Oriental rugs have been gracing the most stylish homes for more than two thousand years. The unique patterns of the knotted or woven rugs originated in the Middle East and have been exported across the world where they are valued for their intricate patterns, durable fabrics, and exotic design.

Make your oriental rug take pride of place in your home with our design tips.

1. Layer up

Layer your oriental rug with a couple of other, more modern rugs, for a chic, Bedouin vibe. Choose a contrasting rug with a simple chevron or striped pattern, which complements the rich detail of the oriental rug.

2. Create an oriental picnic area

During a warm spell, move your oriental rug out to the garden with a few cushions, and you have an oriental picnic area where you can relax in the sun and enjoy an al fresco meal. Cook an Arabic feast of hummus and lamb chops to make the experience more authentic.

3. Mix up the old with the new

Team your vintage rug with a modernist coffee table or an unusual floor lamp to create the juxtaposition of old and new. Use your rug as the base for this look – pick out a subtle colour reference in the design and choose furniture in a matching hue, but a very different aesthetic.

4. Make a cosy hideaway

Choose an oriental rug in a rich shade of blue or red and decorate a small room or shed around this palate. Paint the walls and ceiling in warm shades and scatter cushions across the floor. Set up a hookah pipe in the centre of the room, Middle Eastern style, and hang a few glass lanterns for that Arabian Nights effect. Use your hideaway to entertain friends, or as a place to just relax with a good book.

5. Make an entrance

Liven up your hallway by placing a long oriental runner rug against a sideboard. Encourage guests to remove their shoes (and preserve your rugs!) by placing a small shoe rack just before the entrance area.

6. Add a touch of luxury to your bedroom

An oriental rug should feel soft and warm under foot, so lay your rug at your side of the bed and let it be the first thing your toes touch in the morning. An oriental rug adds a luxurious feel to a bedroom, and looks particularly great against dark wood furniture and sumptuous bedding.