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How to find your perfect Autumn rug

More than just a place to wipe your feet
   Hannah Caton  |  written on: 02-08-2019 14:30pm

The hallway is the first thing guests see, it’s the first impression your house creates, and it counts for a lot. It’s amazing the difference that a simple hallway runner can make. Colour, texture, pattern and practicality; rugs have many levels of intrigue. As well as of course, protecting the floor in the highest traffic area of the house.

Daniel Prendergast, head of design at, has put together a complete buyer’s guide to choosing a hallway runner, covering everything from the fibre it’s made from to the latest trends and design ideas.

1.       Prepare to succeed or…

Measuring exact dimensions is vital. But remember to factor in door clearance and any furniture that needs to be accommodated. Many people also forget to consider how much floor to leave showing at either side. For example, in a hallway that’s 1 metre wide, the best hallway runners would be around 75-80cm wide.

2.       What are you made of?

It may sound like boring technical jargon, but the fibres a runner is made from are an important consideration – more so than with other rugs because they’re used in such high traffic areas.

The best hallway runners will combine density and strong fibre, the denser the pile (with closer tufting or stitches), the better the rug will wear.

Manmade fibres

Polypropylene is a man-made fibre that’s extremely durable and cleanable.  Depending on the design, it can even withstand cleaning with part-bleach solutions (but always check the product care advice).

Natural fibres

Jute is the softest choice out of all the natural fibres and works particularly well in rustic style interiors.

Wool is brilliant for warmth and is naturally very soft. It is also durable and easy to clean but it can shed so isn’t suitable for every hallway. 

Sisal can be dyed to many different colourways so it’s great for brightening up a space, it’s very hard-wearing when in areas with lots of footfall.

For a natural runner that’s easy to clean, Seagrass is hard to beat.  It comes in mainly neutral colours from sandy beige to khaki. Due to a waxy coating, it’s easy to maintain and stands up well to water and stains.

3.       Find your pattern

Think about how your rug will fit into the surrounding interior themes. Or, of course, if you even want it to fit in. Maybe it would be better as a stand-out statement piece that makes the most impact to your new guests?

Patterned or brightly coloured walls will probably benefit from a plain and simple hallway runner.  Similarly, those lucky enough to enjoy parquet flooring or beautiful original tiling, a plain hall rug can protect the floor beneath while complementing these beautiful features.

For a minimalist feel, pair a simple monochrome rug or runner with subtly decorated walls and a few statement pieces like vases in complementary colours.

A runner with a traditional design will work well in homes where the architecture is formal. If it’s more contemporary, go for something bolder.

Lighter coloured rugs in single or block colours can make a hallway look larger. A deeper colour with busier prints will help to cosy up a room and add some interest to a space.

Hallway runners generally lengthen a space, as they draw the eye forwards. The best ones for this are those with a border or lines running lengthways to give the illusion of spaciousness.

4.       A rug isn’t just for autumn

When choosing your rug it’s important to consider how much time you have available to donate to it’s upkeep. Some materials will require more care to be taken than others. Generally, the softer the material the more delicate it is. Checking if the rug is machine-washable before buying can be a game-changer.

But it’s a good general rule to try to vacuum your rug once a week. Going old school and beating it outside will also help to remove any dried mud and leaves.

Lastly - don’t forget safety! Rugs on hard surfaces should always have a non-slip rubber pad placed underneath the entire length.

Also read:
Incoming: Interior Intrigue from Anteriors

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Hannah Caton

Hannah is the online writer for KBBArk, providing the latest scoop on all things interior. She's always on the lookout for the latest trends and most beautiful re-designs.