Looking for the perfect rug to finish off your room? Want to know what colours are in for 2012? Polly Vaughan writes about the latest trends in the world of rugs.
So we ripped up the vile carpets, sanded down and varnished the floorboards, and the floors throughout our house looked great. Anything other than the filthy brown swirls of shagpile left behind by the previous owners would have been an improvement, of course, but finally we had the home we had dreamed of.
One problem: we hadn’t bargained for the noise of bare boards. One of us clomping around early in the morning (or coming in later at night) could now wake the other –or even the neighbours. A whole layer of sound insulation between floors had been lost, so the guitar player in the living room disturbed the reader upstairs and so on. Enforcing a no-shoes policy in the house has been tedious, and only adds to the problem of cold feet – because wooden floors are draughty, too.
We’ve thus come to a compromise solution and decided to invest in some rugs: runners in the hallway and up the stairs, and large, soft squares of textured textile for the living room and bedrooms. We’ve discovered that rugs can be a great way to add a splash of colour, too – a near effortless way to update our décor without extensive expenditure. So if you too are in the market for a new rug for your home, take a look at the options.
Trends for 2012
We’ve decided to be bold, and banish the beige. But what colours should we go for to be bang on trend? The rug and carpet industry is as subject to the whims of fashion as any other, and is extremely colour-conscious; shades for 2012 are said to include plum, charcoal, teal and even navy blue and gold, as well as bronzes, deep tan-browns and earthy ochres. Organic plant-derived fibres such as hemp and sisal continue to be in demand, as well as wool in tweedy, thick-yarned weaves.
Bright block colours have been a strong theme at recent trade shows, too – pink, mustard yellow, tangerine orange, leaf green and turquoise have all featured, in eye-catching geometric patterns, stripes, patchwork effects or on their own. Checks, floral motifs and other popular patterns have also been reworked and updated in the latest hot hues to give a modern twist. Sheepskins are ever-popular – perhaps try one dyed in a daring colour instead of the usual natural finish.
Classics such as Persian carpets are timeless and would look fantastic on our bare boards. Though hand-made Middle Eastern and Oriental rugs can be expensive, good-quality examples finished to a decent standard are increasingly affordable from mainstream high street retailers as well as specialist importers. Take a good look and feel the rugs on offer at different outlets to learn the differences between an authentic hand-knotted silk or wool rug, and a cheap factory-made, mass-produced imitation. Research the designs typical to certain regions or tribes, make sure you know what you’re getting before you commit to spending any large sums, and ensure that any expensive investment will be protected by your home insurance.
Homespun handicrafts and vintage-inspired designs are perennial trends, and cottage-style or shabby-chic interiors need old-fashioned soft furnishings such as folksy rag rugs. We’ve even thought about learning how to make our own: classes are held all over the country, and there are many how-to books available and tutorials online. ‘Upcycling’ old clothes and miscellaneous bits of material into a rug is cheap, eco-friendly and immensely satisfying.
There are many solutions for slipping your feet onto something soft – so roll out the rugs.
Note: This is a post for Sainsbury’s bank.