Santorini style living room selecting the right rug

The dos and don’ts of selecting the right rug


A rug is often the first thing people will notice in a room, so it’s important to make sure they are noticing it for the right reason. Finding the perfect rug isn’t easy and there are a lot of common mistakes people make. To help you avoid them, we’ve pulled together the dos and don’ts of selecting the perfect rug for your home!

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Gina living room

Do stick to your overall look and feel

The first thing to do is look at the entire space and decide if you’re selecting a rug to complement everything you already have or if it’s time for a total room revamp. If you’re making big changes to a room, it’s always a good idea to start by creating a mood board. It’s a way of pulling all your ideas together and identify any areas for improvement or issues to avoid before you spend any money.

If your room is full of bright patterns or bright colours, it might be wise to stick with a single colour, or a neutral tone to complement. As a busy floor rug could compete in the space. As the saying goes ‘Busy on the walls OR busy on the floor’. Few people can pull off pattern on pattern effortlessly.

However, if the room is a bit bland, a bold, patterned rug can give it the boost you’re looking for. Modern transitional rugs, such as this Karachi Blue Area Rug, can add a pop of colour and floral pattern to a Hamptons home. Or you can use texture to create pattern. For example, this knotted wool and jute rug is the perfect neutral rug to add subtle pattern and suits a wide range of interior styles.

Do assess your space first

If you aren’t changing any of your original styling, look at the existing furniture and furnishings in the room. You will want your rug to work with the colours in your space. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t want your rug to ‘match’ your space perfectly. Instead, look for a colour that shares similar undertones but contrasts with your flooring or furniture.

Then look at the layout of your room. If the rug is for the living or family area, consider the sofa arrangement — whether you have a single sofa, a classic combination of a two-seater and three-seater, or a modular lounge. Your seating will determine the shape and size of the rug you’re looking for.

Measure up your room. Draw yourself a diagram to measure the space and think about how you’d like to position it and how much of the rug you’d like to be on display. Take note of the measurements of the rugs you like, and mark them out with masking tape on your floor.

Don’t choose image over practicality

If you have kids or pets, it’s so important that you select a rug that is hard-wearing, as well as beautiful. Patterned or two-tone rugs are much more forgiving of any marks, stains or pet hair. And if you have little ones, a wool-blend is the right balance of plushness and durability, especially if you take the extra step of scotch-guarding it to protect against spills!

Hallways and high traffic areas will need something that can stand up against a lot of wear and tear. Keep the plush, delicate rugs for bedrooms or sitting areas where there won’t be people walking across them too often.

Do your research

The best way to ensure you aren’t just buying a rug that looks pretty but will also suit your lifestyle is to do your research.

The material you choose for your rug depends on where it will live and what purpose it will serve; whether it’s purely functional or to add a touch of luxury. If it needs to be durable, look to synthetic fibres, wool blends or natural fibres such as sisal, which can take a lot of wear and tear. Think about whether you want your rug to be short pile or a longer, plusher pile (keep note that short pile is a better option if pets are in the space as it can be impossible to vacuum pet hair from plush pile rugs).

The shape of your rug — round, square or rectangular will be dependant on the size and shape of the room and the look you’re trying to achieve. A round rug can soften a room with lots of hard edges, while large rectangular rugs are perfect for your living and dining areas.

Do shop around

Rugs can be expensive, and the bigger the rug, the more you can expect to pay. The good news we recently rounded up some amazing online shops for large rugs that won’t break the bank. If the variety online is overwhelming, some of these online shops like Miss Amara offer a free styling service to help you find the perfect rug for your room.

Don’t go too small

Rugs can be expensive and the bigger the rug, the more it’s likely to cost. But there are lots of inexpensive, colourful rugs to beautify your room without breaking the budget. A too-small rug will look out of proportion, and you will find yourself regretting it, and potentially paying more down the track to replace it!

Ideally, your rug should be big enough to comfortably fit all your furniture in the space. But, if you just can’t afford that massive rug, there are a few tricks you can use to ensure a slightly smaller rug still works in the space.

A great rule to follow is that your feet should always be resting on the rug when you’re sitting down. In a living area, this means the rug needs to be big enough to be able to put at least the front legs of your furniture on it.

In the bedroom, the rug should be big enough to hold your bed, have extra width on the sides and at the end to walk on. You can get around this with a smaller rug by placing the rug under two thirds of the bed, and not under your bedside tables.

One place you shouldn’t cheat is the dining room where, a rug needs to generously hold your table and chairs, even when they’re pulled out. A too-small rug becomes a trip hazard as people start pulling chairs in and out, not to mention it will drive you mad to continually be straightening it!

Cushion inspiration selecting the right rug

Don’t impulse buy

You may think you would never do this, but it happens! It’s easy to think you’ve found the perfect rug when you’re in store or find a beautiful rug on sale. But it’s important to think about your lifestyle and what will be practical.

Some things to ask yourself before you hit ‘add to cart’ on a rug include:

  • is it the right size? This is the biggest mistake people make so double check your measurements
  • will the colour suit our lifestyle? Think pet hair, young children, existing furniture etc
  • is the material practical? Avoid delicate textures in a room where you need a hardwearing rug
  • will it be easy to clean? Jute and wool are materials that have a natural resistance to stains and can be easy to clean
  • is it the right thickness? If you have a young baby and hard floors, you will want a rug with cushioning. However, if you’re looking for a hallway runner that’s going to get a lot of foot traffic, a low-pile rug will be a better option.

We hope these dos and don’ts of selecting the right rug have helped you. Have you got any decorating tips or tricks to add? Tell us about it in the comments!

Check out more living room inspo

This post was originally published in September 2018 and continues to be updated with the latest information and images.



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Kitchen plumbing tips to renovate your kitchen

The dos and don’ts you need to know


As the heart of the home, your kitchen should be both functional as well as meet your design aesthetics. Anyone who’s done a kitchen renovation in the past knows full-well the stress and chaos that comes with it. Especially when it comes to the plumbing. We’ve compiled nine kitchen plumbing tips to make your project a little less stressful.

From how to minimise costs to avoid kitchen reno regret, keep on reading for all the kitchen plumbing tips you need!

Related article: The cost of running ducted gas heating — is it worth it?
Related article: Your dream kitchen renovation checklist: Easy steps to create a stylish and functional kitchen

White shaker Hamptons inspired cabinetry
Classic all-white kitchen designed by The Stables | Take the tour

Written by Metropolitan Plumbing

1. Do get a big enough kitchen sink and choose the right placement

Few things are more annoying than trying to wash a pan that’s too big for your sink. Dirty water gets splashed everywhere — including on you — and it takes longer than needed!

Many kitchen designers recommend selecting your sink and its placement as the first step in your new kitchen renovation. The right kitchen sink will be one that’s both functional and meets your design aesthetics.

For practicality’s sake, double bowl sinks are the way to go. You can find this type of sink in a range of shapes, sizes and styles too, so it will be easy to find one to suit your design direction.

While a big sink is the dream, you’ll also need to consider any extra fixtures you’ll want to install around it and make sure there’s space for them and their associated plumbing. For example, zip tapes with instant hot, cold or sparkling water are becoming increasingly popular.

When it comes to the placement of your sink, you’ll need to consider where the ideal position is in terms of functionality and the end look of your kitchen, as well as where the existing plumbing fixtures are if you’re renovating.

Where to position kitchen sink kitchen plumbing tips
Positioning a sink below a window is a popular option | Dreamy kitchen designed by KWD

2. Do put the dishwasher next to the sink

With our hectic schedules and busy lives, dishwashers are an essential kitchen inclusion. There’s only one logical spot to put your dishwasher, and that’s right next to your sink. Specifically on the drainer side if you have a double bowl sink.

This setup is ideal for ease of installation, reduced costs and also practicality. Because your sink is here, you already have existing water connections nearby. This means your dishwasher is essentially plug and play, no extra pipes need to be run anywhere.

Not only does this make installation easy, but it also means you don’t have to pay extra money to have new water connections and pipes extended. Some kitchen layouts don’t allow for this setup, however, and so this extra cost might be unavoidable.

More importantly, it’s the most practical position for a dishwasher as most people tend to put their dirty dishes next to or in the sink, rinse them and then stack them in the dishwasher. Having your dishwasher right next to the sink reduces the time you’ll be spending washing up.

3. Don’t select a kitchen tap purely based on size or appearance

Bigger is not always better applies in many cases, including your kitchen sink tap. While a heavy duty, industrial-sized mixer tap might sound like it will make cleaning up a breeze, there are some downsides you’ll need to consider.

Large mixer taps require proper bench support, more space for installation and are generally more expensive. You may be better off with a mid-range mixer tap that will easily fit in your domestic kitchen.

Likewise, it’s not wise to choose a tap just because it fits your design aesthetic. No matter how trendy it might be, it needs to be functional above all else. Consider if having a pullout is important to you, if you prefer a single tap or separate hot and cold taps… and if you really want to get fancy, some taps even have voice control when connected to smart home devices.

4. Do use your existing plumbing as much as possible

One way to save money on your new kitchen renovation is to use the existing plumbing layout. Cutting concrete, extending water connections, all of this requires additional labour and so risks blowing out your renovating budget.

Many people tend to forget about the extra costs of moving your plumbing fixtures around. This can often be the source of much kitchen renovation stress and unexpected additional costs.

5. Do be water and energy-efficient wherever possible

A new kitchen renovation is a good time to change up your existing kitchen appliances. Selecting energy-efficient, water-efficient and eco-friendly appliances are a great way to do your part for the environment, as well as help to save money in the long run on your bills.

You can also opt for water-saving taps for your kitchen sink, further helping to cut back on your water bills. When it comes to looking at water efficiency, you can easily compare different appliances by their water rating label. The same can be said for energy efficiency with the Energy Rating Label.

Kitchen fridge and cabinetry kitchen plumbing tips
New kitchen appliances are an opportunity to be more energy and water efficient | Image via The Block

6. Do consider your overall kitchen layout

On the topic of using your kitchen’s existing plumbing, sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to keep things the same. Refreshing the layout can make design sense — giving you greater storage or bench space, opening up your home, or improving flow.

Regardless of how beautiful your kitchen is, if it’s not functional you won’t enjoy it. Your kitchen’s layout should achieve a few things, including:

  • minimising space between main fixtures, appliances and preparation areas
  • allow enough space for easy movement and for full use of appliances
  • stove ovens on the exterior wall for easier ventilation installation
  • island bench within arms reach of all major appliances, but not too close that it impedes movement.

Being able to visualise where your plumbing and gas fixtures need to be moved for your new kitchen layout is very helpful for your plumber. Keeping all your fixtures near to each other can also help to reduce the cost of extending your plumbing pipes.

7. Don’t install a food waste disposal if it’s not necessary

While it might make washing the dishes easier, a food waste disposal system installed in your sink comes with a number of drawbacks. Firstly, there’s the limitation of what kind of sinks you’re able to have — a food waste disposer needs a large drain outlet.

Then there’s the fact that more often than not, if it breaks down you’ll need to replace it entirely, rather than just repair it. If it’s not maintained properly, a food waste disposal system can make your kitchen smell badly too.

The far better alternative for both your wallet, the environment, and even your garden is to put all your food scraps into a compost bin. Find tips on starting a compost here.

Soft green cabinetry and kitchen plumbing tips
One of the top kitchen plumbing tips is to avoid a waste disposal system | Image via Melissa Lunardon

8. Do measure everything twice

Your appliance might be labelled as ‘standard size’, but this sizing can vary by a few millimetres between brands. And a few millimetres can be all it takes for your dishwasher to be sticking out from your kitchen bench, or worse yet, not to fit in the cavity allocated.

It’s important you get the right measurements for any appliances you’re having installed in your cabinetry. This needs to include any plumbing that might be required too. The best way to do this is to provide product specs to your kitchen designer or whoever will be installing the kitchen so they know exactly what they’re working with.

9. Do make sure you have enough water connections

Butler’s pantries with sinks, fridges with water dispensers and ice makers, water filters and dishwashers are becoming increasingly popular in modern kitchens. It’s important you include enough water connections in your kitchen renovation to allow for all these fixtures and appliances.

Not sure you want to install all these appliances right now? It can be more cost-effective to install these connections now so you have the provision rather than in the future where your plumber would have to work around your fully-built kitchen.

Kitchen plumbing tips to renovate your kitchen
If you’re not sure what appliances or fixtures you want, make plumbing allowances so you have the connections if needed — it’s one of the kitchen plumbing tips you’ll thank yourself for later! | Image via The Block

10. Do install a stop tap under your kitchen sink

Ever had your kitchen sink’s flexi hose burst and get water everywhere? While a kitchen renovation won’t stop this from occurring, you can easily install a stop tap under your sink that at least minimises the clean up after.

A stop tap allows you to isolate water to your kitchen so you can turn the water off to this area in an emergency. Water remains connected to the rest of your house though, so you can keep going on with your day.

Plumbing is only one component of your overall kitchen renovation, but it’s certainly an area most of us are unfamiliar with. These kitchen plumbing tips can help to demystify the complexities behind your kitchen’s plumbing so you can focus more on the details of your renovation.

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