Let us put this plainly: if you're shopping for rugs, start with large rugs. Why? Buying rugs that are too small for a room are one of the biggest errors people make when furnishing rooms (along with hanging pictures too high and relying on an overhead bulb instead of table lamps – we're just saying).
Large rugs that can encompass your sofa and armchairs' front feet – as opposed to teeny weeny rugs that sit isolated in the middle of a floor miles away from everything else – will make a room feel not just cosy but well designed. Plus, they will make a room with poorly insulated floorboards feel instantly warmer. And if you're renting, they're great for hiding ugly carpets. Either way, they're a great way to add colour, pattern and texture to a room with no decorating required.
But with the dizzying selection of rugs out there, which are the best quality and the most versatile? We've picked the best in show from a range of top retailers, so that you don't have to spend hours looking for a large rug. We bet there's one for you among them.
1. Best Persian rug: John Lewis Louis De Poortere Medallion Rug
Persian rugs are having a moment – they're perfect for traditional living rooms but fit beautifully into contemporary or retro-style schemes, too. In fact, we like them so much, we've found you two: one hand-woven, the other purse-pleasing.
First, a traditional, high-quality Persian rug with a contemporary twist: the Louis De Poortere Medallion Rug from John Lewis (above). It's absolutely gorgeous, with a slightly distressed look to its traditional medallion pattern. It comes in two on-trend colours, a light grey and a vibrant jade (shown below, perfect for a green living room). The composition of this hand-woven rug is 80 per cent cotton, 20 per cent polyester, and the size is 180cm x 120cm (£240) or 240cm x 170cm (£420). It's not cheap, but you can get it at 20 per cent off at John Lewis at the moment.
Want a budget option? We spotted this new VONSBÄK rug in Ikea last week and were pretty impressed. Sure, it's made of polypropelene, but it's convincing and really hard wearing. And at £99 for a 200cm x 300cm rug, it's a bargain. There's a smaller version too: the 170cm x 230cm rug costs £60.
2. Best patterned rug: Argos Villa Leaf Rug
Looking for a large rug that's subtly autumnal, but will fit perfectly into a neutrally decorated living room or bedroom? The Villa Leaf rug from Argos is so pretty, with its soft cream background and fern leaft print. Our favourite for the autumn season. The size is a generous 160cm x 230cm, and the composition is 100 per cent polypropylene, making it durable and stain resistant (we're looking at you tea-spillers). Very affordable at £104. It comes in smaller sizes, too.
3. Best Scandi rug: Ikea Art Event Rug
Oooh we love this one. Scandinavian design is never out of fashion, and if you're looking to add some Scandi chic to your living room or bedroom, look no further than this Art Event rug by Ikea. We're really impressed by the innovative pattern of this rug, as well as by its high, handmade quality. This rug is made from 100 per cent wool, and costs £129 for the 133cm x 195cm size.
4. Best graphic rug: Wayfair Hamish Ochre/Grey Rug
Whether you're designing a Mid-century style living room, or just want to smarten things up with a graphic pattern, the Hamish Ochre/Grey Rug is easy to incorporate into lots of different design schemes. This large rug is 160cm x 230 cm in size, and is shed and stain resistant. And it's on sale at £67.99 at Wayfair. Bargain!
5. Best Boho rug: Next Luxurious Grace Rug
Love the feel of a fluffy rug under your feet? Perfect for a bedroom or a boho living room, the Luxurious Grace Rug from Next is sumptuous: it's 6cm deep, and has a subtle sheen to its dense pile. It comes in three neutral colours – charcoal, ivory, and mauve-brown – and is £250 for the largest size at 160cm x 230 cm.
6. Best retro rug: Dunelm Blox wool rug
Dunelm's Blox rug (see below, too) is one of those rugs that will fit just as comfortably into a bedroom as in a living room. It comes in three neutral colourways, but also a neutral/red/blue combo that's great for kids' bedrooms. The short pile wool 160cm x 230cm rug costs £239, Dunelm.
7. Best circular large rug: Dunelm Zira Jute Round Rug
Want a round rug for (more of) that boho feel? We love love love this Zira Jute rug by Dunelm (see below too). It measures 150cm in diameter and costs £159. Can be sponge cleaned
8. Best rug for kids' rooms: Ikea Art Event
Decorating a kid's bedroom and want to add plenty of colour? The Ikea Art Event rug packs a colourful punch with its parrot print, and is hand woven from 100 per cent cotton. It costs £165 for a 175cm x 200cm rug.
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