Suzanne Sharp’s tips for buying and decorating with rugs

Since The Rug Company’s inception in 1997, co-founder Suzanne Sharp has earned a reputation as a celebrated artistic mastermind and a pioneer in design. Her talents and expertise have earned her a following of design cognoscenti who feast on her confident use of colour, pattern and scale in her unfailingly and inherently elegant style. Here, Suzanne reveals some of her tips for using rugs to decorate in the home:

First things first: Before you decide to buy a rug, it is important to determine its purpose. For those of you who rent a flat a good quality rug is a simple and effective way for you to inject your own sense of style and creativity into a temporary space and make it feel like home. Whether you are buying or renting, think about what atmosphere you want to create. What is your style? Is it traditional, glamorous, calm, classic, minimalist or warm and dark?

Home Approval
A rug can look totally different at home than it did in the shop, so try it at home first before you buy it. It is really important to see it in the space for which it is intended first, especially if you are unsure about what you want.

Follow Your Heart

Make sure you buy a rug that you really love and not one just to suit your interior. Unlike curtains or a sofa, a rug should last forever so you must be happy enough to have it in any room or even a different house.

Size and space

Rugs are a brilliant way of defining areas in rooms. For instance, if you are trying to define one space a large rug will do this effectively, or soften hard floors and create the ideal comfort zone. Remember: rugs that are too small make a room look untidy. Use a big rug in a small space, it pulls the room together.

Pattern and colour

The pattern of the rug will obviously affect the feel of the room. Therefore, determine whether you are looking for something that will blend seamlessly into the space giving an overall tranquil appearance or whether you are looking to make a bolder statement. Choose a rug like you would pick out a piece of art. Don’t be afraid of strong, bold patterns and lots of colour. The direction that the room faces is very important for choosing colours. A north facing room that never sees the sun needs warm colours, while a south facing room can have cooler colours.

Different rooms

In a study or office, I think it’s really important that all the furniture sits on a rug. as there are so many different elements to the room. The rug will help pull everything together.

For a bedroom, the rug is best placed underneath the bed, framing it but stopping short of the side tables. An alternative is to have a smaller rug on either side of the bed. A soft, shaggy rug beside a bed will tempt you out of bed on a cold morning!

For a dining room, a large rug under the table will deaden the sound in the room and bring colour, pattern and texture. Ideally, the rug should be in proportion to the table, and larger than it so that there is sufficient space to pull out a chair and sit down without the back legs coming off the rug.