5 Styles of Rug the World's Best Interior Designers are Picking in 2024

Rugs are a living room staple and bring such coziness and style. Here are five looks that are currently trending

A natural rug in a living room
(Image credit: Jake Arnold x Lulu & Georgia)

If you're in the market for a new rug to tie a living room or bedroom together, we advise you pick a piece that feels enduringly stylish, yet nods to current interior design trends. Get the balance right and your chosen rug will help your room feel on-trend and timeless.

So what types of rugs are making waves in the world of interiors at the moment? We've spoken to leading interior designers to get an idea of the interior design trends, colors, materials, textures, and shapes to look out for when shopping for your dream rug.

1. The distressed look

The distressed 'Blue Moon' rug in situ

(Image credit: Ward + Gray)

The distressed rug look is nothing new. In fact, we reported on this style of rug back in 2023, but it’s a look that's not going anywhere. There is something charming, timeless, and worldly about a well-worn rug that looks like it's been passed down the generations. Christie Ward and Staver Gray from New York interior studio, Ward + Gray love the distressed look so much that they've recently created a whole rug collection out of the desire for distressed rugs.

‘The distressed look is not particular to now as it’s always been a look that we and everyone else loves,' says Christie. 'We made them distressed by literally shearing the fabric and even putting extra focus on areas on the rug where it might look like furniture has been placed to get that well-worn effect.’

This bedroom rug, designed by Ward + Gray, is the Blue Moon design from the collection. It was designed to capture the spirit of summer, evoking fields of wildflowers that shine by the light of the moon come nighttime. It is hand-knotted, and 100 percent Ghazni wool, with that coveted distressed finish.

2. Mixed materials

Two rugs that have been layered in the living room

(Image credit: Melissa Mabey. Design: Susasnnah Holmberg)

Another big rug trend is the mixed material look with clever blends and combinations. Think sissal and jute, combined with embroidery and wool for a layered and luxurious feel. 'Solid rugs with a detailed edge like a wool center with a silk edge or fringe, for example' says San Francisco-based designer, Regan Baker. The look feels modern yet steeped in craftsmanship, which is part of why this rug trend is booming.

'Craftsmanship is paramount when it comes to rugs where weaving techniques and various material types converge to create intricate designs,' says Esther Stam of Studio Modijefsky.

'I envision collaborating with a company to develop rugs that meld relief textures and diverse yarns, playing with lengths,  shine, and thickness to achieve a distinctive aesthetic.'

3. Clever use of woven materials

A wool rug

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Design: Thomas O'Brien)

At the same time, we're seeing differing finishes created by the same material - specifically using wool, creating a luxe look that can help a living room look expensive. 'Rugs that incorporate diverse weaving techniques and various wool types are also trending,' explains Esther, 'such as those with relief textures and a blend of yarn lengths, shine, and thickness.'.

In Thomas O'Brien's new collection for Patterson Flynn, the designer has used the wool weave to create different finishes across the rug. Deco Plaid (above) is the perfect example of this rug trend in action.

'Deco Plaid has been an evergreen design for me that is simple but still surprising,' explains New York designer, Thomas.

'These woven layers of striped bands are weaved in various widths. They weave above and below in unique ways and for all the quietness of the rug there is a rich complexity,' he says. 'Perhaps this is why it works so well in modern rooms but has a lively beauty.'

4. Rugs with a cultural edge

An upstairs hallway with patterned rug

(Image credit: Casey Dunn. Design: Matt Garcia Design)

We've also noticed rugs that nod to Eastern cultures back in fashion. In recent years, on-trend living rooms were tied together with the best Persian rug, but now, designers and homeowners are now looking further east for inspiration. 'Orientals are also coming back for many of our clients,' says Regan.

Alessandra Smith of Alessandra Smith Design agrees: 'This year I've noticed a resurgence in the popularity of vintage and antique cultured rugs,' she says. 'Think one-of-a-kind Oriental, and Kilim style rugs with intricate patterns, mottled colors, and distressed details.'

This style of rug adds a feeling of nostalgia and rich history to a space and looks particularly striking when contrasted against a contemporary interior.

'We think their enduring and timeless quality and the sustainable ethos behind prolonging the life of vintage pieces make them a thoughtful choice for those looking to blend beauty with environmental consciousness,' says Alessandra.

5. Blends of natural materials

A natural material rug in situ in a living room

(Image credit: Jake Arnold x Lulu & Georgia)

Jute, sisal, and natural grasses have been popular materials for rugs in recent years, but designers are finding new ways to play with these materials and blend them together for different shapes, textures and patterns with pile. Lulu & Georgia's collaboration with Jake Arnold is a wonderful example of these soft materials in action - the ultimate addition to a natural living room.

'It’s no secret that I love jute and woven materiality - rugs, antique lighting fixtures, side tables - the material adds the perfect amount of warm texture to a space,' says Jake Arnold.

'These new styles for Lulu & Georgia are driven by that unmatched texture and fresh colors,' says Jake. 'I love using them in our studio's projects. I consider these rugs to be timeless neutrals and any of these new styles can totally transform a space.'

3 on-trend rugs to buy now

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.