Rugs are the perfect accompaniment to any room, with the power to add character to an otherwise lack-lustre decor. But as someone in the midst of trying to choose a new rug as the focal point of my living room, I know only too well the difficulty in choosing the right one. Because essentially, the right rug can make or break a decorating scheme.
Not to mention the fact rugs are not cheap – but so should they be, when held in such high esteem.
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As if by magic, to make that difficult choice easier, the researchers at Heal's have compiled a list of the most popular rugs. Based on each style's Instagram popularity – to provide some much-needed inspiration.
Rug trends: most popular on Instagram 2020
1. Persian - 203,344 posts
A classic, patterned yet not overpowering rug design. 'Persian rugs are one of the most popular and unique rugs on the market. Plus, they are incredibly versatile in both look and price. Produced by rug artists in Iran, the beautifully intricate designs are great as statement pieces. However, they can also be toned down for a subtle but equally elegant look.'
Emily’s styling tip: 'Patterned rugs like Persians are great in high-traffic areas like living rooms as they wear in a beautifully subtle way.'
2. Moroccan - 76,841 posts
'Traditionally hand-woven in Morocco, this type of rug was originally made for functional purposes. However, western culture has begun to notice and admire the wonderful colours and patterns. With bold patterns and adventurous colours, this rug choice will add that extra kick to your room.'
Emily’s styling tip: 'Moroccan rugs can also double as wall hangings where they can be admired in full.'
3. Kilim Rugs - 69,254 posts
'Full of unique patterns and textures, a Kilim rug is the perfect statement piece. Kilim rugs are great for high-traffic areas as they are very easy to clean. Plus, most Kilim rugs are reversible which is ideal for busy homes.
Emily’s styling tip: 'Colour matching the rug to surrounding furniture is key to making busy rugs like Kilims fit in perfectly.'
4. Oriental – 60,844 posts
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'Despite often being thought of in the same category as Persian rugs, not all Oriental rugs are Persian rugs. An authentic Oriental rug will only be made of wool and occasionally with silk too. Beautifully intricate designs fill these rugs, a perfect expression of skilled craftsmanship.'
Emily’s styling tip: 'Try pairing detailed rugs with neutral colours or with other accent colours within the room to create a seamless decor.'
5. Berber Rugs – 42,330 posts
The popularity of the humble Berber rug has skyrocketed in recent years. This textured, sumptuous style of rug is ideal for comfort underfoot in any room. ‘With North African roots, this traditional rug is full of character and earthy tones. A dense pile provides the ultimate softness and a thick feel, modernised Berber rugs commonly utilise geometric patterns and styles.
Emily’s styling tip: 'Pairing Berber rugs with earth tones like terracotta can create a rustic and earthy feel.'
6. Runner – 18,091 posts
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A runner is the modern day hallway hero. ‘This long thin rug type can be used for both practical and visual reasons. It’s the perfect addition to hallways, walkways or in front of the sink to catch spillages.'
Emily’s styling tip: 'This type of rug is best used in hallways as a runway rug to create the illusion of direction and to open up the space.'
7. Faux Fur – 17,946 posts
'Real fur rugs are dying out due to their non-vegan credentials, nowadays faux fur rugs are much more popular. Faux fur rugs add extra luxury to a room during the winter months.'
Emily’s styling tip: 'Fur rugs look best when they’re the centrepiece of the room, and are not overshadowed by other furniture. Try placing this rug in areas with little traffic to keep it looking full and fresh.'
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8. Shag pile - 16,010 posts
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'Shag rugs have a deep pile which gives it its textural appearance and high comfort levels. Shag rugs became very popular during the 60s and 70s and remain a highly sought-after rug even now. The only downside to the shag rug is the difficulty in cleaning it.
Emily’s styling tip: 'When placing furniture on this rug, remember to use furniture coasters to stop the pile from becoming flattened.'
9. Overdyed - 10,892 posts
'Overdyed rugs are made by bleaching and dyeing rugs to create vibrant colours. It’s often a great way to revitalise old rugs and brighten up a room.'
Emily’s styling tip: 'Overdyed rugs are a great way to modernize old Oriental rugs and to change up colour schemes.'
10. Woven - 4,415 posts
'Woven rugs are a great accessory to any room, they can instantly change the décor. The woven rug is a very popular component of the farmhouse style interior due to its rugged and informal look.'
Emily’s styling tip: 'Woven rugs look amazing when they are layered on top of each other for an effortless look.'
11. Abstract - 4,270 posts
For impact, make it abstract. 'The perfect expression piece, abstract rugs are popular in modern homes, they can give the room an instant chic feel. Whatever the pattern, these rugs fit very easily into any room.'
Emily’s styling tip: 'This rug needs to be admired in full, avoid placing busy coffee tables or furniture on top or nearby.'
12. Geometric - 1,846 posts
The pattern of recent years. 'Another modern rug, these geometric rugs are often very bright and have crisp lines throughout. This rug is best in maximalist settings where patterns can be used for self-expression.'
Emily’s styling tip: 'Colour matching is key for this rug, choose key colours and feature the same coloured accent pieces to make the carpet pop.'
More wise words from Emily: 5 hallway decorating mistakes we're probably all making – how to solve them
Now the question is, which one should I choose?
Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
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