Interior Design

Emma Sims-Hilditch shares her top 3 tips on using rugs in interior design

The renowned interior designer reveals how rugs can create a luxurious, layered appeal

Living room by Sims Hilditch looking towards fireplace with rugs
(Image credit: Sims Hilditch)

When interior decorators create a room scheme, they invariably work in layering to create comfort. And one of the most important elements of layering is the rug. It's the easiest of living room ideas to instantly make a space feel more welcoming. 

So, whether you're looking for living room rug ideas or for inspiration for other rooms in your home – be inspired by expert advice by Emma Sims-Hilditch of interior design agency Sims Hilditch (opens in new tab).

'While furniture is often front of mind while planning an interior, the importance of rugs mustn’t be overlooked,' says Emma. 'The right rug can bring an interior together, creating a perfectly finished space which flows.'

1. Layering rugs

Living room by Sims Hilditch looking towards fireplace

(Image credit: Sims Hilditch)

Layering in interior design is a technique professional use to bring texture, comfort and depth to their schemes. 

'To create a cozy aesthetic, we suggest layering two rugs together, one overlapping the other. This works very well in a sitting room beneath a coffee table, or in a cosy bedroom. 

'A natural sisal rug paired with an opulent patterned design is a particularly pleasant combination, creating a nice contrast and bringing plenty of character to the space. The natural tones and texture of a sisal rug bring a rustic quality to the room, paying tribute to the countryside, while the patterned design injects an element of fun into the space.'

2. Using antique rugs

Living room by Sims Hilditch looking towards window

(Image credit: Sims Hilditch)

When choosing a rug, consider bringing an extra layer of interest into your rooms with antique rugs.

'We often work with our clients to source antiques for their homes, and rugs provide an excellent opportunity to do this. Antique rugs incorporate a welcome element of history and bring a certain gravitas to an interior, which works well in both contemporary and historic homes. 

'A traditional interior is the perfect backdrop for an antique design paying homage to its rich history, and a contemporary space greatly benefits from the character that an antique rug brings. We often blend a mixture of antique and contemporary pieces throughout our designs, bringing interest and depth to the interior.'

3. Using rugs in unexpected rooms

Living room by Sims Hilditch looking towards fireplace

(Image credit: Sims Hilditch)

'Rugs don’t have to exist in the sitting room or bedroom alone. In many of the homes that we work on, the dining rooms, hallways and kitchens have stone or wooden floors. Although this is a beautiful feature, it can seem cold and uninviting during the fall and winter months. 

'Laying a rug or runner in these spaces is a simple way to add a welcome element of cosiness and warmth, although we would recommend exercising caution if using sisal as it is fairly tricky to clean.'

Emma Sims-Hilditch
Emma Sims-Hilditch

Founded in 2009, the Sims Hilditch design practice has become one of the most trusted and respected in the industry. Its couture approach combines interior architecture, interior design and procurement management within one concept-to-completion, fully bespoke service. Creative Founder, Emma Sims-Hilditch is passionate about her belief that good design can transform not only how people live but also how they feel.