Armadillo & Co: Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Rug


An area rug is the essential element that truly transforms a house into a home. They help to define living zones, anchor furniture settings, tie a room’s décor together and can warm up and soften hard surfaces to reduce noise levels.

A rug can make or break a room. Armadillo & Co’s guide to buying the perfect rug will ensure it always makes the room.

Purpose: What do you want your rug to bring to a room?

A rug can be used to define and anchor a space or setting, such as living and dining in an open-plan room. The perfect rug will unite lounge furniture that might otherwise feel disconnected or gently soften the ‘leggy’ look of dining chairs around a table.

A rug can warm and soften hard flooring, such as concrete or tiles, and feel soft and luxurious underfoot in bedrooms and nurseries. Dark colours feel more intimate; light colours are brighter and airy. Considering the functional and aesthetic purpose of a rug in a room will help you decide on the weave and fibre, size and shape and the colour and pattern.

Weave and fibre: Where will the rug will be used and by who?

Different rooms and spaces in a house have different levels of foot traffic.

Rugs in transition spaces, such as entries and hallways, should be more hardwearing, while rugs in living areas and bedrooms can be soft and plush. Armadillo & Co produces flat-woven and hand-knotted rugs in jute, wool, linen and recycled PET, and the combination of each can be better suited to where the rug will be used and by who.

For high-traffic areas:

Flat-weave rugs are handmade on a loom by weaving horizontal yarns (weft) through vertical yarns (warp). They have the sturdiness to withstand high-traffic areas, and their very low profile is easier to clean, which is a great choice for people with dust allergies, as fewer allergens get stuck in the fibres.

Jute is a naturally renewable material that is extremely durable. It is naturally resistant to dust mites and has anti-microbial properties. Jute has a beautiful natural look, and high-quality jute has a lovely soft lustre.

Armadillo & Co’s Ravine is a flat-woven rug made with jute. Its soumak weave provides extra texture and sturdiness to withstand high traffic areas. River Ticking Stripe is also flat-woven jute and has a classic nautical stripe, perfect for a coastal or rustic-style home.

For softness underfoot:

Hand-knotted rugs are incredibly labour-intensive as artisans tie individual knots to the vertical yarns running the length of the rug. These intricate knots form a pile and are extremely plush. Hand-knotted rugs feel soft and luxurious underfoot and the thickness of the pile absorbs sound in a noisy room or large space.

Wool is soft and durable and has excellent insulation properties, helping to keep a home cool in summer and warm in winter. It easily shrugs off dirt, springs back into shape and has air purification and moisture control qualities.

Armadillo & Co’s Agra rug is the ultimate barefoot luxury, with a beautiful hand-knotted plush wool pile. For the look of jute with softness underfoot, the longer fibres of the Desert rug have a sumptuous feel that gets softer with wear, while retaining the gorgeous aesthetic qualities of jute.

For outside:

Outdoor rugs provide comfort and style in outside living areas and can be used to visually connect the interior and exterior of a home. Armadillo & Co’s Indoor Outdoor collection is crafted to withstand the elements but also feel like wool underfoot. Made from recycled PET (plastic bottles), the rugs are environmentally friendly and easy to clean with a quick hose down. They are also naturally resistant to fading, stains and mould.

Size: What size rug should you choose?

The golden rule is bigger is better.

An oversized rug helps to ground a space and gives furniture settings an anchor and foundation. For living areas and bedrooms choose the largest rug possible while still leaving space between the rug and walls to highlight the floor, as well as enough space to open the doors. A large rug will help make a room feel more spacious, whereas a small rug can make a room look out of proportion.

An area rug in a lounge setting should fit underneath all the furniture, or, at the very least, the front two legs of a sofa and armchairs. An area rug in the dining area should extend 60 to 70 centimetres beyond all edges of the table so that the back legs of chairs still sit on the rug when pulled away from the table. This will also protect hard floors from scuff marks and scratches.

If you can’t find the right size of rug, go custom. Armadillo & Co will custom tailor a rug to the desired shape, size and finish (tassels, turnover, hand-binding) to ensure it perfectly fits a space. Alternatively, check out Armadillo & Co’s rug placement guide, showing tired and testing layouts that are pleasing to the eye and can help anchor a room –

Shape: What shape rug should you choose?

The shape of a rug should complement the shape of a room or setting.

Rectangular rugs generally work well in most rooms; however, an unexpected shape can sometimes be more appropriate. Rectangular rugs are an obvious choice for rectangular dining tables and traditional lounge settings featuring a sofa and armchairs to create a symmetrical and balanced space.

A round rug can add visual interest and soften the feel of a room, particularly one with lots of straight lines. A round rug under a table creates a cohesive design, and a round rug in a living area adds a sense of playfulness. Round rugs, such as Armadillo & Co’s Braid, bring a calming quality to bedrooms, while jute rugs, such as Camellia and Petunia, are more hardwearing for the entry of a house.

Runners are designed to fit a narrow space, such as hallways and entryways or in the kitchen, to provide a softer surface underfoot when standing for longer periods of time. Short runners, such as Armadillo & Co’s Drift, are ideal next to beds. Drift has a subtle design and a palette inspired by drifting tides and sands.

Colour and pattern: What aesthetic do you want to create?

The colour and pattern of a rug can tie a room’s décor together. Choose a rug before finalising décor, whenever possible. It will unify the other elements and can provide a starting point for colour and textural palettes.

A richly textured and patterned rug will depth and luxuriousness to a room. Armadillo & Co’s Gazelle has diamond motif etched into the rug, creating a tactile mix of high and low pile. that has a gentle. Patterned rugs, such as Gazelle, can also tie together an eclectic style.

Neutral tones work well with existing furniture or décor. Armadillo & Co’s Classic collection has a timeless and natural palette that complements all spaces and settings. The collection is inspired by sources such as traditional Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs, animated African tribal motifs and aerial photography of the natural environment. The Desert rug made with raw jute has beautifully complex colour mimicking the hazy mirage of a desert oasis.

Colours can change the perception of a space. Darker tones can make a space feel more intimate, while a room with lighter tones feel brighter, airy and more open. Armadillo & Co’s Heirloom collection has colourways inspired by the iridescent beauty of nature and aged metals. The Agra rug is available in ten colours from light to dark, and with a deep cut pile that reflects the light.

Environmentally and socially responsible: Where does the rug come from? 

How a rug is manufactured not only affects its lifespan but also impacts rug makers and the environment. Choosing a rug that is made ethically, sustainably and using natural and recycled materials where possible will make your room beautiful while benefiting others.

Armadillo & Co is striving to make a positive impact on people and to leave as little impact on the earth as possible. From the hands of those who spin and dye the yarns to the hands of the artisans who weave and finish the rugs, the company helps to support its artisan community in India through Fair Trade Practices. Every rug uses only natural and recycled materials and each purchase helps to sustain an industry based on traditional craftsmanship and build a brighter future for the children in the weavers’ villages.

In 2017, the company established the not-for-profit Armadillo & Co Foundation. It’s mission is to enhance the lives of underprivileged local communities through the provision of educational, health and community structures. The Foundation sponsors the Kantilal Vidya Mandir (KVM) School in India, which educates many of Armadillo & Co’s artisans’ children. Armadillo & Co has funded all of KVM’s overheads since 2014, and more than 1060 students have graduated from KVM, supported by this sponsorship. Armadillo & Co Foundation has also pledged scholarships for the three highest performing girls at KVM to help them complete their secondary schooling. An additional scholarship is awarded to a student from a family in need or a high-achieving boy.

Armadillo & Co has its headquarters in Sydney, Australia, and showrooms in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Los Angeles and New York City. Armadillo & Co is represented by more than 200 retailers across 15 countries, spanning Australia, Asia, USA, the Middle East and Europe.