Rug Care 101

When you take care of your area rugs, you will be rewarded with them lasting a lifetime.  If you follow these tips for cleaning and caring for your area rugs, you can make them last.  All eyes might very well be on your new seagrass rugs and you want it to stay that way.  With only a bit of vigilance, you will be able to preserve the natural good looks of them, regardless if they are sisal rugs, jute rugs or even your seagrass rugs.

Deco Sisal Rug

The care and cleaning requirements for area rugs will depend on the way they are made as well as what they are made from.  However, there are some things that do apply to all types of rugs regardless of what they are made from, how they are made or what they cost.

  • Use a pad underneath your rug. Rug pads will improve the appearance of the rug while also preventing it from slipping.  Anytime you use a rug pad, it needs to be about an inch smaller than the rug you will be using it under – don’t count any fringe in the length of the rug – so that it will not show.
  • Vacuum your area rugs lightly on a weekly basis. Don’t forget to vacuum the underside of it either.  If the rug is in an area that gets a lot of traffic, you will want to vacuum it more often.  If the rug has any fringe, don’t vacuum the fringe.  Keep the integrity of your rugs intact by using an upright style vacuum cleaner and by making sure that the beater bar is at the highest level.  Alternatively, if you have a stick vacuum or canister vacuum, these are less abrasive.
  • Don’t expose your area rugs to sunlight or heat for long periods of time.
  • Rotate your rugs on a regular basis so that they will wear evenly.
  • Have them cleaned professionally. This will depend on where the rug is located as well as on how much foot traffic it gets, but as a rule of thumb, once a year should be often enough.
  • Make sure that you take care of any stains as soon as possible. Use a clean, absorbent, white cloth and blot the stains immediately.  Do not rub the stain or use any type of product that contains silicone because these things will accelerate the soiling.

Anytime you get a special, natural rug that is made from things like seagrass, sisal or jute, they will last longer if you take proper care of them.  This type of area rug can make many types of statements as far as design goes.  Keep them looking great for years to come and your investment in them will pay off in the long run.

How to Shop for Antique Area Rugs

Antique area rugs can be a stunning companion in any room in your home.  They add an instant source of elegance and satisfaction.  From artistic Persian creations to ornate Oriental designs to all natural area rugs, these rugs can save the best of history so that you can enjoy it in your own home.

With an antique area rug, you get the unique chance to actually live with a piece of history while you can also enjoy the fine lines and the craftsmanship of these fine rugs that were woven by hand.  When you are looking for antique rugs, try to find ones that are more than 100 years old and hand woven.

Since these antique rugs have already proven that they can stand the test of time, you know exactly how they will perform and look for the foreseeable future.  These antique area rugs will be unique not just in their design but also in their size.  You will come to find that there are not many antique rugs that will mesh with the standard area rug sizes that we see today.  Also, most of them are simple in their shape…they will typically be a rectangle.

Vienna Sisal Rug

Things to Look for with Antique Area Rugs

You can easily tell which rugs were made by a machine and which ones were made by hand.  A handmade rug will have a design that you will be able to see on both sides.  They will also have knots in the back of them that may have gotten flattened out over the years.  Also, there is no standard size for antique rugs so each rug will be absolutely unique.

Typically, you will find that antique rugs have been made from eco – friendly and renewable materials such as cotton, silk or wool.  Sisal rugs are also great.  The colors that have a tendency to fade quickly are reds and yellows.  This means that if an area rug has bright, vivid reds and/or yellows, it is not antique.  Also, check the amount of knots on the back of it.  More knots means that the quality and weaving are better.

Stay away from rugs that are dry, that crack when they are bent or appear to have been repaired.  An antique area rug should feel soft.  They will not have any sort of backing.  Machine made rugs and reproductions will have a backing.

Keep in mind that antique are rugs will be more costly when they are handmade as opposed to being machine made or a reproduction.  In order to find antique area rugs that are authentic, you should consider working with a rug appraiser who has been certified.  These appraisers have a code of ethics that means that they will give you feedback that is honest which will enable you to make a buying decision that is sound.

5 Tips for Going Green with Your Interior Design

Winter will soon be upon us with its cooler temperatures and short days. You may find that as the temperature drops you are spending more time indoors. You might also find, after taking a good look around, that you are ready for a change that will brighten your interior while also being friendly to the planet. Here are some tips that are easy and won’t break the bank in making them.

Make it Colorful

An easy way to get a big change in any room is by painting one or all of the walls a different color. In choosing colors, first consider the way the room is to be used. For social rooms, warmer colors such as yellows and reds can be stimulating; while cooler colors that are associated with peace, like blues and greens, will be great in bedrooms and other non–social areas.

Think About Flooring

If you have carpeting in your home, consider going with a bare floor. Sustainable flooring such as cork, renewable bamboo, reclaimed wood, or wood that has been responsibly harvested will not harbor allergens or trap toxins in them like carpeting does. For additional warmth and softness, you can always cover those bare floors with area rugs that are natural such as Sisal rugs. Sisal is an all natural fiber that comes from the Mexican Agave plant. These rugs look great and will allow you to have a space that has more warmth in it.

Sisal Rugs

Sisal Rug Home Decor

Use What You Have

One easy way to get a new look in a room is to use what you already have. Instead of going out and spending a lot of money on things that might not be so earth – friendly, consider rearranging your existing furnishings. If that doesn’t appeal to you, what about refinishing or refurbishing them as opposed to buying new ones and consuming more resources.

Go Green

Another great way to brighten up a space is to bring in some green. Potted or hangings plants can bring any tired old space to life…quite literally. Plants not only look great, they also generate fresh air for the spaces that they are in. Some plants, such as the peace lily, chrysanthemum, gerbera daisy, English ivy, Chinese evergreen and the bamboo palm have been studied by the Associated Landscape Contractors of America and NASA and found to be effective for removing toxic carbon monoxide, benzene and formaldehyde from the air. That being said, anyone with allergies to certain plants should be careful as to what plants they bring into the home.

Shop Sustainably

When you do decide to go out and get anything new for your home, remember to think green. You can do this by buying things from thrift shops, from ads in the newspaper, online forums, and even flea markets.

Interior design can be something that is daunting, but you don’t have to be overwhelmed by trying to create that “showroom” look. Let your design show your personality and have fun with it!

When Creating a Neutral Room, Texture is Everything

Texture is an incredible tool when it comes to carefully curated interior design. Much like crown molding or hardware, a rug’s texture can add surprising detail and dimension to a design scheme. Texture can also mean the difference between a cozy, welcoming space and a cold, unfriendly interior. Because of this, texture should be a major consideration when choosing all décor elements, but especially rugs. Whether you’re going for rustic, coastal, contemporary or traditional, there’s a rug texture that will help complete your scheme.

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Jute
Jute, generally harvested in India and Bangladesh, is the softest natural fiber next to wool. It provides a pleasant cushion underfoot, making it great for cozy bedrooms or lounge spaces where bare feet are expected. Visually, jute brings a natural, down-to-earth texture that’s versatile enough for just about any space. Jute rugs are made from the same fibers as burlap and share the material’s earthy color tone. Jute’s sandy-beige texture makes it great for coastal décor. Choose a jute rug if you’re looking for something that’s soft to the touch but not fluffy or spongy.

Sisal
Sisal rugs are constructed from the fibers of the agave plant and then dyed and woven into a durable floor covering. Sisal is naturally versatile and adaptable, so its texture really depends on the weave. Generally speaking, the flatter and wider the weave, the softer the sisal product will be. Sisal rugs can also be blended with wool and other materials for a soft, silky texture. The all-natural look and detailed weaving of sisal rugs makes them great for all kinds of interior design schemes, including rustic or woodsy living spaces, as well as clean, minimalist interiors.

Wool
Wool is, of course, one of the softest rug materials available. It’s constructed from high-quality hair sheared from sheep and other animals and provides a delightfully soft feeling for bare feet and hands. Wool, much like sisal, is an incredibly adaptable fiber to work with, so its texture can range from soft and fluffy to thin and welcoming. Wool is also very absorbent and takes dyes well, so you can find super detailed and colorful wool rugs to complement your room’s theme. Wool rugs are a desirable choice for any laid-back, comfortable living space.

Shag
Every eclectic home should have a shag rug or two. Typically constructed from synthetic fibers or wool, shag rugs feature an extra thick, rich pile for a super soft and welcoming feeling. Shag is great for any cold, rigid space that needs some warming and whimsy. Because shag rugs are made from varying materials, they can take on many unique colors and designs to suit your precise design vision. Shag texture is a wonderful choice for any chic and contemporary living space or vintage-inspired pad.

Bamboo
Bamboo rugs are made from fibers derived from the bamboo plant, so they can take on many unique textures. When you think of bamboo you may think of the woody bark of the bamboo tree, which also makes a desirable material for mats, blinds and room dividers. Bamboo rugs, however, are often woven from fine bamboo fibers to create a soft yet woodsy natural texture that’s similar to jute or sisal. Bamboo rugs are a great choice for any living space that aims to bring the outdoors in.

Think Like a Designer: Secrets to Picking the Perfect Rug

Curating home décor from scratch can feel a lot like filling an empty canvas — the opportunities are truly endless. This can be an overwhelming task for many, but if you learn how to think like an interior designer, you can achieve the space of your dreams. Expert interior designers recommend first surveying the space and keeping a close eye on natural light and architectural elements. Once you’ve determined a theme, start with the walls and flooring. Here are some secrets to picking the perfect rug like an interior designer.

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Keep it Simple
The fact is that if you’re decorating for a furniture-heavy room — like the living room or dining room — the rug is likely not going to be showcased. If you want your furniture and artwork to do the talking, choose a simple wool weave in a natural color. Rugs that are heavy on design or texture can deter from the draw of unique pieces of furniture. Living room rugs should be sized based on your furniture, so make sure you choose a rug large enough to accommodate all of your pieces. There’s nothing worse than a sofa placed outside the edges of the rug.

Think Beyond Convention
Conventionally speaking, American designers start with a rug and build a room outward. Take a more European approach by doing things the other way. Choose statement pieces first — distinct accent chairs or large wall hangings — and opt for a rug that will complement them, not match them. It’s far more difficult to weave in unique pieces than it is to add simple accompaniments. European designers also suggest approaching a room’s décor naturally rather than strategically. It’s better to have a room that feels like it has evolved along with you rather than to have it feel overly decorated or staged.

Keep it Custom
Interior designers are big on creating custom-shaped and -sized rugs for particularly challenging spaces. If you want a custom rug, choose a natural fiber rug like jute or sisal, as they’re much more affordable to order in custom sizes compared to Persian or Oriental rugs. The beauty of choosing custom is that you can design a room to your tastes and needs, rather than around the space and its constraints. Custom rugs can be also be ordered with whatever border and binding you want, ensuring that every detail is tailored to you.

Focus on Practicality
Contemporary interior designers aren’t always focused only on aesthetic. Choosing sensible, practical pieces that are appropriate for your space and lifestyle is a big part of thoughtful, responsible design. Before you select a rug for your home, determine the foot traffic of the space. If it’s a high-traffic room like the foyer or kitchen, durable natural rugs made from sisal or seagrass are a fine choice. If the rug’s main use is mainly for decorating or to rest beneath furniture, a rug made from jute or wool might be a better choice. Remember to reserve white- or light-colored rugs for low-traffic, occasional-use rooms.

Everything in Moderation
Although today’s designers love the eclectic and out-of-the-box, it’s important to remember that big and bold statement pieces should be used sparingly. Keep a neutral base and decorate around it or choose specific spaces and rooms to express your unique personality. Every room should be a reflection of yourself, your tastes and your personality, but you never want to deter from a room’s organic spirit or architectural feel.