Rugs have always loomed (sorry) large in my life. My mum, who is generally anti materialism, anti trends, and anti buying things for things' sake, has always had a soft spot for rugs. As a result I grew up in houses which were old, draughty and half-finished, but always with beautiful, fascinating rugs from around the world, which told a story on every floor - and sometimes on the walls too.
And so, when it came to furnishing The Pink House, finding fabulous rugs was high on my priority list. I have rugs of all shapes, sizes and patterns, but the one uniting factor is that I fell in love with them. For me, having that emotional connection with a rug is so much important than with other home items, such as chairs, tables or curtains. Quality, investment rugs should have soul.
So if you're pondering how to make the most of your floors, or deciding how to decorate a room, I'd like to make the case for the investment rug. A couple of weeks ago the incredibly talented Wendy from Wendy Morrison Design (WMD) brought a selection of her stunning rugs round to The Pink House for a photoshoot with our very own Susie Lowe, which seemed the perfect way to illustrate this post. Read on for the 5 reasons why you need an investment rug (or two) in your life...
1) It’s practical if you have kids
I know; this seems counter-intuitive, when kids spill and stain wherever they go, but bear with me here.
First of all, this reason is a fundamental part of why I started The Pink House in the first place; I believe having kids shouldn't mean having a home filled with things you don't really like, just so that when the inevitable pen mark/milk spillage/soup stain occurs, you don't get upset. The main problem with this modus operandi is that to avoid feeling annoyed when the spillage takes place, you have to LIVE YOUR ENTIRE LIFE with stuff you don't like, probably while resenting the roguelets for forcing you to live with such ugly things. Personally (and I know from the messages I receive that I'm definitely not alone here), I'd rather have, say, a gorgeous blue leopard print velvet sofa with the odd pen mark, than a fugly beige one with the same pen marks. And the same goes for rugs. Yes, my beautiful floor coverings have had to deal with a lot of kid-related crap, but they clean up pretty well, and I STILL love them despite the odd stain; literally part of the fabric of life, I say.
For a patterned rug like this WMD 'Raika' rug (above) in my living room, the fact that it has an intricate pattern makes it less likely to show marks than plainer, less interesting rugs. Some of the best handmade rugs - like the Raika - come complete with imperfections anyway; who says perfect is the point after all?
2) It gets better with time
Choosing an investment rug is, by its very definition, a decision to buy something that will last. In a world of ever-shifting trends and fashions, it makes sense to buy something you won't get bored of, and that will go with your sense of style, and stay in your family for generations. This makes sense from a sustainability perspective too.
I have a vintage family rug in my hallway which has been in the family for a while and is threadbare in places, but which I love all the more as a result - it helps me feel connected to generations past. My decision to invest in a vintage Beni Ourain, which currently lives in The Den (although it was ousted to make way for the sumptuous, colour-saturated WMD rugs during the photoshoot), was fuelled by the fact it has stood the test of time and trend. I can't think of a decor style this rug wouldn't go with.
But a rug with longevity doesn't have to be neutral or plain; far from it - vibrant colours and intricate patterns can be just as long-lasting. This is why Wendy's focus on high-quality, nature-inspired designs (like her gorgeous teal-and-gold Enchanted Wood design in wool and viscose, as seen in The Pink House living room, above) is so smart; nature will never go out of fashion!
3) It transforms your room
Spending a bit more on a rug that will last, and that you'll love forever, is extra smart because of the high impact a rug makes on a room. Have a look at these pictures of The Pink House's dining room and Den - each photo is taken by Susie, and not much else in the room changes, but just swapping the rugs around makes a huge difference to the vibe. In my be-baubled dining room (top), the luxurious teal WMD Peacock rug makes the room feel more sumptuous than my cheap-ish old green rug, which I was glad to see the back of! In the Den (above), WMD's Govind wool-and-silk rug creates a richer, more enveloping feel than the much paler, less intricately patterned Beni Ourain.
Whatever the look you're after, a well-chosen investment rug can go most of the way towards creating it.
4) It’s art you can touch
Art is one of those things that people - including myself - can feel a bit scared of. There seems to be so much mystery surrounding what constitutes 'good' art, and because it's usually out of reach up on the wall, although you look at art, you never really interact with it, and it doesn't serve a practical purpose. With a gorgeous patterned rug, you get a chance to invest in a work of art that you can actually feel, lie on, and snuggle up to. This is art that keeps your feet warm, prevents your knees getting sore when you play yet another floor-based game of Snakes & Ladders, and covers up broken floorboards, all while providing you with viewing pleasure. AND it's less likely to show stains (see Reason 1). The WMD Mount Orient rug (seen in my kitchen, above), is a fab example of a gorgeous-yet-practical rug. I'm not ashamed to say that when the photoshoot ended I dropped many a hefty hint about 'how good the rug looks in my kitchen maybe it should just stay here...' Sadly it had to go back to WMD Towers.
5) You can take it with you
Unlike a fitted carpet - which can be incredibly expensive if you're after something high quality - you can take your investment rug with you if you move house. By the same token, it's great for creating a sense of permanence in a rented flat, while knowing you haven't wasted any money in doing so. You can see a beautiful investment rug a bit like a grown-up comfort blanket - take it with you from room to room, or home to home, and it will make you feel happy and secure.
Top Tips For Buying An Investment Rug
- Buy it because you love it – not because it's on trend or even specifically to match a colour scheme; a true investment rug should work in a variety of spaces
- Make sure it’s big enough - generally, go for the largest rug you can afford that will fit in the space, to give a generous, calming effect. In a living room, aim to have the sofa/armchairs' front legs comfortably on the rug
- Know why you’re buying the rug – what effect do you want to achieve?
- Choose a high quality handmade rug - it will look more luxurious and last longer
- Check the rug has not been made using child labour - an easy way is to look for the GoodWeave symbol, which is carried by Wendy Morrison Design rugs along with more than 1,000 online and retail outlets and showrooms around the world. The symbol is a guarantee that it is a child-labour-free rug
This post was sponsored by Wendy Morrison Design, but rest assured that all opinions are my own.