let’s talk about rugs (or one room challenge week 3)

Welcome back to week three of Linda from Calling It Home's One Room Challenge. Last week, we destroyed the silly shelving in the pantry/laundry/sun room/closet to the back of our new house and looked at some inspiration for making this odd after-thought addition into a working family room. In this episode, we will explore every floor covering ever. Not really. But the amount of time I’ve spent on the internet and in my car over the last week searching for the perfect rug borders on the insane.

It all started with this rug.

My husband pointed it out while thumbing through a catalog in Design Within Reach. You know, super casual, “What do you think of this rug?” Of course I wanted it.

Seriously, though? Can we talk about budget for just a moment? Let’s not. So depressing. (But while you are over at Design Within Reach - and I do beg to differ about the "within reach" part - check out this rug too.)

I went in search of color for the floors. And I found some great color, but none of the color that I found had quite enough white space. I really like white space. So I began to look for neutrals. Too boring. Neutral with a pop of color? Black and white graphic? Here is the selection that I came up with in the end.

family room

(P.S.? There is no end. Once you start looking for rugs, you never really stop. Unless, of course, you buy the super expensive, absolutely fantastic rug that you saw at the very start of Rug Search 2015. See where I'm going with this? Exactly. Nowhere.)

I did learn some things in the process. Here are my rug shopping tips for any of you who are similarly searching. 

1.      Decide on a rug size to limit your search. Use blue tape on your floor to mark out your ideal rug size. Look at it. Leave. Come back and look again. Now stick with that size. Sticking with the decision is the hardest part but you will waste a lot less time.

2.      Search by color. Remember that just because you search for “pink” does not mean every rug will be ballet pink with flowers on it. Nor will they all be that hot pink kilim that is what you think you want. You might find a tan and ivory jute rug with pink accents. It might be just the thing and you didn't even know it.   

3.     Search by material. Where is your rug going? What kind of function will it play? Will people be sitting on the floor? Do you wear shoes in your house? Will food be allowed near the rug? Will your rug be exposed to direct sunlight? Not all rugs are created equal when it comes to durability or comfort. Think about how you will live with your rug and research appropriate materials.

4.    Search by price. What’s your budget? More than that, what is your goal with your rug? Are you looking for a rug that you can change with the seasons? In that case, an inexpensive, printed cotton rug might be just fine. If you are looking for something longer lasting, you may want to up your budget a bit for some extra durability and longevity. See above.

5.    Use the “you might also like” or “other customers liked” feature. I got great ideas from some website suggestions.

6.    Think outside of the box. Smaller retailers have smaller selections but typically more diverse selections. You may be able to find the same (or similar rug) at a better price elsewhere or you may get just the help you need to find the perfect rug. Remember that many retailers that don’t make their own products give their own names to a rug that might be pretty commonly available (for example, Surya rugs are everywhere, just under unique names at each retailer). Search for best prices using an image search or by searching the manufacturer’s name if you can find it. You might also find multiple manufacturers that make something similar to the rug you love. This could give you a better price or the exact size that you are after.

7.    Use Polyvore or Olioboard. Both of these sites allow you to clip things you like from the internet and test them together in a space. This gives you a visual check of the combination of things you like for your room. I found many rugs that I really liked in isolation, but hated with the other items that I planned to use in the family room.

So, let's get to the point. What rug did I choose? First, I realized after ignoring my advice in step 1 above that I really do need a 5' x 7' rug. I wanted a larger rug so that I could ground my furniture in the room. I'm not a big fan of the floating furniture (where the rug sits in the middle of the room and none of the furniture legs touch the rug). I was especially not keen on the floating rug because I don't intend to have a coffee table. However, my walls are exactly 8' wide, except that in the middle of the room, there are two lovely little beams - one on each side of the room. These beams make the room 7' - 8" wide for exactly 3". Ugh. So I'm sucking it up and going with the 5' x 7' rug. I ordered three, and I’m thinking about ordering two more. Free shipping and returns? I’ll try them all, thanks.

Oh, and if you haven't checked out some of the other blogs participating in this challenge, you should. Um, decorating a whole condo in 6 weeks? Tips on sizing chandeliers (which post I needed earlier this week)? This fantastic bedroom? All good stuff. And don't forget to check out all of the other participant's progress!


The Rugs (shown above left to right, beginning with top row):

1.      Safavieh Emerald Hand-knotted Stone Wash Rug (8' x 10') - $615.71 at Overstock

2.      Bleached Ivory Basket Weave Jute Rug (8’ x 10’) - $216 (plus shipping) at World Market

3.      Magical Thinking Salma Rug in pink (5’ x 7’) - $99 at Urban Outfitters 

4.      Palmette Chenille Wool Kilim Rug (8' x 10') - $749 (plus shipping) at West Elm 

5.      Metrix Rug (8' x 10') - $986 at Lulu and Georgia 

6.      Dot Tile Rug by Threshold in navy (5’ x 7’) - $7999 at Target 

7.      Annabelle Juniper Indoor/Outdoor Rug (8' x 10') - $930 at Dash and Albert 

8.      Locust Dye Printed Rug in navy (5’ x 7’) - $99 at Urban Outfitters 

9.      Fulton Rug (8' x 11') - $392 (plus shipping) at Joss and Main 

10.   Vega Ivory/Olive Area Rug by Surya (8' x 10') - $987 at Wayfair 

11.   Whorled Trapunto Rug in navy (5’ x 7’ or 8’ x 10’) - $399.95 or $999.95 at Anthropologie 

12.   Surya Zahara Rug in hot pink (8' x 11') - $2,050 (!!!!!) at Lulu and Georgia 

13.   Jute Circles Rug (8' x 10') - $695 (plus shipping) at Serena and Lily 

14.   Tranquility Rug in charcoal by Mercury Row (7’ x 9’ or 7’6” x 5’) - $230-$340 at Wayfair 

15.   Locust Ara Geo Woven Rug in tan (5’ x 7’) - $199 at Urban Outfitters