Guide to Buying a New Rug Online in the UK

Rugs are an invaluable aspect to home interior design. They can be found in the majority of homes across the United Kingdom and indeed, right around the world. Whether you have bare wooden floors or carpets, a rug will fulfil a certain decorative role when placed in an appropriate position. There are thousands of different rug designs to choose from and this comprehensive guide is designed to help you select and purchase the best rug for your particular tastes and requirements. By the end of this guide, you’ll be fully versed on the world of rugs for the home.

Rug Styles

The terminology that goes with certain rug styles usually originates either from the region in which the style originated or the use for which the rug is best served. This can be highlighted with two popular styles of rug, namely, ‘Persian Rugs’ (from modern day Iran and surrounding regions) and ‘Shag Rugs’ (delightfully comfortable sheepdog-like shagginess). The following rug styles are the main types found in stores across the British Isles.

Oriental Rugs – Some of the most ornate and visually appealing rugs are from, or inspired by, the Orient. Rugs of this variety come from East Asia and countries such as Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran (see Persian Rugs), India, Turkestan, North Africa (the Maghreb) and Tibet. Oriental rugs differ in their construction, patterns and influences but most were, and still are, complex in their design as well as appearing in rich tones and colours.

Persian Rugs – When thinking of a beautifully ornate rug, most people will think of a Persian Rug. They have filled our imaginations for centuries due to their placement in royal palaces, courts and aristocratic mansions, not to mention in some of the most famous Hollywood films. They are the cream of the crop when it comes to rugs. Traditionally, Persian rugs use a mixture of red, green, black, gold, tan and olive, and are known to last a very long time. Most reflect the wildlife, motifs and patterns associated with Persia (Iran) and the surrounding regions such as Kurdistan, Turkey and even Afghanistan.

Both the Oriental and Persian style rugs are best suited in interiors such as living rooms and dining rooms as well as large hallways. Their beauty and ornateness are designed to be displayed and to be admired by all. In some online shops, these rugs can be found under the ‘Traditional’ category.

Transitional Rugs – As the name suggests, transitional rugs are an in-between rug and signify the merging of European and Asian design influences. In many ways, these types of rugs can look a lot like Oriental and Persian rugs but have a softer tone to them and more of a contemporary appearance. Just about any type of pattern, motif or image can appear on transitional rugs, ranging from flowers and animals to people, shapes and even modern pop symbolism. These rugs can be placed in a wide variety of locations in the home, depending on the individual design.

Contemporary Rugs – Just about anything goes with contemporary rugs. You can find rugs of this nature in a gigantic variety of patterns and sizes, together with a whole host of colour combinations and wild shapes. If you like art décor, modern geometric designs, images of famous people or trendy collages, then you’ll easily find a rug matching any of these descriptions in a contemporary rug classification online. By the way, contemporary doesn’t have to mean cheap and tacky either. Many contemporary rugs are beautifully handmade by skilled artisans.

Shag Rugs – These types of rug are making a come-back since falling from grace after their wild popularity during the mid-20th Century. Shag rugs are so named due to their longer than usual yarns that have the rather appealing look similar to that of a shaggy dog. These rugs are very comfortable to the touch and add a soft visual and tactile ambiance to any interior setting in which they are placed. Many people put them in front of a fireplace whilst others are great under a coffee table or in a hallway.

Braided Rugs – Rugs of this variety of extremely popular and widely sought out for home interiors across the country. Made from tightly braided and woven fibres, rugs in this category are highly versatile and make ideal floor coverings for areas of the house where a lot of feet tend to tread. The braided rug concept is thought to have originated with the early American settlers from Europe who made the rugs out of scrap fabrics and cording. They can be found in many colours, patterns and shapes, although oval is the most popular of these.

Animal Print Rugs – You can be a vegetarian animal lover and still own an animal print rug as thankfully, they are not made from real animal hides. Rugs in this category can add a touch of nature to a room and are great for people with a love of animal patterns. Whether you want the design of a zebra, giraffe, leopard, tiger or snake, you’ll find all these popular patterns online.