Transforming your home with Chinese rugs

Transforming your home with Chinese rugs

Rugs have been in use for thousands of years, providing a must-have way to create a feeling of warmth underfoot, long before wall-to-wall carpets were invented. Chinese homes were no exception and from royal palaces through to humble country dwellings, rugs offered a practical way to cover hard floors and make them warmer and more comfortable to walk on.

Nowadays, rugs serve a decorative as well as a practical purpose and are beloved by interior designers and homeowners alike as a useful way to enhance a room with a cohehsive focal point. Versatile, mood-enhancing and practical, multitasking rugs are the style-conscious homeowner’s friend. So what are the best ways to include a Chinese rug or two in your interiors?

The different types of Chinese rugs

Chinese Rugs

When you hear the words ‘Chinese rug’ you probably think of an ornate floor covering with an intricate design woven in jewel bright colours. This is a fairly accurate generalisation, but in reality, a huge range of different types of Chinese rugs are available.

Although China has a very long history of rug making, rug production was not considered an art form in itself until the 18th century, largely because of a shortage of wool. However, from the mid-1700s onwards, the art of rug making was increasingly appreciated as Chinese weavers began to produce beautifully decorative rugs sought-after by the wealthy and those of high stature. As the popularity of decorative rugs grew in the first half of the 19th century, the Chinese began to create rugs specifically for export to Europe and the West.

Antique Chinese rugs feature a diverse colour palette and because the separation of different colours within a pattern is highlighted with ‘sculptured’ edges, this helps to create an attractive textured look to the rug’s surface.

In terms of designs, antique Chinese rugs are generally decorated with images inspired by the natural world, with beautiful floral designs, animals and birds making regular appearances. Images from Buddhism, Taoism and ancient local myths are also commonplace.

How Chinese rugs can enhance the style of your home

Red Chinese Rug

Rugs are often underrated and are often seen as a practical item, useful for disguising an unsightly floor. Rugs have so much more style potential than this though and with a little thought and careful planning, can be used to add a stylish design feature which will enhance your home.

Creating a welcoming yet stylish home is all about use of colour and texture. This is where a rug can prove incredibly useful by offering a simple way to include luxurious texture, a splash of colour, or to bring together a neutral colour scheme. When a rug is coordinated with cushions, curtains or blinds a room suddenly has a cohesive feel, whilst using contrasting, but complimentary colours is a great way to create a vibrant, eclectic look. 

Opting for a light or brightly coloured rug will help to illuminate a room that’s a little dark or secluded and which doesn’t benefit from much natural light. Furthermore, dark spaces can really benefit from the inclusion of some much-needed texture, and so adding a deep pile rug can really help to lift the space. Lastly, a large statement rug can be used to add depth to a neutral colour palette whilst adding warmth and breaking up the clean lines of a minimalist interior.

Connect your spaces

Versatile rugs can also be used to connect the different spaces within your home by creating visual pathways between rooms. Using rugs in similar designs and textures in adjoining rooms you’ll create a feeling of unity and a sense of flow, whilst rugs also offer a useful way to add interest and character to otherwise dull spaces such as a hallway or landing. If your home has large, open-plan areas, try placing rugs in coordinating designs and textures in adjacent areas, so the eye makes a visual connection between each space.

Chinese rugs for sound absorption and comfort

And now for a little on the underappreciated comfort and sound absorption benefits of rugs! If your home has tiled or hardwood floors, you’ll know just how jarring the sound of footsteps can be. Chinese rugs offer a simple and convenient way to absorb sound, whilst the soft textures will offer something warm to walk on when it’s chilly, creating a feeling of luxury and helping to make your space feel homely, warm and much more comfortable. Perfect!

Shop for oriental and Chinese rugs at Shimu

Here at Shimu we have a collection of beautiful rugs to order direct from our website, including budget-friendly designs to brighten up your home, through to stunning hand woven rugs in ornate designs and rich colours. Please check out our Chinese rug collection for further ideas and inspiration.

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