As a child, I was pretty indifferent to rugs or carpets. Back at home, they always existed. They were scrubbed and vacuumed and dirtied and dribbled upon and I didn't quite imagine life without it. Till I moved out.
Basic amenities do not cover rugs, far less, carpets. The first few days I didn't mind, basking in my new-fangled independence, traipsing over bare floors with un-socked feet. Eventually though, the irremovable stains on the bathroom floors made it clear that, in the absence of carpetting, a near-permanent use of slippers is a must.
Then came the winters. It brought the chill from all possible directions, including and especially, the floor. The soles of my feet must have been frostbitten on a regular basis and I yearned for the luxury of a nice woolly carpet to sink my feet in. As a conscientious student out making her life (not very successfully), I chose to brave the chilblains (they were not, really).
It wasn't until I was married that I invested in carpets of my own. Sharing a personal space with a family allows such indulgences (my husband has been equally deprived of and adores carpets). Before long, we had a rust-coloured smartie under the coffee-table and a couple of foot-rugs splayed out anywhere I liked them to be.
The most recent aesthetic development in my mind has been the blending of a reading nook. Pinterest is flooded with these amazing, drool-worthy layouts of personal libraries, complete with plush armchairs, wooden floorings, careless cushions strewn around and walls paved with books. I might have to invest my life's savings to buy one such room (unfurnished) but it doesn't stop from giving me ideas. I picked the discrete use of the stately rug in muted lighting as the cheapest I can do to amp up my reading nook.
Monochrome or muti-coloured
The thing with a bookshelf is that it can barely be colour-coordinated, unless you are OCD about it (and I am not). The jumble of book-spines already sets a wild tone to the corner. You can either choose to mute the mess or accentuate it.
A monochromatic rug contrasts the hodge-podge of book covers and the mess created by pulling books out of a tightly packed shelf. It makes the room/nook appear stately and official. Dark monochromes can make the room look truly regal while bringing to fore the variegated collection all around.
A multi-coloured throw, on the other hand, lends a more informal tone. It emanates cosiness and the inviting feeling of slouching with a cup or glass of whatever you fancy, without bothering about leaving mug-stains and spills (though, seriously, you should avoid that; cleaning rugs is a pain). If you have a dedicated library, feel free to dress it up in monochromes, with uniform furnishing palettes. However, small houses with limited spaces may offer not more than a wall corner. Unless you decide to colour-coordinate everything (which can frankly, get boring), it works to keep a multi-coloured rug afoot.
Accessorise your rug
With cushions. I am a woman and I have no qualms in telling you that cushions are the best invention ever. Plop them in any size and shape you want, and plop a handful. Not only are they God-sent when you want to lean your aching back, but they evoke the age-old charm of leisure-reading. No wonder libraries, for all their green-domed lamps and vaulted ceilings do not really feel like home, despite their overwhelming collection of books.
On single-coloured rugs/carpets, you can use both gaudy and classy cushions, in keeping with your mood of the day/week (a month is too long to anticipate). A pop of colours, though, is preferable, to break the monotony. On a more dramatic rug, plain cushions are a way to create a distinct line and add a touch of class.
And clean your rugs pretty thoroughly
With every teeny thing you add to your household, comes maintenance. And rugs in libraries and in book corners should be topmost on your list, on top of airing the mattress and washing the car. Dust settles very fast on the bristles of the carpets, and the dust, bacteria and fungi can ring the death knell for your beloved books. Air out carpets and foot rugs every week and preferably let in a lot of sunshine where your books are. Nobody really likes a moth-eaten book unless its a century old.
All things considered, a rug under my foot is not just for the cold, but also to cater to an emotional tick for times gone by. I take a lot more care of carpets than I ever did in the first eighteen years of my life, but when they get dribbled upon, that's when I feel like I've owned them.An sitting in a raggedy rug, still bright in fibre and charm, reading something engrossing is the way I want my day to end...
Share the love for carpets in your library? Shoot me a line. Share your pics... I might steal them for my nook...