opulent period style. Modern flats with modest sized living rooms, but perhaps exposed brickwork can also use this look very effectively.

Opulence on the Floor

Deep, rich colours such as the teal blue and violet of this Wilderness Passion Flower rug, highlighted against a black wool background, add a touch of luxury, decadence and depth in an otherwise modest scale room. The very large, modern floral design theme also underlines the big, confident statement that the rug makes in this room.

Click below to see more about:
The Wilderness Passion Flower Rug
The Wilderness Rug Collection.

Final Thoughts...

Practical interior design is a compromise between your ideas and what's available. Don't forget that a rug can be a central feature, which by modifying the all important floor area can have a major impact. Simply adding a rug to a room can instantly transform it even without the need for further de-decoration. House sellers and property developers often buy rugs to dress properties, perhaps giving them a fresher, more modern look, or a warmer, cosier feel. Plus you can take the rugs with you to a new home ! If you are going for a full redecoration, don't forget that you will probably keep your rug longer than your paint colour, and that it is far, far easier to match wall paint to a rug colour than the other way round. In other words, if you have the opportunity, choose your rug first!

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