Learn your Persian rug from your kilim rug…
These days, rugs are the ultimate tool for setting your decor tone, and doing so in a split second. Rugs not only tie the whole look of your room together, but can bring it off in another direction entirely. For example, swapping a light grey low pile rug for a Kilim rug can take you from Scandi to eclectic 70s in a heartbeat. But shopping for rugs, what with all of the incredible online resources out there (rugs.ie, rugvista.com etc) has become a little bit confusing these days. How do you know your Persian from your Damask or Aztec? The styles of rug you’re seeing are sometimes called different things (e.g. Kilim Vs Kelim) but here we’re going to try and explain the most common terms so you can confidently update your rug situation heading into AW19.
Persian rugs look like the kind of rug your Granny would have had but is now suddenly very cool again. Genuine Persian rugs are usually made with silk and can cost an absolute fortune, but you can get Persian style rugs that aren’t the real deal for a lot less. Lots of reds, oranges, golds and browns. Great for warming up a cold or muted room.
This style of rug won’t always be referred to by its name because these days the Aztec rug is just the standard, simple modern pattern. Very subtle, lots of diamond shapes. This style is all about the repetitive pattern but can come in lots of colours. Popular options are greys, greens, black and white. The Aztec rug won’t shout at you when you walk into a room.
Moroccan style rugs are a bolder more in your face version of the Aztec rug. You’ll see these all over Pinterest right now and in most high street stores as they are the undisputed rug style of the last few years (with Persian/Kilim style coming in a close second). Usually cream and a bit rough with black zig zag lines or different geometric shapes. May have fringing on the ends.
Jute rugs are named so because of the material used: jute. It’s a long vegetable reed that can be spun into coarse threads. Most jute rugs will be a natural wheat-like colour, they’ll be rough in texture and are often preferred where botanical styles are dominant. Great for hallways or wherever you get a lot of footfall.
A rug that’s described as vintage will usually look like a fading wallpaper pattern. It’s meant to look that way, even though our dads might say ‘sure I could give you an old rug that looks like that now’. It’s not supposed to be very vibrant but subtle and will usually have a floral pattern or something very delicate. Popular colours are greys, teals, jade, reds but all with a faded effect.
The incredibly popular Kilim rug is of Turkish origin. It’s very flat and ‘pile-less’ and will typically incorporate tribal symbols and imagery. Very nomadic in style, it’s the kind of rug that will make you look well travelled, as though you went to a souk to pick it up (but really you got it on Next Home). Lots of warm oranges and browns, these rugs are meant to look a little imperfect, as though they’ve been handwoven by a local family on the side of a Turkish street. Not unlike the Aztec and Moroccan rugs but more vibrant.
Hides and skins
As the name suggest these rug styles are animal themed. If you like the look but don’t like the idea of a cow’s actual skin lying on your floor, go for something synthetic that just looks like a hide. Though the warm brown hide rugs are very popular at the moment, the thought of it being taken off a dead animal just freaks us out and turns our stomach. So we won’t be getting in on this trend ourselves.
Lastly, if you’re looking for abstract style rugs, you’ll find modern splashes of colour and shape, resembling a piece of abstract art you would hang on your wall. This really is a focal point of art for your floor and isn’t the kind of thing you’d want to hide under a coffee table, whereas the rest of the rugs mention can do their thing in the background.
Head image: Christie rug from Sweetpea and Willow