There are two big decisions for every living room: the sofa and the rug. Sometimes the rug gets overlooked, but working with some of the industry’s leading tastemakers and interior designers, we can attest to the importance of creating balance and texture with a gorgeous sofa and the perfect rug underfoot.
If you’re looking to create that magazine-worthy cohesive design, identifying the right rug for your space and furniture is an essential step, and one that comes with a whole host of questions. So we asked our friends at Beni Rugs to help us break down the five steps to selecting the perfect rug for your living room.
Choosing the perfect rug starts with understanding how rugs are made, and why hand-craftsmanship is so important. Some of the most beautiful rugs are made by the Berber people in the Atlas Mountains. Their unique style is typified by graphic, and often symbolic, patterns and a thick pile (that’s the length of the wool thread that makes up the fuzzy surface of a rug) that allows the natural materiality of the wool to shine.
High-end rugs are still hand-knotted or woven in regions like Morocco and Turkey, but there are plenty of companies outsourcing this traditional craft to places like Indonesia and China, where machine-knotted pieces are mass-produced. These machine-made pieces lose the integrity and skill that is literally woven into rugs, making them less durable, less unique, and more likely to be a part of an unsustainable and unethical supply chain.
When looking for companies to source your rug from, look for companies that work directly with regional craftsmen that have the generational skill to create beautiful pieces that are built to last.
Each home is totally different, so the opportunity to customize the furniture and decor that goes into your space is an important tool to make your home feel perfectly proportioned. This is a trick that designers have used for decades to achieve spatial harmony, and something that companies like Maiden Home and Beni Rugs are offering the modern, digital consumer for the first time.
When it comes to measuring your space for any type of decor, we always suggest taping out your layout in blue painter’s tape. This will allow you to see and feel how your space will come together.
Rules of Thumb:
- For average to tighter rooms, measure between six and 14 inches from the baseboards around your room to identify the proper size rug. This will give you that larger wall-to-wall look and make your space feel cozy and inviting.
- Depending on the size of your room, you should either have both front legs or all four legs of your sofa resting squarely on the rug. This will help define the space and anchor your seating area. The same goes for your occasional chairs and tables. For a super polished look, keep your rule consistent: either all legs on the rug or two legs.
Interior designers often refer to the floor as the “fifth wall” because it presents the same opportunities as the walls do to introduce color, pattern, even art. While we’re always in favor of neutrals that give a sense of timelessness and casual elegance, a bolder choice for your floors is a great way to add personality to your space.
To incorporate color without falling into the trap of being too trendy, we suggest coordinating the tones of your sofa and rug to create a cohesive design - for example, if your sofa is upholstered in warm, natural tones like caramel leather, look for a piece with accents in this shade - allowing you to incorporate other colors without sacrificing cohesion. Explore some of our favorite combinations below for more inspiration!
For a bolder look we love Beni Rugs latest collection, aptly dubbed Modern Art, and inspired by contemporary American art from the likes of Mark Rothko to the Memphis Movement.
Beautifully designed rooms always have one thing in common: The eye is drawn to various parts of the room, discovering new and interesting details the longer you look. To create this sense of exploration in your own spaces, adding textural layers is an essential first step. The trick to add contrast without disrupting harmony: we know, easier said than done!
Here are a few ways to use upholstery and floor coverings to achieve this look:
- Layer rugs on the floor to create sensory and visual contrast in your space. Start with a jute rug that is perfectly proportioned to your space (see Measure it out for more details) then layer on a cozier texture like a hand-knotted wool rug. This creates a sense of depth in the space.
- When pairing the material of your rug to your sofa, look for textures that compliment, but don’t mirror one another. For example, if your rug is fuzzier, opt for a sleeker, more tailored material on your sofa or chairs (think Performance Weave or Tuscan Leather).
Selecting a rug is like selecting art: you have a great opportunity to express your personal style and taste in a unique way, so invest in what you love and leave trends to the side.
Beni Rugs is one of our favorite sources for gorgeous, handmade Moroccan rugs that are not only beautiful and durable, but completely customizable (sound familiar?). Choose your size, colors, and design and their craftsmen in the Atlas mountains get to work using traditional techniques passed down through generations to make you the perfect piece for your home. Is there something totally different that you have in mind, they’ll even help you design a totally bespoke piece. We’re obsessed with their ultra-graphic Delta collection and their more subdued, yet luxuriously cozy Meridian style.
Need a little help working through your design? Schedule an appointment to talk with your dedicated Design Advisor, to talk through everything from upholstery decisions, to the best layouts for your space.