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Roll With It: the irrefutable importance of a good rug

A rug to a floor is like a picture to a wall, so don’t undervalue what’s underfoot. Seeking inspiration? We take a tour of houses in our listings leading by example

Roll With It: the irrefutable importance of a good rug

When it comes to decorating, choosing soft furnishings is surely the best bit. It’s hardly surprising – shopping for fabrics, curtains and cushions will always beat a day spent trawling through a tap catalogue. But what about rugs? Their importance in a scheme can’t be underestimated, for they don’t just perform a prettifying function, but a practical one too – something especially true when it comes to the older houses celebrated by Inigo. Beautiful though a stone floor may be, its reverberations can really rattle the bones.

And while finding the perfect carpet or mat can sometimes feel like an impossible task, it’s a job too often swept under the proverbial – or at least pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Happily, Inigo has it covered. Shedding light on how, where and why to use them, we’ve picked some rug role models from our current listings to illustrate tips and tricks for incorporating them into your rooms.

Size matters

A rug can do the job of a carpet, if you wish – you just need to be brave and think big. If you’ve got a room that you don’t want to completely cover in carpet, but you still want that sense of warmth, why not consider going nearly wall-to-wall? In the living room of this house in Meare Green, for instance, the owners have wisely decided to leave the beautiful flagstones in situ; instead, comfort comes courtesy of a huge red rug almost the size of the room itself. It’s proof – if you needed it – that plucky decisions pay off.

Distinguish with distinction

Rugs and mats, particularly those with borders – such as natural woven ones with trimmed edges, like those in this house on Huntingdon Street – are an excellent choice for those looking to delineate spaces without making too loud a decorative statement where there is already a lot going on. In this London townhouse’s open living room, two jute mats draw the borders of the spaces and their uses. Here, tiny details make all the difference – subtle mismatched patterns in the jute and contrasting, coloured trims add interest without interference.

Colour isn’t everything

The rubies and sapphires of traditional Turkish rugs are sumptuous indeed, but when it comes to picking a piece, fortune doesn’t only favour the bold: tweedy greys and warm browns also bring their own peaty richness. Take the dark stair runner at Gotten Manor on the Isle of Wight, its relative coarseness a clever textural counterpoint to the glossy painted stairs. It’s an understated reminder that simple doesn’t have to mean spartan.

One is good, two can be better

In the drawing room of Cressy Hall, a red-brick-and-plaster Georgian doll’s house writ large, the owners have laid not one but two rough-edged Persian carpets across the wooden floor. A touch of clever dressing, which adds warmth to otherwise bare-looking boards, it manages to make the room feel both lavish and unstuffy, while the carpets’ motifs quietly chime with the cornices’ curlicues and garlands.


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