How do I choose the best rug for my home? Local design experts share their advice

How to lay the foundation for good design with rugs according to style specialists 

Rugs have the potential to make or break a room. Image credit│Left and right: The Rug Society, Middle: Jaipur with Love

Consider a rug as the glue that binds a room. It’s the difference between an average, nicely designed home and one that has wow factor. A well-chosen rug should become the design anchor of a space, providing the base style and colour inspiration for you to work around. But, as such an important component in the recipe for an aesthetically considered home, how do you pick the right one? Three rug experts share their trend forecasts and advice:

What are the trends for 2021?

Warm tones

“Rugs with warm tones are definitely huge for this year,” says Carina Ferreira from The Rug Society. “Colour is more important than ever, given the comfortable and cosy environment they bring,” she adds. Comforting earthy hues are popular as “a response to our need for feeling grounded and safe,” suggests Alina Bokhari from Alina Bokhari Interiors who sells vintage Persian rugs on her Instagram page.

Warm tones are in. Image credit/The Design House

Daring pattern

After spending so much time at home, many of us have been reevaluating our design choices. As such, “we’re seeing bold colours and patterns becoming very trendy,” says Carina. “It’s all about adding a vibrant and happy feeling to a place.” “As hardwood floors become more popular, complementing chevron and herringbone-patterned rugs are ruling the roost,” advises Alina. 

Pantone shades 

“This summer, the Pantone colours of the year are influencing our collection of machine-woven rugs,” says Sharon O’Keeffe from The Design House. “With one of the Pantone colours of the year being ‘Illuminating’ – a vibrant golden yellow hue – it’s perfect for the season because it adds freshness and vibrancy into your home.”

Go vintage 

“For Spring/Summer 2021, we will continue to see an increasing demand for handmade, handwoven, genuine vintage rugs,” says Alina. “The colours of the moment are rich but muted tones, like subtle sepias, washed-out greys, and beiges with hints of maroon, pale blues, pinks and shades of peach,” adds the interior designer. 

How do you choose the right rug?

Alina Bokhari stocks a selection of vintage Persian rugs.

Forming the base

If you’re starting with a blank canvas, “You want to begin with a gorgeous rug as the base for a room,” says Alina. “Once you’ve found the perfect rug you can always work your way up by adding the right pieces at a pace that you’re comfortable with.

Consider who uses the room

“Before investing in a rug because you like how it looks, make sure you think practically. If you have kids, go for synthetic fibres, as spills won’t penetrate as easily and it reacts very well to Scotchgard, making it even more stain resistant. For people with reduced mobility, make sure the pile is not so shaggy that it may become a tripping hazard,” advises Sharon. 


“The type of rug that works best will ultimately depend on the foot traffic in that area. Wool rugs work very well in high traffic areas such as hallways and living rooms, as they are durable and long lasting. Outdoor rugs used indoors can also be a great option in the spaces that receive a lot of tread,” advises Sharon.


“Size really matters when choosing your rug,” says Sharon, “Choosing the wrong dimension can really throw off the feel of the room. In order to get it right for your room, consider the layout of furniture, and if you plan to separate an open-plan living area. Any place you put a rug, “it should fill the space quite solidly,” says Carina. You want to avoid a small size mat ‘floating’ in a room that’s too big. 

Go classic 

“Certain colours and patterns are called classic for a reason – they never go out of style,” says Alina. “Genuine handwoven pure wool rugs have been around for centuries and will always look good in your space if chosen correctly,” she adds. “Styles such as Persian, Scandinavian and Moroccan are all timeless, but consideration must also be given to the pattern, colour and material,” says Sharon. 


If you’re starting out with furniture and accessories you plan on keeping, the colour palette is important – stick within the tones you already have. “But if you’re starting afresh, choose a rug you like the colour of, then you can add complementary pieces whenever suits,” says Alina. 

Experiment with colours. Image credit/Rug Society

Seek advice

If you’re considering making a big investment in a rug, “it’s best to seek advice (from a professional) before you purchase so that you don’t make a mistake,” suggests Sharon. “If your budget is tight and you want to start with a gorgeous rug as the base for a room, I am happy to do that for my clients,” says Alina. “I develop a plan for you that allows you to build from the ground up.”

Want more design inspiration? Take a look at how this interior designer crafted his Marina home.

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