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CONTEMPORARY RUGS & RUNNERS
Rugs are equal parts functional and beautiful. Contemporary area rugs, doormats, and rug runners add character to your home while cushioning feet and protecting your floors against wear and tear from everyday foot traffic. Available in a wide range of styles, including patterned, printed, and monochromatic rug designs, contemporary rugs instantly add warmth and texture to any space. For frequently used areas of the home, look for high-traffic area rugs and durable rug runners.
Flatweave rugs are tightly woven, retain their shape, and are suitable for high-traffic spaces. Jute and wool rugs are among the most durable, but cotton rugs also perform well in busy areas of the home. If you prefer a low-pile rug to flatweave designs, choose one woven from wool or a wool-cotton blend. This type of high-traffic area rug or rug runner will stand up to frequent use.
Many contemporary rugs are crafted using centuries-old weaving techniques. Hand-knotting is an ancient technique whereby skilled artisans weave the rug entirely by hand on a manual loom. Hand-knotted rugs are exceptionally durable and long-lasting. Hand-tufted rugs are produced partially by hand and partially by a mechanized tool. Whether knotted or tufted, contemporary rugs can be used throughout the home, on both carpet and hard flooring.
RUG TYPES AND STYLES
Area Rugs: Area rugs are designed to cover most of the floor in a room. These large rugs come in a variety of materials, colors, and shapes – including rectangular, square, and oval designs. If you’re looking for a living room rug, consider a wool area rug or cotton area rug – both types are soft underfoot yet durable. For outdoor rugs, look for designs woven of highly durable natural materials, like jute and sisal, or weather-resistant synthetic materials, like polypropylene. Contemporary area rugs – for indoors and out – range in design from bold geometric patterns to minimal motifs, and from bright colors to neutral hues.
Rug Runners: Rug runners are long and narrow, designed specifically for use in entryways and hallways. Because they’re susceptible to heavy foot traffic, contemporary rug runners should be highly durable – crafted of wool, cotton, or jute for lasting quality. Hallway rug runners often feature directional patterns that lead the eye forward, such as longitudinal stripes. Though some contemporary runners are minimal in design, others are finished with tasseled or fringed ends for added flair.
Doormats: As the name suggests, doormats are small rugs for entryways and doorways. Similar to contemporary area rugs and rug runners, the best doormats and welcome mats are woven of durable materials, such as wool and jute. Some doormats are flatwoven while others feature a textured weave pattern ideal for brushing off shoes before entering the home. Though many doormats are designed very simply, some feature bright colors and playful patterns to welcome guests into a home.
HOW TO CHOOSE RUGS FOR YOUR HOME
The right area rug size depends on the size of the room and the existing furniture. To maintain balance and functionality, a living room area rug should be one of three general sizes: 1) Large enough for all furniture to be arranged on top of it, 2) Large enough to extend beneath the front legs of the furniture in the seating arrangement, or 3) Just large enough to center under the coffee table and ground the seating arrangement. Similarly, bedroom rugs should be either large enough for the bed and nightstands to be arranged on top of it or just large enough to ground the lower two-thirds of the bed. Dining room rugs should always be large enough for all dining furniture – the table and all dining chairs – to be arranged on top of the rug. Shop HAY’s wide selection of high-quality rugs for every room.
Choose appropriately durable materials.
For low-traffic areas, any rug type is suitable, such as a delicate silk-blend rug. However, in high-traffic spaces, it’s important to choose rugs that can withstand heavy activity. Durable materials like wool and cotton are ideal for high-traffic area rugs and rug runners. Flatweave rugs or hand-woven or knotted rugs with low pile heights are exceptionally durable and ideal for hallways or frequently used living spaces.
Add visual appeal.
Colorful area rugs instantly brighten a room. If a space could use a splash of color, opt for a contemporary area rug with a visually intriguing pattern or design. Or, in a more minimalist space, consider a neutral area rug with inviting texture. For unique visual appeal, think about using rugs in unconventional ways: Layer one or more area rugs or flank a large piece of furniture – like a king-sized bed – with a pair of striped rug runners. Don’t forget to choose a welcoming doormat that sets the tone for your space. No matter what type of rug you’re looking for, HAY rugs are durable and long-lasting, crafted of natural materials in an assortment of colors, patterns, and textures. For more about the design of HAY rugs, visit textile designer Ethan Cook's New York studio.