When you're working through furnishing a room, at some point you come to the decision of what to put on the floor. If you're like me, thoughts of floor coverings such as rugs tend to go hand in hand with the reality of "floor coverings" of a different nature--you know, the popcorn from movie night that wasn't contained on the LARGE BEACH TOWEL with which you covered your sofa or the bits of broccoli that your two-year old so cleverly got rid of during dinner time. I know I'm not alone in feeling like any effort at keeping the floor relatively clean is a vain one. But here's the good news: while our floors may not remain very clean during this season of life, I really don't believe that has to keep us from having pretty rugs underneath!
|Seagrass on the floor and indoor/outdoor fabric on the chairs and ottoman make for a kid-safe zone. via|
Believe it or not, I think young families have lots of options when it comes to rugs. Natural rugs (often given the generic name "sisal" rugs) can be a great choice. Seagrass is all over the design world, and for good reason--it offers a clean, neutral look, while bringing a good dose of texture to a space and at a really attractive price point. I think it's a great choice for homes where little ones live because it's very forgiving. It provides a hard surface that's not scratchy like sisal, but it cleans up very nicely. Admittedly, it's not nearly as soft as some rugs, but you can always layer a smaller, softer rug over seagrass for the areas where little hands and knees may be traveling.
We used a seagrass rug in the living room of our old house. We lived with it bare, and we also enjoyed layering a cowhide rug over it at one point, and later an old wool oriental rug.
|Please note, my old house (and my current house) are never this clean and orderly! This photo was taken for our real estate listing :)|
|This is a bit more realistic!|
|I was trying out some new furniture (including layering this smaller rug over our seagrass) literally days before our movers packed us up. (typical)|
***We also used a seagrass rug in our dining room, and here is where I will give my one caveat for seagrass. If you have really little kids
|See that oil stain on the rug? :( Again, cleanliness=real estate listing photo|
|Jute/wool blend rug from Pottery Barn. Held up pretty well and this little nugget was happy rolling around on it!|
We used an indoor/outdoor rug in Wade's old bedroom, and it worked great. It looked like a natural fiber rug, but it had the cleaning capabilities of an outdoor rug. We all found it to be perfectly comfortable for sitting too.
|Wade in his old bedroom enjoying piling toys upon his father who is buried underneath. I share it because I think you can sort of make out the look of the rug? (and because doesn't this just make you smile? :)|
Of course, if you are looking for a bright, patterned indoor/outdoor rug there are lots of those available too.
Finally, this may come as a shock to some, but I think old oriental rugs are actually really kid-friendly. They tend to be dark, which is a plus when it comes to hiding those things that didn't get cleaned up yet. I personally love them when they're old and beat up. I have one in our living room that literally has rips in it (and I adore it, will try to post pictures soon). Take that, errant sippy cup!
As far as what to avoid, I think wall-to-wall carpeting is about the scariest thing to have when it comes to a reckless toddler! Sure, it's soft underfoot, but a major spill
Light colored wool rugs that have very little variation in their color also make me nervous. We had a pretty wool rug in our bedroom in Richmond, and it didn't take long for it to show any and all dirt. It was soft and pretty, but we would have been better off with say, a jute rug--a similar look, but the color variation from the natural fibers would have served us well for concealing purposes!
Anyone had any experiences with these types of rugs (good or bad!)? I would love to hear what you think about choosing rugs when you have little ones.