When we think about defining a space within our home we tend to think to use our furniture, shelves or screens. Typically, we focus on the vertical plane by looking for some height that breaks up the space at eye level, and in turn helps to create zones. Rather than opting for a room divider or screen, switching your mindset to consider the horizontal plane can also be an effective way to define your space, especially so if it is an open plan.

How to Use Rugs to Define a Space:

Rugs offer more than just comfort underfoot and visual appeal – when used wisely, decorating with rugs can help delineate one space from another. They can be used to separate a living room area from the dining room in an open plan interior. Rugs can also be used to visually distinguish a study area in a bedroom or foyer space in a large hallway – all without the help of a traditional room divider. However, it’s not just open plan interiors that can benefit from a considered arrangement of rugs. Smaller spaces that lack the room for additional furniture will be more liveable and aesthetically pleasing without the need for screens or room dividers, which can close in on the space making it feel even smaller. Rugs are also great additions to rooms which need to perform several functions, such as a guest bedroom which also works as an office or a child’s room that needs to allow for play.

Colourful rugs in a kitchen

Consider Your Size:

The size of your rug is one of the most crucial elements to think about when choosing a rug to define your space. Firstly, consider where you want your space to end and another one to start. Your rug should not extend beyond this point and at the very least, sit within one foot of the room’s edge. It is also crucial to make sure that the size of your rug suits the furniture that you need to position on the rug. In a dining room we prefer that the rug is big enough for your chairs to remain on the rug when they’re pulled out. Regardless of whether your room is open plan or not, getting the size of the rug right is essential. A tip that we like to advise to our clients or customers is to get some masking tape out and to measure the ideal size before you go shopping for your rug. This will help you visualize your rug in the space, which can often be more helpful than getting the measurements.

dining room table and chairs on a rug

Play With Shapes:

Rectangular rugs are one of the most common shapes that we tend to use or advise for at Kensington Design, however they are not the only shape that is available. We ask our clients to consider what is better suited to the architecture of their space. Could a round rug be a better way to designate a play area in a child’s bedroom? If you are wanting to lay down two rugs in one open plan space, does the spaces’ layout then get dictated by the shape of the rugs? For example, a square and a rectangular rug may work better than two rectangular rugs. Also keep in mind to consider the furniture that will sit on the rug and the composition that you are wanting to create. A living room setting may look better configured on an intimate square rug over a large rectangular rug. A round rug may work better underneath a round dining table or a runner rug in a corridor or entrance hall. We suggest that if you cannot find the exact right shape or dimension of the rug you are looking for then please do contact us here where we can guide you on bespoke rug sizes, patterns and colours.

round rug in a living room

Cohesive with Colour:

In order to create a harmonious interior, we advise anyone to take the time to consider the colour and pattern of any rug. One of the more simple ways to create cohesion in an open plan space is by using matching rugs. While this may seem a little boring, cold print can work well to create a feeling of repetition without feeling or looking too bland. Choosing a rug with similar tones but made of a different material can also work to ensure harmony in your design. You may choose a rug with a more textured pile to add warmth and depth to a living room, and opt for a flat but hard wearing rug under your dining table. If both of the rugs are of a similar colour palette then they will work to delineate the spaces cohesively.

Working with rugs of two or more different patterns can be a little harder in one space. However, by combining a solid rug with a patterned carpet can be a much easier task. Choose colours that work well with each other, whether that’s two from the same colour family or a neutral colour that works well with anything. These options are less likely to clash if they share a common colour palette. The one exception to combining rugs are oriental rugs – this is because they are usually of similar colour tones or patterns. If you are combining two or more oriental rugs, choose ones with the same dominant colour in order to create a more cohesive look.

colourful rugs and furniture

Layer it Up:

Layering rugs on top of each other has been a recurring interior design trend over the past few years and is a great way to add more texture and depth to your space. They key with layering rugs is to choose patterns and colours that complement each other, but are still quite different. For example, a collection of Kilim rugs can work perfectly together as they are usually of similar colour tones, whilst a cowhide rug layered over a natural jute rug helps add visual interest and remains cohesive due to both having neutral colours. Layering rugs can also be a great way to use your favoured smaller rug in a bigger space. If the dimension of your favourite oriental rug doesn’t suit your dining room perfectly, simply place it on top of a larger, neutral rug to extend its reach. If you have carpet, layering a rug on top is another effective way to use rugs to define a space. A harmonious design can be created by picking a colour that appears in your carpet weave. It’s also just as easy to be blod as most carpet tends to be in neutral colours that can work with almost anything.

layering jute and cowhide rugs

At Kensington Design we have a large selection of indoor, outdoor and Kilim rugs in a wide range of designs, colours and sizes. If you would like a rug that is bespoke to your space and needs then please do get in contact with us here, where one of our wonderful designers will be delighted to assist you with any enquiry.