The power of a statement rug

The shape of rugs can be determined by furniture layout, room configuration or ceiling profile. Photo /

What you need to know:

  • Statement rugs can immediately focus your attention to the beauty of a room. Choose colours and textures that will complement and flow with the rest of the furniture.  Who needs art when you have an incredible piece underfoot?

A statement rug has the power of transformation. “It can make or break a room,” says Samuel Pye, creative manager of Echlin Design Studio. “It is like a piece of artwork; it will either bring everything in your room together, or completely change it,” he adds.

Take a cue from your décor
Think about what you want the room to feel like. If you are looking for a calming sanctuary, go for something more in keeping with the rest of your decor. If you are looking for something really daring, do not be afraid to introduce new colours and textures. 

“Think about the language you have set in the rest of your decor and try to reflect that. For example, have you got colours you can contrast with or complement? Metallics you want to highlight or add to? Is all the furniture very rectilinear or curvaceous?” Pye suggest.

He reveals that for a recent project, the design was all about creating a space that looked built up over time with fine art. 
A lot of jewel tones and contrasting metallics created a luxury feel and he carried this through to a large metallic rug in a starburst pattern. In keeping with the room’s leaf theme, Pye chose a rug with a leaf motif to round out the look.

Set the scale
If you are going with a bold pattern, keep complementary angles in mind. For example, if you have a rug with a sharp angular pattern, soften the room with rounded furniture. Also think about using varying scales of patterns to integrate your rug more cohesively. This goes for colour as well. Use some of the standout colours in your rug in other places in the room, such as the fabrics of upholstered furniture.

Go toward a bigger size than smaller size when choosing rug dimensions. A secret that works to give the illusion of a larger rug is to layer your smaller statement rug on top of a larger solid rug. This creates a layered effect that dresses up the space by creating a border around your rug and defining it more.

Let it be the focus
Statement rugs can immediately focus your attention and then allow you to methodically take in all other design aspects of the room by expanding your sight line from the center out. 
We like to mix weave, yarn type and colour together, not just surface design, to give each rug its own personality. 

The shape of rugs can be determined by any factor in the space; furniture layout, room configuration or ceiling profile (tray, coffered, framed). Rug size should reflect room scale, amount and placement of furniture, and act as natural room breaks in larger spaces without disrupting traffic flow and sight lines.

Curate your vision
Pye reveals he often starts with the rug design to inspire the rest of the colour and fabric selections. Rugs can be the singular art piece in a room. A contrasting black and taupe abstract pattern would be magnificent. One tip for designing a high-contrast rug is to use shadowing or gradient poms off each main colour to give it that ultra-custom touch.

Let your style lead the way
For a look that is timeless but still makes a statement, Persian, Turkish and Moroccan rugs are the perfect way to bring in a mix of colour, pattern and texture. If you are shying away from having a lot of colour in your rug but still want it to make a statement, consider using bold patterns; they can be smaller patterns that look a little busy or larger scale patterns such as geometric shapes.

“Shape can definitely play a huge role. For example, if you do not want to use a very colourful rug with a lot of patterns, you can use a fun shape such as  a cow hide to grab the eye and make the space look more interesting,” tips the designer.

Pye says: “I love using them in dining rooms because they create a fabulous base for a large table that may have beautiful wood, but not many other details going on when they are not set, so the rug can really stand on its own. I love a wool rug for the durability, but blending in layers of silk creates visual interest and texture. 100 per cent wool rugs fall much flatter.”