Friday, July 3, 2009

Getting The Dirt On Rugs

When I moved into my apartment I had only the bare minimum when it came to furniture. But I did have a rug and that made it feel like home. Rugs have an almost magical ability to transform a hodgepodge of furniture into a civilized and welcoming room.


Finding a rug that can take a beating (and not give your wallet one) can be daunting, and getting an attractive one to boot can seem impossible. But thanks to a combination of ingenuity and technology, there are some great options out there.

One of my favorites are cowhide rugs. In their natural coloring they can give an earthy feel and a lot of attitude to a room. Or you can get one that's been dyed to look like a zebra skin, which is an instant recipe for chic. And the best of it is, cowhide is both inexpensive and indestructible (no child has a chance of getting that thing dirtier than the cow). Just vacuum and wipe down with soap and water. I've seen a number of great (new) ones on ebay in the $250.00 price range.




Another classic is the sisal rug. It goes with any decorating style from formal to cottage and always adds a fresh, natural feel to a room. They make great runners on stairs and add a finished note to a hallway. Thinking practically, they are inexpensive and they can take a lot of wear. Impractically, they can only be vacuumed or wiped down with water, so they don't mix well with food. However, now there is a whole breed of polypropylene indoor-outdoor sisal rugs which are attractive and can take anything a messy eater can dish out.



And last but not least, there is the striped cotton rug. These add visual drama without the least bit of stuffiness. Something about them always carries an echo of vacation and the simple life. They are unbeatable when it comes to cost, and can be cleaned in your washing machine or with a steam cleaner (often available for rent for about $20 from your local grocery store). Dash and Albert carries a huge selection of beautiful striped cotton rugs (also indoor-outdoor ones) at very reasonable prices.



Picture credits: 1. House Beautiful 2. Myer Davis Studio via Desire to Inspire 3. House Beautiful 4. Elle Decor 5. House Beautiful 6. House Beautiful 750 Designer Secrets 7. Elle Decor 8. Better Homes and Gardens via Dash and Albert

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