Special Nonexistent Furniture

The T&W guide to rugs

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A rug can make or break a room – but how to choose? We've put together this handy guide to help, covering everything from choosing your style and materials to sizing up your space and caring for your new purchase.

Rugs by room

Living room

Whole Living Space
In a smaller room, you can use a rug to cover most of the floor space as an alternative to fitted carpet. Be sure to leave a border of 20-30cm between the rug and the walls.

Living large
To make a room feel more expansive, choose a large rug that will fit all your living area furniture on top. This is the ideal way to define a space within a large open-plan area.

Cosy living
If your rug (or your budget) doesn't stretch that far, just put the front legs of your sofa and chairs on the rug to anchor the space. 

Floating living
A floating rug can also work as long as it's in proportion to the furniture, as with the coffee table and sofa here.


Classic Bedroom
For a cohesive look, place a large rug under the bed, remembering that only pattern or colour at the outer part of the rug will be visible. 

Layered bedroom
For a more eclectic bedroom look, use smaller rugs on either side or at the foot of the bed.

Dining space

Expansive dining
If you're placing a rug under a dining table, it should be wide enough so the chairs are completely on the rug even when guests are sitting at the table. This usually means allowing an extra 60cm each side of the table.

Stylists Jessica Bellef and Adam Powell got together in the T&W Studio to answer the big questions once and for all. Should the sofa sit completely on the rug, half on the rug, or completely outside the rug?  What's the right size for under a dining table? And which spot looks best in a bedroom?

DON'T FORGET: Measure your space
Now you've decided on the room layout you want, measure your space. Here are some of the most common rug sizes: 
120 x 180cm (4' x 6') 
150 x 220 
270 x 330cm (9' x 11') 
75 x 300-400cm (runners) 

Choosing the right style 

Choose a rug style to suit your lifestyle as well as your home. Think about how much traffic the rug will need to handle, whether you'll be eating on it, or if you have kids and pets using the space. Here are a few of our favourites.

Flatweave rugs

Ranging in style from traditional kilims or dhurries to modern styles featuring patterns, stripes and chevrons, these rugs have no pile because of the way they are woven on a loom. They are often more affordable than pile rugs and are a great way to update a room, but they are also less durable. They won't last as long as a pile rug in high traffic situations and we recommend using a rug pad or underlay to keep them in place.

Natural fibre rugs

Hide rugs Flat woven from natural fibres such as jute, sisal, coir or seagrass, these rugs add a casual feel. They're generally durable, but require regular vacuuming to stop dirt from penetrating the fibres. They don't like getting wet, so steam cleaning is out and spills should be dealt with immediately. Many feature a latex backing to protect your floor and keep them in place.

Heat-set polypropylene rugs

When buying a synthetic fibre pile rug, look for higher quality heat-set polypropylene. It's soft, durable and non-shedding, making it a good choice for families and high-traffic areas. It's also non-static which means that it's easy to vacuum up lint and pet fur. 

Pile rugs

Pile rugs may be handmade (often described as handknotted or handtufted) or machine made. The pile protects the warp and weft and a high quality handknotted rug, cared for well, can last a generation or more. Choice of style and price is almost boundless, from traditional Persian designs made using wool and silk to modern 'shag' styles. Materials include wool and silk through to practical synthetics such as acrylic and polypropylene.

Wool rugs

High-quality wool rugs are soft and richly textured, so ideal for making a statement in the living room or adding luxe texture and warmth in a bedroom. Wool is naturally water and stain-resistant, thanks to the lanolin that coats the fibres. Wool is also known to hold colour well for vibrant results in a rug, as well as being a good sustainable material choice.

Indoor/outdoor rugs

Made using polypropylene or similar synthetic fibres, these rugs are super practical and are now available in a surprisingly wide array of patterns and finishes. They can be hosed down if necessary, and they work well outdoors as well as in areas where kids and pets run wild!

Hide rugs

Hide rugs add a cool, contemporary edge and are durable and tactile. Cow hide rugs may be natural in colour, dyed or even printed. The hides sold at Temple & Webster are by-products of the food production industry. All products meet or exceed strict Australian government import standards.

Shape up 

When it comes to choosing the perfect rug for your space, it's not just size that matters. Here are our tips for defining your space with round rugs, runners and hides.

Rectangular rugs

The most popular and versatile, as it's the shape of most rooms! The key is to choose one in the right proportions (see Layouts).

Round rugs

Great in a bedroom, under a round dining table, or to define a small sitting area. Round jute rugs in a range of colours and weaves are a great affordable choice.


Make a smart first impression with a hall runner to set the scene for your interior style, or add visual interest to an otherwise bland hallway.

Hides and sheepskins

A large hide under a coffee table or next to the bed, or use them to layer over larger rugs or even furniture.

The quick care guide

  • - Care instructions vary for each type of rug, but here are some general tips for flat weave, pile and natural fibre rugs.
  • - Your rug may arrive folded or rolled, and will take a few days to flatten out. Some rugs may also shed for a few weeks – this is normal and should ease after vacuuming. 
  • - Vacuum regularly to pick up particles of dust and dirt. 
  • - Treat spills or stains as soon as possible. Don't rub! Blot the stain with a dry cloth or towel first to soak up excess moisture. Use a toothbrush with a small amount of mild liquid soap or wool wash and water to loosen stains, then blot again. 
  • - If your rug is in a sunny spot or receives a lot of foot traffic, rotate it regularly to ensure even wear. 
  • - Rug underlays are a great way to keep a rug in place as well as preventing the rug from slipping. They will protect your floor from coarse natural fibres and make your rug feel even softer underfoot.

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