Lauren Liess posted a detailed review of Rugs that everyone should read! Check out her “Low-Down” on Natural Rugs below.
“Natural” Rugs: Seagrass, Sisal, Jute, Synthetic & Wool Rugs: The Low-Down
I have (or have had) almost all of these rugs somewhere in my home with the exception of sisal. And there’s definitely a time & place for each of them, depending upon the maintenance, kid, pet & softness factors. Here’s a quick overview of my thoughts & experiences with the rugs.
1— SEAGRASS— In my family room/ office/hangout room, we installed wall-to-wall seagrass just like this (below) and we absolutely LOVE it:
And here’s the lowdown on seagrass:
1) THE WAIVER: The company we bought it from made us sign a waiver saying that seams would be visible and that we understood it would fray and that there would be a smell. The seagrass we purchased also came with its own attached rug pad which would make for a quicker install.
2) THE SMELL: On the day of the install, the smell was SO BAD I was scared. I have a really sensitive nose & whatever glue they used when mixed with the straw-smell of the seagrass honestly smelled like animal urine. BUT a few days later, when all of the glue had dried, we were left with just the “hay smell” of segrass, which I love. …I have learned from my mistake and it’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you ask your installer to use a glue with little or no smell. We used a different glue in our bedroom and the hay smell is all we have.
3) THE SEAMS: The seams are not visible. (we had a good installer & he did seal down the seams and all edges) But the rug is also connected so that the natural lines in the rug are in a row… It looks perfect and you can’t even tell even when trying to find the seams.
4) THE FRAYING: So far, so good and we have a dog with long nails who runs all over it. I’m sure it will (and probably already has & I haven’t noticed) pull up in places but it’s pretty simple to just snip loose fibers with a pair of scissors. It’s a natural rug & will get flaws, but they really aren’t very noticeable.
5) THE CARE: A-mazing! It’s recommended to vaccuum once a week (okay, okay, when things slow down I’ll get to that) and you can even sweep these rugs clean! I hate to gross you all out (but want to give you the REAL scoop) — My toddler had an accident on it last week and it all just pooled in one spot without soaking in and I was able to blot it up really easily. Then I sprayed it down with a natural cleaner (probably a no-no but I was grossed out) and wiped it up with towels. There’s no mark, no smell and it looks just like the rest of the rug. Because the grass is from the water, it resists stains & water marks. You also really can’t see dirt at all and when we have gotten mud on it, we just allowed it to dry and then swept up the dirt.
6) THE SOFTNESS FACTOR: Seagrass is actually pretty smooth and hard. It’s actually more like a hard floor than a rug. It’s just as fine for kids to crawl across as hardwood or any other hard surface but isn’t ideal for play areas where they’ll spend a lot of floor-time. BUT it’s GORGEOUS with other rugs layered over it. In our family room in the TV/ play area, we layered an old wool rug over it, which is perfect for playing, lounging & wrestling… (I thought I’d let you see it in all its messy-primary-colored-toy-glory) Many people complain that it hurts their feet and I have to admit that late at night and early in the morning when it was first installed, it hurt my feet, but now it doesn’t bother me at all, even when I’m tired.
7) EXTRA INFO: Since it’s natural, its color changes over time. It starts out with more of a green tinge and eventually tans. If you are layering rugs, the area under the rug might stay green longer because the moisture is being protected under there so keep that in mind of you plan on moving rugs around seasonally. (Similar to sun discoloration on hardwoods) Eventually, after being exposed for long enough, the difference shouldn’t be noticeable. Weels also work on this rug which is perfect for the wheely desk chairs in my office & also for Christian’s scooter. Joni from Cote de Texas has a beautiful & information-packed post about seagrass which (if you haven’t already read) you should definitely check out here.
Meaghan Gizuk recently blogged and raved about our Custom Sisal Runners for her stair. Read her story below.
“A sisal stair runner story”
When we moved into our home the main stairs in our home were a huge selling feature and a huge source of grief. I did NOT love the oak hand railing and the massive amounts of oak throughout the house. We have since banished the hand railings with lots and lots of white paint and hand cramps.
The original stair runner was yucky. I realize that makes me sound like a second grader but it was so yucky like kooties. And they were not wiping off. We changed the runner to a cheapo striped style from Home Depot because it was a new house for us and we had bigger fish to fry at the time. The tails in our home, specifically Oliver and Sammy [the cats] love to use our staircase as the Nascar sprint qualifying. At approximately 9pm each night like clockwork for 45 minutes it sounds like it is thundering outside because they are hammering each other up and down the stairs. Needless to say, the cheapo striped runner did not exceed expectations.
I began the hunt for a new stair runner. I went to all the carpet and flooring places in our area, inquiring about a jute/sisal stair runner and had every MAN in those stores tell me I could not put jute or sisal on stairs.