These days, a beautiful rug in your home is more than just, well, a rug. Yes, it offers a host of functional benefits, like providing insulation and dampening sound, but there’s a more aesthetically pleasing purpose behind this décor trend.
"Rugs are like the icing on the cake when it comes to completing your space,” says Tara Sidhoo Fraser of East India Carpets. “A rug will either soften the tone of your space, help tie everything together or be the art piece of the room." Ikea Canada’s product placement specialist Heena Saini elaborates: “With a rug, you can totally transform the aesthetic and feeling of a space. It adds texture, colour, warmth and depth in one quick fix.”
That said, handmade rugs are one of the hottest décor accents to incorporate this season. “They are the ultimate 'slow' art form. They take months to complete, they are warm and tactile and they can last for centuries,” says Saini. Ikea’s Tranget wool rug ($229) and Brönden wool rug ($399), for instance, are hand-woven by skilled craftspeople in India.
East India Carpets, too, only offers hand-woven or hand-tufted wool, silk, bamboo silk and sari silk rugs from India. This fall, the store will bring in gorgeous pieces from Jaipur Rugs’ collaboration with Italian artist Matteo Cibic, which captures the beguiling architecture and colours of Jaipur, the “Pink City” in Rajasthan.
There’s also been a shift toward mixing contemporary and classic influences in the home by situating vintage-looking rugs in a modern setting. Pacific Rug Gallery’s business manager Shahab Pezeshk says that “vintage design Persian rugs that are repurposed and overdyed with colourful trendy patterns are extremely decorative and popular at the moment.”
Another big design trend to get in on, according to Livingspace’s sales and design consultant Albert Yee, are 3-D or highly textured rugs, which combine different weaves, thicknesses and materials in one piece. “People may choose a solid-coloured rug, but with a lot of variation in texture and weave that give it so much character in a subtle manner,” he says, adding that the store retails Golran’s Lake rug (prices start at $6,000 for a two-by-three-metre rug), which adopts a visual technique called lenticular illusion so the rug looks different depending on what side you view it from.
But it’s not just rug designs that will elevate your space. How you style them matters, too. Yee suggests placing a rug just under the front of furniture to “frame, not fill, the room,” and Saini proposes layering them: “Start with a rug that’s simple yet modern, and find a second rug with a bolder, textured feel.”
Don’t let the room dimensions confine (or confuse) you, either. “A rectangular-shaped room would look great with a square or circle rug for symmetry and balance,” Saini reveals. “For spaces with more unconventional shapes or multipurpose living, choose a focal point.”
Sadly, beauty doesn’t last—which is why making sure your rug maintains its quality is another essential aspect to take note of. Yee advises to be aware of how sunlight affects your rug, while Pezeshk recommends vacuuming the back of the rug occassionally to remove dust lodged in its pile and ensure its colours stay vibrant.
Saini, meanwhile, highlights the importance of using the right cleaning tools: “Many vacuums and other cleaning devices have heavy duty brushes and bristles, which can potentially have long-term damaging effects on rugs. Once you have the right vacuum to clean your rug with, it will increase the rug’s longevity.” —Isabel Ong