Complete Guide to Buying a Rug

Complete Guide to Buying a Rug

There are many things to consider when choosing a rug for your home. In our complete guide to buying a rug we take a close look at: 
Colour & Pattern
Type of Rug: Texture & Tactility
Rug Sizes: Choosing The Right Sized-Rug
Longevity & Durability: Rug Materials & Rug Care
Responsible Ethical Manufacturing: Care & Fair
Custom & Bespoke: Customise or Design Your Own Rug

Colour and Pattern

Colour is one of the most powerful elements of design, and often the first thing we react to in a room. So choosing the right colour is important. Colour is also a very personal thing, it can be empowering and uplifting as well as relaxing and nurturing. Different colours and shades will trigger different emotional responses for different people. Our best recommendation is to choose colours that you love, and that create the mood or feeling that you want in your home.

Claire Gaudion Contemporary Modern Rugs | Guide to Buying a Rug 

To guide you in choosing the best colour and pattern style rug for your room, we have put together a list of things to consider:


Matching your rug to a room, or designing a room to match a rug?

Are you choosing a rug to tie in with an existing colour scheme? Or, are you starting with a blank canvas and designing an entirely new look for the room. If you’re creating a completely new interior design, is the rug going to be a focal point that will inform your other design choices? Or, are you looking for something to compliment other elements and complete the space.

Whether the rug will be a bold statement piece, or a complimentary area rug to bring a design together, everything should be considered in combination so that it is all part of the same story.

Colour schemes and design styles

A rug should be in tune with the overall décor style; the colours, the patterns and the furniture. As a starting point, pick out one or two colours from your room, or new colour scheme. Your rug does not need to include all the colours from your scheme, and depending on the design style you want to achieve, here’s a few tips.

Neutral and Scandinavian Décor 

If your preference is for Scandinavian style or neutral-toned design choose the main background colours from your room, and focus on pattern and texture to create a rich and layered look. For example, our Reef Collection flat weaves with decorative weave structures, or a neutral colour knotted wool rug with subtle viscose pattern details, such as Grand Havre or Jerbourg. A good balance of colour and texture makes for effective design.

Modern Area Rugs

Modern area rugs are a great way to refresh colour and texture in your home without a full room renovation. Area rugs are all about defining a space within a room, and should compliment the furniture and décor where they are situated. A rug that features one or two colours from your scheme, plus an accent colour, would create a good balanced look. 

Statement Rugs

For a statement rug choose the accent colours of your room, and play around with combinations of these. Statement rugs create a focal point to draw the eye. A colourful rug can be a wonderful addition to a neutral décor, or for a more colourful scheme. The addition of other colourful accessories can balance the look.

Colourful & Maximalist Décor

For a room with an eclectic mix of colours and striking patterns, opt for a rug which features out some of the rooms colours in a simple or repeating pattern, such as geometric design, or a textured. The aim is to bring all the colours and patterns together and create a balance. Balancing colour, pattern and texture creates a pleasing look. This means including a balance of light and dark colours and contrasting textures and surfaces.

Remember to think about the effects of all the colours working together. Ask yourself how this look makes you feel. Is this the look and feel of a room that you want to spend time in? 

What colour is your carpet or hard flooring, light or dark? 

To create more of a feature of the rug, choose a colour that contrasts with the flooring.  Or, for a more subtle effect, choose a colour nearer to the floor shade, or a complimenting neutral shade.

Rugs for Dark or Light Floors | Complete Guide to Buying a Rug

Think about the size of the space, and if you would like a cosy, intimate aesthetic, or a fresher spacious look. Dark rugs will make a space appear smaller, while light colour rugs give an impression of more space.


Practicality of Colours

Wool has natural stain-resistant properties, and different rug styles can be more durable than other (more on this later), but some colours and patterns are undoubtedly more practical for busy areas than others. Think about which room you are buying a rug for, and the practicality of rug colours for high traffic areas, especially if you have pets.


Type of Rug: Texture and Tactility

There are many rugs styles and weaving techniques presenting a diverse range textures.  How each rug is woven - the weave structure and weaving technique used – will determine the look, feel and durability of the rug. These are our three main rug styles - hand knotted, hand tufted and flat weaves.

Hand knotted rugs 

Hand knotting is an ancient and highly specialised craft requiring remarkable precision and patience, and many artisan weaver hours. Their heirloom quality is achieved by density knotted construction. Hand knotted rugs can have 60,000 to 100,000 knots, each one hand tied around individual threads and warp rods, on specially designed looms. This meticulous process allows for complex patterns and an intricate use of colour.  Additional techniques are sometimes used in designs to add textural contrasts and enrich the design. This may include loop pile techniques where the yarns are knotted into a tight loop rather than a cut pile finish. Others yarns may be combined in the design to accentuate pattern details, such as the inclusion of viscose which has a silk-like sheen and contrasts beautifully with wool.

Knotted Rugs | Complete Guide to Buying a Rug

Once the knotting is complete, the rug is washed in the open air with clean water, and dried in the sun. This process allows the wool to develop it’s beautiful lustrous and wonderful depth of colour. The finishing stages involve combing and binding. Rugs are combed by hand to produce a smooth and luxurious look and feel. To complete the rug, the edges are neatly hand-sewn to bind them in matching yarn. Their strength, durability and diversity in design, make hand knotted rugs a great choice for any area of the home. A unique rug, designed to last a lifetime.

View our Hand Knotted Rugs

Hand Tufted Rugs

Hand tufting is a relatively new technique, developed to combine the ancient art of weaving with modern day technology.  Maintaining many traditional aspects, tufted rugs are made by using a ‘tuft-gun’, and looping yarns through a backing cloth on a frame. Once the tufting have been completed a latex glue is applied to the back of the rug to secure the yarn pile. The surface loops are trimmed to create the soft pile finish.

 Claire Gaudion hand tufted rugs | Complete Guide to Buying a Rug

Tufted rugs can be made in a variety of designs and in many shapes and colours, and their surface can look similar to knotted rugs. The rug surface may also be hand finished with skilled techniques such are carving, where the pile is trimmed back to define areas of the design. Due to the faster weaving technique, tufted rugs are a more affordable alternative to knotted rugs. New tufted rugs are likely to shed some yarn for the first few months, which can be aided by regular vacuuming. You can read more about how to care for your rug in our Rug Care Guide.

View our Hand Tufted Rugs

Flat Weaves & Hand Loom Woven

Flat weave rugs are woven on traditional shuttle loom, and rather than having a pile, the yarns are interlaced across the warp and weft (down and across the rug), which can create intricate weave structures and patterns. These patterns can be enriched with the use of contrasting yarns, such as wool with linen. The textured finish of a flat weave rug really shows off the craftsmanship involved.

Claire Gaudion Flat Weave Rugs | Complete Guide to Buying a Rug

Our flat-weaves are woven in Portugal, by hand, and are made from high quality New Zealand wool, linen and viscose, making them extremely durable, and suitable for residential (including high traffic areas, such as hallways) and commercial use. Due to the way in which flat weaves are woven on a loom, they have the pattern on both sides, making them reversible and so extending the life of the rug. 

View our Flat Weave Rugs

Rug Size: Choosing the Right Sized Rug 

What size rug should you buy? How much floor space should the rug cover? Should all the furniture be on the rug? These are all important considerations when buying a rug. We have drawn up some floor plan guides to help you decide what size rug will work best for your space.

Rugs are available in a wide range of sizes, and can also be ordered custom-made in any size that you need. A common mistake is to buy a rug that is too small, which can make your room feel awkward and unbalanced or incomplete. Where is the rug for? You may be looking for a rug to fill the room, or to define an area within it. Just like when buying a piece of furniture, your rug needs to fit into the size and layout of the room, and be part of the overall design. So, here’s our guide to getting your rug size right. 

Living Room Rugs

A living room rug should ‘create an area’ for your sofa and chairs, and unify this space within the room. This may take up most of the room, or it could be a smaller area within a larger room. Ideally, all of your furniture within this seating area should sit fully on the rug. Another option, and good alternative is that the furniture front legs only sit on the rug. This can be just as effective, and the main rule is be consistent. Here are some sketches to show you these options.

Living Room Area Rug Placement

Area Rug Placement Guide - Living Room Rugs | Floor plans

Dining Room Rugs


As with the living room, the rug is creating a dining area, and ideally you want all your furniture sitting on the rug, with enough surrounding space to move all the chairs back from the table with them remain on the rug. As a guide your rug will need to be approximately 60cm wider than your dining table on all sides.
Dining Room Area Rug Placement

Area Rug Placement Guide - Dining Room Rugs | Floor plans

Bedroom Rugs

Many modern bedrooms incorporate rugs (even on top of carpets) to add layering to the design, and similarly to in a living room, define an area for the bed. Different floor plan options include: a large rectangular rug that will fit across the room, and fully fit under the bed and the side tables. A compromise is for the rug to fit under the lower two-thirds of the bed and extend around the bottom and sides, but leaving side tables off the rug. The most affordable option is to use to runners to sit either side of the bed. Here’s how these ideas look:


Bedroom Area Rug Placement

Area Rug Placement Guide - Bedroom Rugs | Floor plans 

Longevity and Durability: Rug Materials and Rug Care

Wool is a wonderful fibre for rugs. It is natural, sustainable, renewable, biodegradable, as well as naturally stain-resistant and insulating.

On hard floors we recommend using a non-slip underlay under all styles of rug. A rug underlay will provide extra padding and prevent slips, and it can also extend the life of your rug by reducing movement of the rug and friction between the rug and the floor. It is also advised that your rotate your rug every few months, to avoid any wear showing in specific locations.

We recommend weekly vacuuming in the direction of the pile, to stop your wool rug from pilling.

You care read more about how to deal with spillages and stains in our Rug Care Guide.

Responsible Ethical Manufacturing: Care & Fair

Sadly, child labour is still a problem in the rug industry, mainly in India, Nepal and Afghanistan. There are two hallmarks to look for, which certify that a rug has been ethically produced; GoodWeave and Care & Fair. Claire Gaudion partners with Momo Rugs who are members of Care & Fair. The organization strives for better living conditions and training opportunities for Asian craftsmen. A key achievement of Care & Fair is the establishment of schools and clinics to improve the living conditions of artisans and their families. The Care & Fair hallmark also guarantees that one percent of the import value of every rug is reinvested into training and medical facilities in the rug’s country of origin.  

Custom and Bespoke: Customise or Design your Own Rug

If you can’t find exactly what you are looking for, consider customising a rug or commissioning a bespoke design. Any aspect of our rugs can be customised - the colours, shape, pattern scale or yarn can be changed. Or, we can work with you to design and produce something entirely new, and deliver your perfect rug.

If you have any questions about buying a rug, we are always happy to have a chat with you. Contact us here!

Oct 25, 2018

A rug is very important for a bedroom. There are so many small things that we need to consider while buying a rug. I just love this complete guide to buying a rug.

The Furnshop

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