The beauty and richness of carpets and rugs is undeniable. They are a fountain of colours, styles, designs and textures. They can give a room its decorative momentum.
Carpets and rugs have been getting bad press for a few years (read the Green carpets and rugs article), which explains their decline, but that doesn’t affect their role as creator of ambiance. The sumptuous lofts of Chelsea in London or Manhattan in New York do not deprive themselves of carpets.
Walls with neutral colours allow carpets and rugs filled with flamboyant designs to become the centre of attraction, since these textiles have the ability to define the style of a bedroom, a living room or any kind of sitting room. For example, sparkling colours will blend with the warm woodwork of a room, creating a sumptuous decor.
On the contrary, a plain carpet or rug allows you to decorate a room any way you like. Sometimes designs and colours of a carpet or large rug are found elsewhere in the room: bed cover, curtains, a throw rug on a crate, creating an effect of continuity. If everything is rather plain, you get an atmosphere tinted with great intimacy.
All styles of decoration have adopted carpets and rugs, even digital. Manufacturers make precise patters evoking pixels to satisfy the high tech generation, which adds to the list of available patterns: floral, mosaic, zebra, mesh, lines, black and white graphics.
Carpets and rugs light up a room if they are used properly. They can even dance. Examples: lines perpendicular to those of a wall paper, lines or a repetitive design that extends the narrow space of a hallway, a long carpet that directs the visitor to the balcony or leads from one room to another by going through a doorway, or a rug that lolls diagonally in the middle of a large room.
Large rugs are useful for limiting the ground space. It defines the conversation corner in the sitting room by bringing together chairs, low table and bookshelves. It separates the bathtub from the bed if the bedroom has its own bathroom.
In the last few years, under pressure from ecologists, natural fibres have been added to synthetics: wool, jute, seagrass, sisal, coconut fibre, reeds, banana fibre, abaca, hemp, natural rubber, organic cotton. Most of these materials add warmth to the ambiance with their warm and rustic colours.
Rugs have many styles: rag rug, American woven rug, kilims, Île d’Orléans style rug, Berber carpet, Oriental rug. The choices are almost endless.
Rugs are not as popular here. Yet, large rugs unfurling on a wall have a beautiful charm, especially a vertical rug between two windows, lit by a projector. There’s also the fact that they soundproof a room. In fact, rugs used to be placed on the ceilings in large palaces.