Fantastic Floor Coverings: 13 Unusual Rug Designs

Rugs are more than just a soft, sound-dampening covering for bare floors. They’re a chance to make a design statement and, in the words of The Dude, “really tie the room together.” These 13 modern rug designs eschew the same old traditional Oriental designs in favor of topographic maps, puzzle pieces, crystals, cut-outs and the shapes of internal organs.

Wooden Carpet by Elisa Stroyzk

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While the hard surface of wood isn’t exactly a typical material for carpeting, Elisa Stroyzk’s design retains a warmth and coziness with laser-cut geometric pieces that are bonded to a textile backing. “The project “wooden textiles” intends to look at the material wood in a new way. Geometric wooden pieces compose a flexible surface which can perform in different three-dimensional shapes. The material ranges between hard and soft, parquet and carpet, blurring relationships between furniture and textiles.”

Cell Rug by Lama

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In contrast, this rug by Lama is so soft and squishable you’ll want to examine it up close. Made up of foam channels stitched together, the rug even features built-in LED lights.

DIA Cutout Rugs

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Laser-cut rugs with complex patterns by Magdalena Lubinska and Michal Kopaniszyn add padding and interesting patterns to the floor, looking a bit like giant modernized doilies.

Redeploy Rug by Rebekah Rauser

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Temptingly tactile, the Redeploy Rug by Rebekah Rauser is constructed out of wool blankets, which are stitched together and stuffed with a wool blend.

Bandage Rug by Richard Garza Marcos

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Cover wounds and imperfections in your floor with the Bandage Rug by Richard Garza Marcos.

Flat Surgery by Mathieu Lehanneur

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Delicate internal organs are not only put where we can see them, but where we can step on them, too, in this collection of rugs by Mathieu Lehanneur. The designer says, “The human body in radical mode – ‘Flat surgery’ plays with our vital organs to compose motifs and messages. These are rugs to map out habitat: digestive system in the dining room, brain in the office, genitalia in the bedroom…”

Clouds by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

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This strange modular textile can be used as a blanket, a wall covering, a rug or a room divider. ““The point of Clouds is that we do not have to replace all of the things that are already in our homes. Clouds is an extra and new element that provides the opportunity for personalised design where individuals are the architect, designer and workman. The ingenious click system, combined with a couple of simple screws and strings makes it possible to create anything from a wall to a specific figure and expression to fit one’s taste. Clouds enables all imaginable uses, as it can be hung on walls or from the ceiling, placed on the floor or add colourful liveliness to railings and stairs. In other words, Clouds represents a new typology, or a new interpretation of the use of textiles.”

Dark Side of the Moon Rug by Martin Mostböck for Vorwerk

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Inspired by humanity’s fascination with the moon throughout the ages, ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ is a rug perforated with laser-cut circles resembling craters.

Playing with Tradition Rug by Richard Hutton

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If you spun a circular traditional rug really fast, it would probably blur until it looked like the Playing with Tradition Rug by Richard Hutton. Says Hutton, “The idea behind the carpet was to build a bridge between the old and the new, east meets west. From this starting point I looked at various ways to give a reinterpretation.”

Raining Lights Crystal-Embedded Rug

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20,000 of the finest Swarovski Elements crystals add shimmer and sparkle to a dark silk rug made by SAHRAI and displayed at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. The crystals are concentrated on one side to give the appearance of falling rain.

Landcarpet by Florian Pucher

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This unique rug by Florian Pucher is a map of Hong Kong as seen from above. It even has a raised topographical design that enables you to feel the geographical variations of the region with the bottom of your feet.

Rug with Scale by Kwon Sunman

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This rug won’t let you avoid the number on the scale – it has one built in, displaying your present, past and goal weights.

A Persian Puzzle by Katrin Sonnleitner

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Put a rug together in the exact colors, patterns, shapes and sizes that you want with completely customizable puzzle rugs by Katrin Sonnleitner. The rug is made from cut pieces of recycled, natural and synthetic rubber.