Snug in a rug: Keeping warm as the weather cools

Snug in a rug: Keeping warm as the weather cools

Comfort underfoot is essential for the colder days ahead, but with so much choice there’s also expert opinion on what to choose and how to go about it, writes Carol O’Callaghan.

Winter is coming, loath though I am to admit it, and I haven’t yet considered despatching my summer clothes to the rear reaches of the wardrobe, there to hibernate until re-emergence some time next May.

In the meantime, inert coats, hats and gloves will spring out of moth balls, figurative ones of course as I’m not altogether sure anyone would want to use them these days unless you want your nostrils offended by a whiff of their toxic vapour.

My preference is for lavender sachets, not least because of the calming and pleasantly comforting scent. But that’s a whole other topic for next month when windows are shut tight and fragrancing the nest is a thing, especially with Christmas on the far horizon.

Snug in a rug: Keeping warm as the weather cools

It’s also the time of year when textiles become ultra-important to us. Duvets are doubled up on beds, and throws are more than decorative styling tools, adding some extra warmth and comfort when snuggling into the sofa. But it’s rugs which we really need to soften a floor, absorb noise and warm up chilly toes.

A woman who knows a thing or two about the topic, what’s trending, and how to negotiate your way around choosing a rug, is Phoebe Holland of Cork based, who is predicting five big looks for winter 2019 into 2020, and how to introduce them at home.

1. Colour trend

“Since spring, we’ve been seeing that rich forest green,” she says. “It’s deep and adds character and interest. It has a cool blue undertone and goes with gold accents or in a neutral room with creams. It’s very much an adult colour for a grown-up living space.”

2. The exotic east

“Persian rugs are having a big revival,” she adds. “Before, people were shying away from them because they were associated with granny’s house. Now they’re being used in modern homes as a lovely aesthetic.

"They’re versatile and work in bedrooms, hallways, and even under the dining table as they’re very durable. But don’t focus on matching them with upholstery and curtains. Let the rug do the talking in a more neutral colour scheme. If an interior designer is using something like a Persian rug, they’ll build the room around it.”

3.Hey ombré

“You can add colour gently with an ombré rug in bedroom spaces,” she advises. “If a living room needs a lift, mustard and grey gives an injection of colour without it being in a block.”

4.Vintage style

In dining rooms, Phoebe suggests vintage rugs. “These can be beautiful and really practical. It’s basically a Persian rug which has been bleached to show the original pattern. They’re durable but stylish and work well in a really modern space or with the industrial look to keep the look soft. They also looks opulent in a kitchen space with pared back furniture.”

5. Abstract concepts

“These have been in for the last year and are a continuing trend and staying for the moment. If you already have all your furniture and colour in place, and the rug is the last thing, abstract rugs define the space for you and can be added afterwards.

“The important things is to buy something you adore,” she adds, “which will work with your home for a long, long time.”

  • Phoebe’s top five tips for buying and caring for rugs.

  • Choosing. There’s no wrong way to choose, just know what you like. Look at rooms online on Pinterest and Instagram. They have millions of ideas as do other websites.
  • Materials. Natural fibres offer longevity but different ones work in different spaces, so tell the person you are buying from where you intend to place it and they’ll advise on suitability.
  • Fitting. Most rugs come in four or five sizes so measure your space and the retailer will advise you on which size is right for you.
  • Maintenance. If you get a stain on your rug, something like red wine, don’t go at it with a bleaching agent which will damage the fibres, or a coloured cloth which will leak dye and add to the problem. Treat the rug as if you were removing a stain from a wool jumper.
  • Underlay. Get a good underlay, especially if you have a flatweave rug so it won’t move when the kids go skating across the floor. It will also stop the rug catching when chairs are moved or if a high heel gets caught in it.

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