Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Elegance of Plain Rugs

Exploring the Understated Elegance of Plain Rugs

It’s easy to understand why many people would assume that plain rugs are really nothing special.
After all, having the word ‘plain’ in the title might seem like a bit of a giveaway. But in fact, plain rugs can be a superb addition to any room in your home, offering a sense of understated charm that the more intricate rugs simply can’t match. Let’s look at a few reasons why plain rugs might just find a home in yours.

Adding to a room but not drawing focus

When you choose to add a rug to any room, there’s a moment when you decide between a plain rug and something that makes a statement. If you go with the latter, very often you’ll find that the rug becomes the very centre of the room – which is exactly what you want sometimes. But for some rooms, the rug simply needs to add a touch of tonal colour, and that’s exactly why plain rugs are a great choice. They don’t steal focus, only add to the scene.

Consistent texture

While patterned rugs can really turn a few heads, it’s tricky to get a completely consistent texture, at least with certain materials. The reason for this is that multiple yarn types are often needed to be woven into the rug to create the design, which can disrupt the uniformity of the surface. Again, this isn’t the case with all rugs, but certainly for a select few. With plain rugs, however, you never need to worry about the texture consistency, whether you’re talking about wool, chenille, polyester or any other material.

A simplistic sense of charm

Ever feel like you want to get back to basics? For many people, that’s what interior design is all about. So if you’re looking to create a minimalist tone in your home, you can’t go wrong with plain rugs. With a gentle, understated charm, the plain rug really is the workhorse of the floor-covering world. Even better, plain rugs come in a huge range of colours and materials – so you can create the look you want without going overboard on the busy details.

If we’ve whet your appetite for a plain rug, you can find a huge range of them in our online rug shop. And if you fancy a chat about plain rugs or anything else, simply call our friendly team on 0845 838 8638.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Rug Hooking; A Short Introduction

A Short Introduction to the World of Rug Hooking

When you think of rugs, it’s easy to picture just the mainstream offerings like those at Rugs Direct, but there’s a sub-culture of enthusiasts who actually make their own. The technique, known as rug hooking, dates back to the 19th Century and it really is a fascinating craft. With that in mind, here’s our short introduction to the world of rug hooking.

The basics of rug hooking

Without getting into an in-depth tutorial, the basic technique behind rug hooking involves pulling loops or fabric or yarn through a stiff base such as linen, burlap or rug warp. In a method that’s actually quite similar to crochet, these pieces of fabric or yarn are pulled through using a hook attached to a handle. The strips of yarn can either be hand-torn for a rustic effect or precision cut with a machine. Purveyors of rug hooking are able to create hugely intricate designs by creating a basic sketch on the backing, then hooking through any number of colourful yarns.

Where rug hooking began

The roots of the rug hooking technique seems to begin in Yorkshire around the 19th Century. At this time the workers in the weaving mills were sometimes allowed to keep the offcuts of fabric, which they would then take home. Because they didn’t have looms at home, the manual method of rug hooking was born. There’s also some evidence that the technique was also used by the Vikings who came to Scotland – or at least the idea of pulling fabric through a base layer. The practice of rug hooking is also very popular in the United States and Canada alongside such creative pursuits as quilting and embroidery.

Rug hooking as an art form

Today, despite the fact that most commercially available rugs are produced through large-scale operations, rug hooking remains a niche interest. There are plenty of people across the world who push the limits of what can be done with the basic rug hooking technique. For example, rather than simply settling for a regular geometric design, many rug hooking enthusiasts will attempt to create realistic pieces of artwork such as portraits. In this way, rug hooking really is an art in itself.

If you think rug hooking seems like a lot of work, why not check out our huge selection of ready-made rugs? There’s something for everyone. Or if you have questions about rugs (or anything else) just call 0845 838 8638.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Touch of Romance to a Room with a Red Rug

Add a Touch of Romance to a Room with a Red Rug

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you’ve probably already noticed the splashes of red everywhere. Whether that’s love-hearts, Valentine cards or red roses, you can’t deny that there’s love in the air. With that in mind, we thought we’d share our favourite red rugs: they’re the perfect way to bring a real dash of elegance and romance to any room.

Sparkle Ruby Red Rug

Just like a shining ruby ring, this Sparkle Ruby Red Rug has romance written all over it. Made from a long, luxurious and softy shimmering pile, this red rug’s polyester material is super soft to the touch. Perfect as the centrepiece of your lounge or dining room, this is a red rug that will really make a lasting impression this February.

Heriz Antique Scarlet Red Rug

If you prefer your red rugs to be steeped in a little history and culture, why not try this Heriz Antique Scarlet Red Rug? Made with a flatweave pile using wool and cotton-chenille, this sumptuous rug is beautifully soft to touch and easy to maintain too. The perfect accompaniment for a bottle of red wine, this is a red rug with an Oriental twist and a wonderfully intricate pattern. Folded and hand-sewn edges bring a real sense of personality and character to this red rug, making it the perfect conversation-starter.

Floral Elements Beige and Red Rug

If you like your romance with a traditional twist, why not plump for this Floral Elements Beige and Red Rug? Made in India and 100% hand-tufted, this is a characterful rug with a real sense of charm about it. It offers a thick pile with that rich red rug floral motif that really makes it stand out. Set against the soft beige backdrop, this rug really is an impactful addition to any room.

Abstract Red Rug

Not all red rugs are created equal, as this exceptional Abstract Red Rug proves. Made from a delightful 100% wool, the great thing about this rug is just how vivid the colour really is. And, of course, its abstract offset geometric pattern is truly unmistakable. Throw this red rug into a room with a candlelit dinner and you’ve got all the ingredients for a really romantic night.

If you’ve got someone special popping over for Valentine’s Day, why not check out our full range of red rugs and more at Rugs Direct? Or if you have any questions about us or our red rugs, just call 0845 838 8638.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

World's Most Famous Rug

The Fascinating Story Behind the World's Most Famous Rug

Sometimes the very best things come in pairs.
That’s a sentiment which certainly applies to one of the world’s most famous rugs: the Ardabil Carpet. The story behind this priceless rug is truly intriguing, and goes to show just how much history can be imbued in a simple collection of coloured fibres. In today’s blog post, we’re digging into the truth behind the Ardabil Carpet… so let’s start at the beginning.

Where it all began

The Ardabil Carpet is a name that actually refers to a pair of carpets, both made in Iran in the mid-16th Century. It’s unknown exactly where the carpets were made, but best guesses place it around the Tabriz area in Iran. The carpets began their life as part of a mosque in Ardabil – hence their current name – until they were sold to a British carpet specialist in the late 1800s. By this point, both of the carpets had become very worn and discoloured, and it was here that the carpets became one.

Making one from two

So how did the Ardabil Carpet go from being a pair to just the one? Well, due to the degradation of the carpets over the 100+ years in the mosque, extensive repairs would have been required. However, because of the intricate craftsmanship and specific materials used in the carpets, doing these repairs would have been impossible in England. As such, the carpets’ owner decided to use the smaller of the two to repair the larger one. During this process, the second carpet became almost unrecognisable, and was apparently sold to an American then bought and sold a number of times.

Finding the Ardabil Carpet today

The second smaller (and now almost unrecognisable) rug has ended up at a museum in Los Angeles, whereas the main carpet is now on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This rug is very large, with dimensions of over 10 metres x 3 metres. In terms of its material, the London rug is made from a foundation of silk with wool pile. One of the reasons the Ardabil Carpet is so valuable is that it bears an inscription penned by the Persian poet Hafiz Shirazi. This, combined with its long and varied history, make the carpet a truly unique and priceless piece.

If you’ve been inspired by the tale of the Ardabil Carpet, why not take a look at the wide range of rugs in our online shop? And don’t worry, they won’t set you back a small fortune!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Rug Buyer's Guide for 2015

The Essential Rug Buyer's Guide for 2015

Buying a rug isn’t always as clean-cut as you may think.
In fact, many rugs once purchased are in place for a decade or more. With that in mind, doesn’t it make sense to put as much thought as possible into your purchase? We’re here to help with our rug buyer’s guide for 2015. So let’s get started…

Use the rug as the basis of your room’s aesthetic

If you’re right at the beginning of an interior design project, you’re in a great position for creating a beautiful aesthetic. In order to create a consistent style for the room, everything has to tie in correctly, so why not go from the ground up and start with the rug? With so many rich and intricate options in terms of colour and design, both modern and traditional rugs are a great basis for a room’s stylistic brushstrokes.

Scale the rug to fit the space

Remember that rugs come in all shapes and sizes. Some will allow you to tailor the size to fit your space, whereas others are of a fixed size. Whatever the case, when buying rugs you need to consider this element. After all, if you’re just looking for a nice subtle rug for the centre of a room, you don’t want it going wall-to-wall when you get it home! Be sure to pay close attention to the size options when browsing for your next rug.

Consider the stylistic impact of the rug’s design

Everything you place in a room will have some effect on its overall atmosphere and mood. If you have an established design with consistent colours, shapes and other elements, you don’t want a rug that’ll stick out like a sore thumb. For this reason, be sure to visualise the rug you’re considering in the space you have it earmarked for. Even going so far as using editing software to drop it in might help with this process!

Pick the right texture for you

The final pointer is on the topic of texture. Rugs come with a variety of pile lengths and fibre densities. These elements come together to create the overall texture of the piece, so be sure to look into which one you’re choosing to be sure it fits. Sometimes a big fluffy shaggy rug isn’t right for a room, so plan out your options and decide which fits best for you.

Feeling inspired to pick out the perfect rug for your home? If so, check out the Rugs Direct online shop right now, or simply call the team on 0845 838 8638 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Prevent Wool Rugs From Shedding

Our Top Tips to Prevent Wool Rugs From Shedding

Wool rugs are one of the most eye-catching additions you can make to your home, and one of the signs of true quality is shedding. That’s right: a high quality wool rug will always shed to some extent. But if you want to avoid the clean-up involved, there are ways to prevent a wool rug from shedding. Here are our top tips.

Reduce foot traffic if possible

One of the biggest causes of the rug’s pile being agitated and hence come loose from the body of the rug is friction. And one of the biggest causes of friction is foot traffic. So one piece of solid advice is to keep your rug in a place in your home which doesn’t serve as a throughway or a place where people will regularly walk on it. Of course this isn’t ideal for everyone, but it will help keep those wool rugs from shedding.

Vacuum the wool rug when required

If your wool rug is suffering from excess shedding, or you simply want to avoid the spread of the fibres across your home, regular vacuuming is encouraged. We’re sure you already do plenty of vacuuming, but paying special care to ensure your wool rug gets a regular vac is a great idea and will keep the spread of shed fibres from your wool rug to a minimum.

Use a quality underlay

Using a top-notch rug underlay with your wool rug is an excellent way to keep it at its best for as long as possible. It’ll be protected from excess friction with the floor, and the underlay will serve as a barrier against dirt and grime which can cause the loosening of fibres over time. This will depend on the surface your wool rug lives on, but using a quality underlay is always recommended.

Brush your rug regularly

It’s understandable that not everyone wants to subject their wool rug to vacuuming, especially if it’s a valuable item. Likewise, not all vacuum cleaners have suitable attachments for properly treating a wool rug. That’s why using a soft brush to gently remove excess shed fibres from your wool rug is an excellent idea. You can take your time and ensure that your woollen pride and joy is kept 100% intact.

With the right care, you can make sure that your wool rugs last as long as possible and look great too. To find the very best wool rugs in the UK, explore the Rugs Direct online shop now or call the team on 0845 838 8638

Thursday, 29 January 2015

How to Turn Your House into a 'Smart Home' with Modern Rugs

How to Turn Your House into a 'Smart Home'

Modern technology is evolving at an incredible rate, and it seems like everything is ‘smart’ these days. So if you’re looking to keep up with the pace and want to bring some handy technology into your home, here are our recommendations for creating a smart home of your very own.

Wireless speakers

You’ve probably already seen ads on TV for wireless speaker systems, like those from Sonos, and they’re a great investment. Simply drop the speakers around your house, then use your smartphone or tablet to stream music wirelessly. Perfect for parties or just relaxing at home – and the prices of wireless speakers are coming down all the time.

Smart TVs

Our phones have been smart for a while, so why not our TVs too? A smart TV will give you access to apps like YouTube, Netflix and so on without extra cables or any fuss. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection and you can hook your TV into a world of entertainment. Most of the new TVs on the market from brands like Sony, LG and Samsung are equipped with smart features, so they’re easy to find.

Remote lighting and heating

Whether through an existing service or using a gadget like a WeMo plug, it’s now possible to remotely control almost anything in your home. Remote heating and lighting products are readily available, but you can also attach a WeMo plug to any mains device and operate it remotely from anywhere in the world.

Robotic vacuum cleaners

Are you sick of trudging round and vacuuming? If so, you can now get a robot to do it for you! Products like the Roomba will automatically travel around your house and vacuum up whatever’s in their path. You can program paths or just let them do their work; they’re even designed to avoid walls and obstacles. Futuristic, eh?

Wireless charging mats

We’ve all lost our phone charging cables now and again, but now there’s a solution. Wireless charging mats can sit on a table and all you need do is throw your phone on top. Through the magic of wireless technology, your phone (or tablet) will begin to charge without needing a cable plugged in. Now that’s what we call smart!

If you fancy giving your home a technological makeover, why not treat it to some first-class rugs too? Check out our online rug shop for the latest and greatest in modern and traditional rugs. Or simply call our friendly team on 0845 838 8638 – we’d love to show you the future of interior design!