Know What You're Looking For
When it comes to sourcing a rug, Tanya says it all comes down to pinpointing what exactly you're looking for. "People get rugs for different reasons - personally, the style and texture of a rug is all that matters to me, and practicality is merely a small consideration as I 'ooo and ahh' at styles and textures for days," she says. "However, for others—they don’t see themselves buying a rug for a long time and so practicality and durability is king. Some people with pets opt for stain resistance, and non-shed. There's no right or wrong answer, but don’t lust after a gorgeous shaggy wool Berber, and be disappointed if she loses some fibres as she settles—natural fibres will shed, so the characteristics of the fibres and the style of rug you decide on should be something you are aware of pre-purchase."
The same goes with how much foot traffic your rug will be enduring. "Do choose rugs based off what is important to you and the space you’re covering," Tanya explains. "If the whole family congregates in your space—go plush and lush—if it's a busy hallway chose a fibre that can take a beating."
There Are No Rules When Picking Colour, Texture Or Size
As Tanya explains, there are "no rules" when it comes to narrowing down on selections. But, paying attention to what you're gravitating towards is key. "I think with textures and colours, naturally go for colours that you gravitate towards. This is something you’ll be living with and will inhabit your space, so it should make you happy 365 days a year. I know my rug puts a giant smile on my face every time I look at it."
To make the decision-making process easier, think of a few key styling rules to help narrow it down. "Once you have few styles you have shortlisted, have a think about how you want your rug to change your space," Tanya advises. "Generally lighter colours contrast well against warm floorboards or concrete—and will make the open up your space giving it that light and airy feeling. A darker colour can dial up the mood in your room and inject warmth into your space."
Also, Tanya suggests that when it comes to rugs, the bigger the better. "With rugs, it does hold up the bigger the better—go for the largest size you can afford—as rugs act as a natural boundary to our eyes. A larger rug with all your furniture sitting on top will make your home feel more comfortable, luxurious and give the illusion of more space, even in a tight setting," she says. "There's nothing worse than getting a gorgeous style that has the ability to transform your space but winds up looking more like a bathmat. We have an industry term for this called 'the postage stamp' because that's exactly what a too-small rug looks like."
Don't Go With The Obvious Choices
When sourcing a matching rug for a living space, try not to go too matchy-matchy. "I totally understand why you would want to make sure that your rug 'matches' your style, but definitely try styles that are not such obvious choices," Tanya says. "Most of the time we find that when customers utilise our styling advice, our online stylists choose a style they would have never picked."
"Whatever you do I would never recommend matching colours," she adds. "If you have a grey wall, don’t opt for a grey rug, as contrasting colours always work better. Choosing a palette of colours that work with your existing tones over matching them exactly is going to give the best result. If in doubt, moodboard it out!"
Do Your Research
Tanya, who has experience travelling the world sourcing Miss Amara's selection of rugs, suggests doing your research. "At the ethos of our business—we care, we care about the artisans, our customers, and the environment. So we are always looking to work closely with the artisans to understand fibres and the latest technologies, of weaving of materials and more. Because of this, we are proud to be offering high-quality rugs made from recycled materials and natural fibres such as wool at a very accessible price point, that frankly, we haven’t seen before."
Maintenance Is Key
Like all key pieces of decor—from furniture to homewares—maintenance is key to ensure their longevity. As Tanya says, many customers often make the mistake of "rushing to save a rug after the fact", like an accidental wine spill. Making sure you take the time from the beginning of the life of the rug to take care of it, will ensure it only gets better with age. "Buy an underlay to lay down before you place your rug, this will stop it slipping or buckling and minimise dirt penetrating the underside," Tanya suggests. "And it sounds simple—but just a light vacuum 2-3 times a week will keep your rug in tip-top shape!"
Make Use Of Virtual Styling
When searching for a rug, seeing it in your space is always going to be the best way to know whether you're really loving the design (or not), which is where virtual styling can make all the difference. Rug stores such as Miss Amara have introduced just that, making sure customers can actually see what the design will look like in their own home—without having to move the furniture in and out! "We know how overwhelming it can be to try and shop for a rug online," says Tanya. "Cleo, our onsite virtual rug assistant is a recommendation tool guided by customers and their preferences, for those who want assistance but don't necessarily want to be chatting to a stylist."