How Ever-Popular Natural Area Rugs Embody Timeless Style

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If you’re in the market for home décor that’s going to transcend trends, choose a natural area rug. These rugs evolved with mankind, dating all the way back to the Stone Age, when early humans used animal hide to cover the floors in their huts and shelters. Animal skin rugs — especially patchwork cowhide rugs and leather rugs — are still a highly desirable choice among interior designers and homeowners today.

Rug weaving techniques, many of which are still in use in modern day, were developed around 4,000 years ago in the fertile Middle East region of Mesopotamia. Naturally, these techniques spread throughout the rest of Asia and inspired centuries of rug-making traditions throughout Turkey and what is now Iran and Egypt. These rugs were generally made from sheep’s wool that had been dyed to various rich colors.

Since then, natural fiber rugs have continued to play a central role in the realm of high-quality flooring and home décor. Here’s a little bit about natural fiber rugs in the 20th century and today.

1900–1930s
During the turn of the 19th century, elaborate Tudor and Victorian mansions were erected throughout the booming industrial cities of the Americas. Expensive, elaborate Oriental rugs were shipped over from Asia en masse and used to decorate the homes of some of America’s elite. The Hearst Castle, which was built by newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst in 1919, featured an exceptional collection of fine-quality Oriental rugs.

1930s–1950s
In the 1930s and ‘40s, it was all about art deco. Perhaps in response to the Great Depression, color schemes were pleasant and pastel, so wool rugs were quite popular. Wool is a highly reactive fiber, so it makes a wonderful base for bright colors and detailed patterns. Oriental rugs, which are traditionally woven with cotton, wool or silk, maintained their popularity among high society throughout the 1950s. Since many motifs relied heavily on Asian influence during this era, silk and bamboo rugs were décor staples.

1960s–1970s
Mid-century rugs were big on warm colors and striking, geometric patterns. Wool and cotton rugs were popular thanks to the fibers’ appropriateness for dying and fine weaving. Although some historians suggest that the shag rug originated in the Middle East or Central Asia much earlier than the 1960s, it certainly hit its peak in America during this period. This super-groovy style, usually made with wool or cotton, prevailed into the 1970s and eventually became archetypical of the era’s decor. Other eclectic styles, like patchwork cowhide rugs, grew in popularity during this time period, too.

1980s–today
As a reaction to the green movement in America, eco-friendly home décor has picked up major steam in the past several decades. This has inspired a whole new generation and class of interest in natural fiber rugs that are eco-friendly. Bamboo and jute, two high-quality fibers that are quick-renewing, have become some of the most popular rug options on the market today. Contemporary rugs tend to feature super-saturated, rich colors over detailed yet not too-busy designs. Simple, all-natural fiber rugs in earth tones are always trendy for homeowners that want to create a calm, soothing space.

Using Natural Area Rugs to Enhance Your Specific Design Vision

If you’ve spent a lot of time carefully choosing an interior décor scheme that complements your personality and lifestyle, you want to make sure that every piece you select closely aligns with that vision. Thanks to their eco-friendly appeal and exquisite, artful aesthetics, natural area rugs are a great choice for any space, whether it is down-to-earth and eclectic, chic and minimalist or rustic and woodsy.

Natural rugs’ versatile fibers and materials allow for a broad range of looks and textures to help perfectly complement your home’s design motif. Choosing the right rug for your room’s décor can be exhausting, so check out some of these décor and rug pairings for new ideas and inspiration.

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Rustic
Rustic décor is all about reconnecting with nature. If your dream décor is inspired by a chalet among the cedars or a log cabin in the mountains, you’ll love these rustic rugs. No oasis in the woods is complete without an animal hide rug. The perfect complement to your white cedar furniture or antler chandelier, a cowhide rug brings simple sophistication to any space. Patchwork leather rugs make a great alternative to the standard cowhide rug for decorators who want a clean, geometric shape rather than a cut that follows the hide’s natural shape.

Earthy
Create a soothing, earth-inspired space that feels like an extension of the outdoors with a stunning jute or sisal rug. Inspiring earth tones with intriguing, artistic weaves pair perfectly with your nature-inspired décor. These rugs are often left in their natural coloring to help mimic the beautiful color spectrum of the earth. Sisal and jute rugs are also made from eco-friendly, fast-renewing and biodegradable materials, so you can rest easy knowing you’re getting a high-quality, eco-friendly product when you select this option.

Beachy
Finish off your seaside hideaway with one of our beautiful seagrass or mountain grass rugs. This fast-growing plant grows at the bottom of the sea, so it’s an authentic and honorable way to turn any room into a splendidly seaworthy space. Mountain grass and seagrass rugs come in a huge selection of earthy, all-natural colors to help create a neutral base for your beach-inspired knickknacks and marine-colored walls.

Modern
Choose a contemporary natural area rug that suits your clean, modernist vision to help lay the foundation for modern décor pieces that are big on color and personality. Leather rugs are a popular choice among contemporary interior designers because they feature an unconventional pattern and texture without the distraction of a busy design. Today’s leather rugs come in so many colors, including crisp white and bold black options, to help complement your pre-existing palette.

Traditional
When you think of traditional rugs, you may automatically envision ornate, ornamental Oriental rugs. Today’s traditional styles draw heavily from the Asian rug-weaving traditions that came before, but are often made with a modern subtlety that makes them even more versatile. Choose a jute rug with a bit of fringing or a wool rug with a detailed pattern to help complement your room’s more traditional spirit.

 

 

 

Why a Natural Area Rug Trumps Man-Made Alternatives

If you’re going by aesthetic alone, it’s not hard to see why a beautiful natural area rug trumps its man-made counterparts. Rugs made with natural fibers are masterpieces in their own right — made with the best quality materials that come straight from the planet — and feature extraordinary designs, patterns and colors for both traditional and contemporary spaces.

Rug-shopping can be an overwhelming experience for many homeowners and designers, so we’ll help explain why you can’t go wrong when you choose a natural area rug. In the end, it comes down to quality, appearance and environmental considerations.

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Unbeatable quality
Natural fiber area rugs are woven with some of the most desirable, natural textiles in the world — including wool, hemp, bamboo, sisal, seagrass and jute — that have been used to create long-lasting flooring for centuries. These materials, some of them somewhat wood-like, are hand-crafted using weaving techniques that help the rug retain its shape and strength through years of use — even when placed in the busiest rooms in your home. Because of their natural durability and resilience, natural rugs are often recommended for use outdoors.

On the other hand, synthetic rugs are typically made in a factory using man-made materials like polyester, acrylic or nylon. Because they’re generally made from plastic- or petroleum-based fibers, synthetic area rugs don’t take abrasions or impacts as well as natural fiber rugs. They’re also known to yellow or fade much quicker than rugs made from plant-based fibers, so they’re not ideal for placement in rooms where there’s a regular stream of natural sunlight.

Artful aesthetic
Furthermore, natural area rugs provide a truly unique appearance that adds texture to any room. From the woody presence of bamboo to the soft sheen of cotton, there’s no better way to bring dimension to your floors. Natural rugs are also a better choice for anyone who wants a quality, colored rug that won’t fade or dilute. Wool rugs, for example, are made with reactive fibers, so they’re known to hold and retain dyes exceptionally well. You simply will not get the same grade of coloring with any kind of synthetic rug.

Effortlessly eco-friendly
Perhaps the most compelling argument for natural rugs over man-made rugs is their eco-friendly angle. Bamboo rugs, for example, are made from one of the fastest-renewing trees in the world, so they’re a great option for anyone who wants to design their home with sustainability in mind. Man-made rugs require much more water and energy to produce than their natural, hand-woven counterparts and often emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may be dangerous to human health and are especially harmful to the environment.

 Health-conscious
Because natural fiber rugs emit zero VOCs, they’re much healthier for you and your family. Natural fiber rugs also have the power to alleviate symptoms of allergy sufferers. This is because synthetic rugs are much more hospitable to dust mites, mold spores and pet dander than natural area rugs. Similarly, natural fibers may help those with asthma breathe a bit easier.

Micro Living Décor

Urban lifestyles and rising real estate prices are making smaller living places the go-to choice of young couples and older retirees. The art of micro home décor is all about minimizing clutter and paying more attention to walls, floors and even ceilings.

If you’ve already made the decision to live small, you probably understand that it can significantly untangle many of life’s complications. By choosing the micro-lifestyle, you’re committing to a life of simplicity and sustainability, so it makes sense to incorporate eco-friendly, natural décor into your small space. Whether you’re decorating a challenging urban apartment or sprucing up your tiny home, opting for natural flooring is the smart choice for savvy homeowners.

Complement your petite living space, bedroom or office with earth-friendly natural area rugs. Natural fiber rugs use weaving sourced only from plant-based fibers like jute, seagrass, bamboo and sisal. Unlike traditional carpet-making techniques, these fast-renewing materials don’t require an excess amount of water, energy or pollutant-causing machinery to manufacture. Natural area rugs are also free from harmful chemicals like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and can even help purify the air in your home, so they’re much safer and healthier than synthetic rugs or carpeting.

When you’re living in a small space, common areas tend to see a high amount of foot traffic. Your living room may also be your study, dining room, den and library, so you want to ensure that you’re choosing quality flooring that will hold up through years of use. Sisal rugs, seagrass rugs and bamboo rugs are well-suited for high-traffic areas like the family room or hallways because of their natural resilience and tight weaving. When you’re committing to a high-quality product like natural rugs, you buy less often and save money while reducing waste. As an added bonus, many natural rugs, especially jute rugs, are reversible for twice the wear.

The most obvious reason to decorate with natural fiber rugs is because they bring a warm, cozy and upscale feel to any living space, no matter its size. Elegant, simple flooring in natural, earth-toned colors can turn a drab and lifeless room into a welcoming retreat that’s inspired and artful. Small spaces shouldn’t rely too heavily on statement furniture or dramatic designs, but should instead incorporate subtle, simplistic décor elements to create a more open and functional feeling.

Natural fibers are beloved thanks to their casual, comfortable appeal, exquisite sheen and texture and airy, inviting appearance. While it is most common to see fiber rugs left to display their naturally beautiful color and texture that can range from sandy beige to golden copper, today’s selection of beautiful natural flooring comes in a huge assortment of bold solid colors and elegant or ornate prints. Eclectic rugs made from patchwork leather or cowhide are great for adding a unique texture to a floor that should still remain somewhat muted.

Naturally, neutral area rugs in beige, gold, hunter green and white, are common choices in micro décor because they cater to the space’s inclination towards the simple and uncluttered. Solid-colored, earth-toned natural flooring can create a tidy and relaxing backdrop for dressing up a space with punchy colors and patterns. Natural rugs are also a popular choice among eclectic and artsy interior designers because they all feature their own natural variations, making each one a true work of art.

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In the News: Smart Living Ideas

Families and experts from across the globe are finding ingenious ways to enhance a home’s functionality and sustainability. Here are some of the most innovative smart living ideas found in recent news stories:

Washington, D.C. — The Concord Monitor reports that one couple transformed their 2,100-square-foot Capitol Hill row house from old and outdated to functional and inspired by using a neutral sisal rug to set the foundation for their new stylish décor. The homeowners, a 29-year-old designer and her husband, paired the rug with cream-colored walls to help create a subtle backdrop for their collection of bold and colorful artwork and furniture.

Crofton, Md. — In a recent Washington Post story, an interior designer helped homeowners Chris and Julie Danielewski minimize the effect of busy, marbled floor tiles in their living and dining rooms without spending thousands on a new floor installation. The expert suggested draping the tile floors with neutral sisal area rugs to connect the two rooms cohesively and to create a more muted appearance.

Washington, D.C. — Jeff Devlin, the host of HGTV’s hit show “I Hate My Bath” recently answered questions from Washington Post readers. Devlin advised a homeowner on how to unify a disjointed attic space by placing two matching dhurrie rugs in the space to help merge the separate rooms while still creating two distinct areas. Devlin said that dhurrie rugs are ideal because they’re affordable, reversible and available in many colors.

Port Aransas, Texas — The Corpus Christi Caller Times reports that Ross and Paula Buhrdorf purchased their beach-view home with the intention of hosting many family gatherings. The pair got design ideas from traveling across the globe and staying in others’ vacation homes as well as reading architecture and design books. The Buhrdorfs chose the home for its open main floor layout and desirable location and then reinvented its interior with beautiful mahogany steps, a floor-to-ceiling fireplace and a large kitchen equipped with industrial-grade appliances.

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