The Rug Dilemma

Rugs are finishing touch items, which is a new frontier to us.  That’s because we always have bigger fish to fry than picking finishing touches, like installing a shower on a deadline when you don’t know how and creating a staple-free subfloor for the kids.

But things have changed, and we now have a deadline for both construction and finishing touches, so the game is on.  In the next month or two, we’ll be sharing more about what we’re up to and why we have a deadline, so stay tuned!

But for now, the topic is rugs.  We have a room that looks like this:


You’ll notice there doesn’t seem to be any furniture in the middle.  That’s actually my favorite thing about it, because it means that if Hubby or kids come by and trash it, I can kindly ask them to remove their belongings and no one will be able to say they don’t own their toys/tools/socks/food/wrappers/dishes/books/pillows/Legos/homework.  It’s also so I can make pillows or whatever and lay out the fabric on the floor.

But from a design standpoint, it’s a little weird to have a huge empty spot in the middle.  Normally you’d have a coffee table (and, like, a couch or something, and a rug).

In addition to being a craft/sewing room, it has four smaller chairs around the outside because 1). I like chairs 2) We like to read and/or have conversations and coffee, and 3) I like chairs a lot, especially midcentury ones, and I wanted open space in the middle for projects.

But now that we’re ready for finishing touches, it needs a rug.  And this is a bit tricky, because the rug needs to add softness and style without making it look like a living room where the furniture is missing.  Right?  And also, it has a wallpaper focal point wall (I’m avoiding the phrase “accent wall” because that sounds like 2002).  The rug needs to enhance and not detract from the rather subtle focal point wall.

You know those really cool antique Persian and Turkish rugs?  I’ve never had one of those since we usually find our rugs in the floor model section of Pottery Barn (and I wasn’t one of the preferred heirs who got to choose from my grandpa’s collection).  But I really wanted to try one, and this room was my chance.  Unfortunately, not many of them come in neutrals:


It’s adorable, actually, but turns into the focal point instead of the wallpaper wall.  Plan B: a more neutral one with softer colors.


This one I really like in the picture, but it was expensive and scratchy, and even the cat wouldn’t sit on it.  So back it went.  Then, we tried this, which was my husband’s choice:


This one was interesting, but the more I looked at it, the more I wanted it to go away. Then we tried this one, which we liked a lot at first, but then it started reminding us of a grandma’s house from the ’80’s.  Although it’s beautiful, it also tends to steal the show (though now that I’m looking at it in the picture, I kind of like it again).


The kitty especially liked it.


So then we tried our white wool rug from the living room, which was a little boring.  So we added a kilim-style rug from West Elm on top:


Which made the space a little too West Elm-y and modern in contrast with the wallpaper.  So we layered a smaller rug we had upstairs on top:


and thought the modern West Elm rug showed too much still.  So we took it away:


and gave up on it because we found this vintage Turkish rug:


which I am a HUGE fan of!  Look at it:




We have a winner.  Except for the craft room, which needed a rug.

Back to the drawing board.

(Below is a little snippet of why I was wanting a room to myself, if you’re interested):








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