The house slab isn’t down but already I’m thinking about rugs.  I want to be ready for the moment when I find THE rug.  I like to see and feel a rug before I buy it and the right rug may pop up while I’m traveling.  There may be no going back to get it later…

With the exception of the bathrooms and laundry, our floors will be blackbutt timber.  We’ll need plenty of rugs eventually but, for now, the main rug of concern is for the living area.  There are various opinions about how large a rug should be in relation to a room and “rules” about sofa feet being on or off the rug, but I’ve noticed that some of the most stylish of rooms don’t follow the rules.

Picture Sources:  1. Desire To Inspire 2. April and May 3. West Elm 4. Domaine Home.


For our living room, I’m subscribing to the “large makes the room look large” theory.  At a minimum I want the rug to sit under the front feet of the sofa.  At a maximum, I want to leave  20-30cm from the walls, so you can still appreciate the timber floors and to keep the rug clear of ash that might fall out of the fireplace.  I used Jardan’s room planner to map out the likely location and size of our dream sofa in our living room.  From this I took the measurements for the rug.

Each small square is 20cm square.

Each small square is 20cm square.

Maximum size 3.5x 3.4m.  Minimum size 3 x 2.2 m.  Big.

However, if I was to fall in love with a rug outside these dimensions, then I think it could be done.  Many off-the-shelf rugs do not come large enough to fit my requirements.


I’m wavering between a rug with a pattern and a small pallet of colours or something neutral and unicoloured but with lots of texture.  Here are a few of my favourites:


Softly patterned rugs

Sources:  1- 3: Jenny Jones Rugs. 4: Sanderson Home Rug at Yarn and Loom.  5:  West Elm.  6: Designers Guild.

Geometric rugs

Sources:  7 & 8:  Armadillo&Co.  9.  West Elm.


Natural rugs

Sources: 10-12:  West Elm.  13: WorldWeave.  14 & 15: Freedom Furniture.

Right now, pattern is winning.   The sofa will be plain, so some pattern won’t go astray.


  • Cotton/thread  ✔    I’m a sucker for a good kilim.
  • Jute ✔
  • Silk or a silk blend.✔  So nice under foot.
  • Wool ✔  Sometimes.  I have a great wool rug from Freedom that is at least 10 years old and has been very resilient to herds of wild children and questionable house keeping.  But some wool rugs look like they need a good shear.  They are a bit fluffy and shed!  A few rugs that I recently saw at Pottery Barn fell into this category.

If THE rug doesn’t find me, here are my

go to places for big rugs:

Under $1000

  • Freedom  (Max size: 2.5 x 3.5 m)
  • West Elm  (Max size: 2.74 x 3.66 m)
  • WorldWeave (Max off-the-shelf size 2 x 3 m, custom available.)

 Under $3000

Armadillo & Co - Twine rugs

Which rug do you like best?  Are you eyeing off an alternative?  Have I missed any secret rug shops?  You know, I usually like to consider Australian made options, but I couldn’t find one I like under $1000, not even under $3000.

If you are still not overloaded by rugs, you’ll find more in my Pinterest file.



21 thoughts on “Rugs

  1. 2,6,7,10,13. I like those the best. But I am not a big pattern girl :)). It looks like you are headed in a great direction. Loved the photo of the diamond pattern in the under $3000. Like I might be stealing that look. 😄

    • I tend not to like the strong geometric patterns, though #9 has a faded appearance that makes it look great. I saw this one in person – if I only saw it on line it wouldn’t have made it onto my list. In your great room you could have a huge rug – I’m thinking “Downton Abbey”! (I’m not sure if that reference will work for you in the U.S.)

  2. I am not a pattern person, but something about 3 I like 🙂 I like the gray color and texture of 15 but I think those fringes on the ends might bug the crap out you. I had fringe on my last foyer rug and dirt always got caught in them – plus they never layer neatly and made the space look up kept. Just my silly input 😉

    • No input is silly. I like to hear reader opinions – that’s why I ask! Those fringes can catch all the hair and dust on the floor – but I think our new robot vacuum can handle it!

  3. Miranda says:

    I love those Jenny Jones rugs too, but I hate to think how much they’d cost! My friend’s mum has one and she said you just have to think of it as if you’re buying an artwork…
    I like number 6 as well, but it’s not cheap either. I find the plainer ones hard to picture without seeing in person. And it is hard to find a rug that’s big enough.
    We really loved the carpet we got for our bedroom, so we got it made into a big rug for our living area.
    Bespoke Furniture in Perth had this one that we liked, but ultimately decided wasn’t practical:
    Temple & Webster often has nice rugs too, but you never know if and when things will pop up and it’s always hard to find things on that site. (Why can’t you just search for rugs, for example?)

    • Yes Miranda, the Jenny Jones Rugs are art, but not in my budget, I think. (No prices on web.) I will need some art on my big double height wall (I’m thinking of some indigenous art) and possibly I need to pick the art first. I have seen some great outdoor rugs by Jenny Jones and they may be more affordable. The rug you linked to is beautiful – imagine how warm that would feel! But it would be soon an icky mess with kids.

  4. trixee says:

    1-6 are my faves, with 6 being the standout. I love the swirly organic abstract patterns. Though I see the geometric patterns being used to great effect in a lot of rooms too, but they don’t make my heart go pitter-patter like the other ones do.

    • Trixee, I have your taste figured out now, but I’m sure you’ll prove me wrong one day! The first 6 have the luxurious feel (maybe not #4). I think that’s you! I think strong geometric pattens are a bit formal for me. Only #1 makes my heart pitter-patter, but I suspect it could be way off my budget, especially in a large size.

  5. xkleternalicons says:

    I have the same dilemma and have decided to insert a carpet square into the living and family room floors. It’s cheap, plush, inset so no trip hazard and no dirt underneath. And you can still choose plain or patterned! Not sure what carpet I’ll be using yet though. Love the rugs you’ve shown here…I hate the thought of paying for flooring that then gets covered!

    • Kinda like Max and Karstan’s living room carpet? Very swish! I think you must have planned ahead to inset? I know what you mean about covering good floors! I feel the same way about putting a mirror over expensive tiles in the bathroom.

      • xkleternalicons says:

        Yes, we always insert the mirror into the tiles so they are flush as well. Saves lots of $! We’ve found that tiles /mirror and carpet / timber or tile flooring sits flush without pre-planing. No change to build floor or walls required to go that route.

  6. You’ve picked some lovely rugs Jo.
    I found taking a sample of our stone tile along helped me match tones and shades.
    I love the Persian and Pakistani rugs.
    I am on the look out too as all our flooring is tile.
    Happy hunting 🙂

    • I have a lovely Persian rug Deb, but it is way too small for our living room. I wonder how well it would cope with high traffic. It is probably destined for our library or a nook somewhere. Where are you hunting for your rugs? Surely not Pakistan!

  7. Made me smile to see this post… my Pampa post was timely! Love 1, 7, 8, and the World Weave one, although really I have to admit I like them all (I like your taste a lot!) Can you believe we have no rugs in our house? I love them, but with a white-haired little mutt who loves to roll on them in ecstasy, a husband with asthma and my own lazy streak when it comes to vacuuming, I actually ended up chucking our old rugs in the tip and Although I really do love a beautiful rug… you’ve re-inspired me to reconsider them….

    • Had the Pampa post on House Nerd been published a week earlier, a rug from their “Puna” collection would have been included here! I hope I find a lovely one in Peru. As for your lack of rugs and your vacuuming excuse – what happened to your robotic vacuum? I still laugh at your story of it eating its own cord. We have one now. I called her Esme. She’s a bit slow, but our apartment is a lot cleaner now. I get Asthma too, but only in Australia, so I can’t blame the rugs. I’ve seen some nice outdoor rugs that might be Nala and Mr Nerd proof.

  8. Hi Jo. I LOVE number 2 and 3. Just so lovely. Your post got me inspired again for finding a rug for my living area (my inspiration for purchasing flat-lined as I haven’t been able to find a coffee table I like after 6 months). So thanks for that! I discovered Hali rugs and found many beautiful, beautiful pieces. My favourite, Everest Beige, wool and silk (you’ll have to look it up) was $5,000 for the 300*240 on sale at 25% discount. So….. I didn’t buy it! But I will buy it when the kids have grown up to be less grubby.

    In the mean time I spent $1100 on a beige and blue zig zag hand knotted NZ wool rug (I couldn’t find it on their web site), reduced from $1500. It gives my very neutral living area a pick-me-up and while it doesn’t feel anywhere near as beautiful as the Everest Beige (….sigh) it will see us through the grubby years and I won’t have to get all cross and bothered when a child forgets they have jam on their hands.

    Good luck with the rug shopping.

    PS-I actually posted on this topic when you first put it out there but my husband has been playing around with internet parental controls and it was ‘caught’.

    • Hi Vic, Some of those Hali rugs are very similar to #2 and 3. It’s good to know another rug source. Did you see the Hali rugs in person? I don’t usually like pink decor, but the Everest in pink is absolutely stunning! The dark blue is beautiful too. (I pinned it!) I think a ~$1000 budget for a large rug is reasonable. It seems to be enough to avoid the synthetic options. Very amusing about your commenting problems. Perhaps you should get your kids to fix the technical issue for you! Ha, ha! Do let me know if you have time to do a “guest post” on your renos one day.

  9. Hi Jo. Yes I did visit the rugs in person, the pictures do not do them justice. Those Everest rugs were hard to stop stroking (must have been the silk content)! Anyhow, Matt says he likes the feel of our ‘cheaper rug’ as the more abrasive plain wool fibres massage his feet.

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