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Here’s Why Every Kitchen Should Have a Rug

Already a big craze across the pond, having a rug in the kitchen is becoming a hot trend here, too – and for good reason

Houzz Contributor. I am an editor, journalist, web and copywriter. I was Editor of… More

It’s rare to see a rug in a kitchen – but it makes perfect sense to have one. Why? A rug softens the hard floor of a room in which we spend so much time standing up; it defines the zones of a multi-functional kitchen, diner and living space, plus, it looks nice. So other than having to be a little more careful with spillages, what’s not to like?

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Cosy up a dining zone
You wouldn’t think twice about putting a rug beneath a coffee table to make your living room seating area feel more snug and cohesive, so why not do the same beneath a dining table in a kitchen-diner? It can define the area and draw attention to the dining table. Just ensure it’s at least 50cm bigger than the table all round.

10 ideas for divine dining table lighting

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Add a flash of colour
An all-white kitchen isn’t just a popular buy, it’s a safe one, too, because it’s unlikely to offend future buyers. BUT… it can look like every other white kitchen you’ve ever seen, unless you add a splash of bold colour.

The easiest, most instant – and affordable – way to do so is to throw down a bright rug. Add non-slip pads to keep it there.

How to choose the right rug for your space

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Liven up with pattern
Kitchens with wall-to-wall cabinetry have very little room for artwork and decoration, which can make them feel rather impersonal. So why not put down a rug to add visual interest and texture?

Which to choose: plain or patterned? If you’re a messy cook, pattern will hide stains and crumbs much more effectively. (Just don’t let that encourage you to forget to vacuum it or shake it out; a cotton rug will also be washable.)

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Bring in texture
The point of ensuring there’s a decent amount of texture in a room is to add a perceived level of comfort. In a bedroom or living space, you might do the trick with throws and cushions; in a bathroom, it might be a pretty bathmat and matching towels. In a kitchen, you have limited options – but a rug made of natural fibres can do the job with ease.

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Define zones
A large kitchen, diner and living space can feel a little chaotic and disconnected without some serious visual definition of zones. Here, it’s done brilliantly with a huge rug in colours that pick out the tones of the cabinetry and kitchen walls, as well as separating the sitting area from the cooking and dining spaces.

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Set the tone
In this country farmhouse kitchen, the cabinetry and tiles look as if they’ve always been there. But the presence of the intricate, handmade rug quite neatly tricks you into overlooking it. Chosen to match the colour of the units, it lifts the scheme and is a sophisticated focal point.

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Make a room seem bigger
Just as striped wallpaper can make a room look taller, or diagonally laid tiles can make it seem wider and deeper, rugs can perform neat visual tricks to enhance your space.

Here, a long runner already draws the eye towards the door, making the kitchen seem lengthier. The effect is further exaggerated by the diamond pattern.

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Up the comfort factor
Of course, it’s much more practical to have a washable or easy-to-sweep rug in a kitchen, but only one with a decent pile will make it feel welcoming underfoot.

So what to choose that won’t look mucky in minutes? Picking one with faded colours and an intricate pattern will mean that stains and crumbs just don’t show up.

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Soften the hard edges
Like many contemporary kitchens, this one is all sleek and streamlined angles, which could look a little cold and unwelcoming, but for the contrast of the natural curves of the faux zebra-skin rug. The irregular stripes add a surprising touch of pattern to the otherwise plain space, too, making it much more visually interesting.

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Go faux
Love the idea of a rug but not the upkeep? It’s simple to create the look of a rug with tiles or vinyl flooring by choosing patterned tiles for the central area of the kitchen and plain ones for the edges.

Get it just right by ensuring the patterned section has an edging tile, as in this room, and plot the rug’s position very, very carefully.

Rugs in kitchens is a surprisingly divisive topic. Where do you stand on the idea? Tell us in the Comments section.

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