New LR Rug Progess - Juniper Home

New LR Rug Progess

Living Room

I’ve been rug shopping for about a year now, trying to find a pretty persian for our loft living room. The striped rug suffered from a red juice incident and has never quite been the same. It is a lovely rug, but I’ve pretty much decided across the board that I prefer that graphic patterned rugs with any white in the pattern go in a bedroom or an office. Any time I choose a jute or a persian rug for a living room project, it just works better and looks better for longer. Function trumps form for me, but only by a little bit. :)

I am SO picky about rugs now. They are the hardest design decision for a room I think. Just like clothes, fit is everything, so often you should be buying a rug for a specific room’s needs. And since rugs should be so big, the color can really change the feel of a room. And because of lighting, you almost always have to try a rug out before buying, which is a nightmare. And rugs are so gosh darn expensive. And if they’re not expensive, you can tell. Tricky! (going rugless seems better and better by the day!)

I’ve decided to go with a jute rug in our brownstone’s extra long living room. I love the texture of natural fiber rugs and I think the jute will hold up well against the residual dirt I’m sure will get tracked in from the garden (although I do know there are cleaning challenges that come with natural fiber rugs).

I used Merida’s Bora Bora jute rug in Volcano for a client project recently and it is just natural fiber rug perfection. It’s as cushy and soft as wool. The color is a lovely driftwood gray, not yellow like most jutes (so over yellow rugs for a while!), and it comes with a braided edging option.

The IKEA Tarnby and West Elm jutes are great rugs, but they are not nearly as soft as the Merida and I don’t like that they are borderless. It feels a little unfinished and the edges have rolled up for me even with rug tape. The closest second place to the Merida rug I’ve seen is this Pottery Barn rug. But again, it’s not as soft and the color is very light and yellow.

We need a long, narrow rug for the brownstone, and the quote back from Merida was out of our budget (almost $4000 for the custom size. Ouch!). Then over Memorial Day I did a little shopping in the ABC clearance basement, and what did I spy over in the jute corner? A handful of driftwood gray braided jute rugs.

Turns out these are not Merida, but a company called Fibre Works. Look how similar the color and weave is though!

Full price, their rugs are not all that much cheaper than the Merida jutes. But they just happened to have some in the clearance basement. So while they weren’t IKEA-cheap, they ended up being more like PotteryBarn-cheap with the sale and my designer discount. 

I ended up buying two 8x11s that I’ll use to make a big 11×16 rug. I’m thinking about blind-stich binding them myself with some jute twine and then the seam will be invisible. But even when they’re separate and just sitting next to each other, the seam is not all that noticeable. It would be super easy to do this with the IKEATarnby if you need a big rug for super cheap. The weave of jute provides a lot of give, so you can sort of morph the edges into each other.
The tape measure marks out the LEE sofa here.

And here’s where the chesterfield will sit.

I want to layer a smaller (like 6×9) persian on the jute under the seating area for a little bit of color and pattern on the floor, like the inspiration photos at the top of the post. I saw this pretty turkish rug at the flea market the same day I bought the jutes. Aren’t the colors fantastic? It was not super cheap, so I was a good girl and passed. I’m sure eBay will come through for me like it always does.

So what are your thoughts about my new rug philosophy (no graphic white in the living room rug)? Feeling a little like I should get off my high horse here! :)

What did you think?
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63 thoughts on “New LR Rug Progess

  1. Are you sure we were not separated at birth? I feel as though this post is so me. I have a hard time with rugs.
    Hmm,, white….but I do love those moroccan rugs….
    light ground with a graphic especially on a dark floor.
    pve

  2. Hi Jenny,
    I think a rug really pulls a room together, but they are expensive! It took me 2.5 years to find a rug for our living room.
    Question: I noticed that you stopped putting sources for your images – some of them would be wonderful to pin, but without credit I wouldn't want to do that in order to have the correct source present.

  3. I agree on the jute rug and persian stand point. Even without kids, and rug with white in a big living space catches foot prints and other not so desirable marks. I love that aqua and red combo layered with the jute rugs you bought.I may try to outbid you one ebay for one similar (only kidding..) My home is a rental with dark wood floors and we have a dog and so I've been going through a rug craze to keep scratches away from the flooring. I can completely relate to being super picky, you are so right on about looking cheap vs. expensive…its a hard one! Love this post!

  4. There's a reason you find great looking persians that are hundreds of years old- they are freaking indestructible!!! But you're right they do cost a fortune, I love rooms that incorporate a smaller one on top of a large natural fiber rug like the pictures you added!! I am so terrified of jute though- does it really do ok? I have seen it last when there's wool or cotton mixed in, but do you have a plan for jute stains? I have heard great things about seagrass, but not soft. In any case the rug you picked out is stunning!! YOu go girl with your instore measuring and photoging :) !!!

  5. I think your thought process makes so much sense. Even with only adults living in our apartment, I avoid rugs with white at all costs because I'd rather not hate myself when something inevitably spills. Especially when that "something" in the past has been orange soda (me) or beer cheese soup (husband).

  6. Funny, I'm about to move my jute rug to the bedroom to get a graphic black and white one for the LR! But we don't have kids yet and I figure it will move to a guest bedroom when we move to a bigger place in a few years. Nice score on the rugs – making me wish again that I was in New York!

  7. I think that opting for no graphic white in the living spaces is brilliant! I am a big fan of your "function slightly trumping form" philosophy. You can buy the most beautiful rugs and sofas but lets face it, red juice and sticky finger stains just aren't pretty! I used to have a bright persian rug in our eating area, I swear to you you could drop a bag of m&m's on that rug and not be able to see them!

  8. I am constantly changing my mind about rugs for my house!! It's much easier picking out a rug for a client but not when it comes to my own house. I love the idea of layering the two rugs, it will look fantastic! I'm on the hunt for a persian rug myself similar to the one in your pic for my bathroom. Ebay is a great source for that!

  9. thanks for such a great review of jute rugs! I have been looking for something for our dining room that can handle traffic and dirt (two kids, two dogs, two cats- gah!)

  10. I love the idea of layering rugs! and the contrast of a Persian (so formal and classic) to the laid back jute. Love that you found those on sale and that you came up with the idea of stitching them together. Your house will be spectacular!

  11. I've been using fibreworks for years now and love them. They ship quickly and have been great to work with. Their prices aren't bad and I have two of their rugs in my own house as well. Rugs drive me crazy too…the picking out/"trying them on" thing is such a pain! eBay has proved quite helpful for me with work and honestly I first took your advice/suggestion in using them! So thanks :) take care!

  12. Hi Jenny
    Yes you can have kids and nice things, just not light coloured rugs! I have three boys and have had a dark Persian for years and it still looks amazing. I am so tempeted to buy pretty light coloured or large open patterned rugs, but I know in a few months I'll be dealing with stains, even with my 'eat only in the kitchen' rule.
    I have a question for you: Does the jute smell? I've noticed that a lot of sisal/jute has an odour. Does it go away?
    Thanks

  13. I am a big fan of layering over a natural fiber rug. I added a small wool rug over our seagrass rug when our daughter started crawling and I love it!

  14. Hi Jenny,

    I agree. Persian rugs take a beating and always look great. It always amazes me how some people are afraid of them like they're so delicate. You should see the conditions in which they were woven. They're meant to be walked on and used!
    I am also a big fan of Dash and Albert's indoor/ outdoor collection. They can be hosed off and they look and feel like cotton dhurries. With a dog and 2 cats, I need rugs that can clean up easily. I've had luck with a Savafieh indoor/outdoor rug too that I ordered through Ballard. It wipes clean.

  15. Hi Jenny,

    I agree. Persian rugs take a beating and always look great. It always amazes me how some people are afraid of them like they're so delicate. You should see the conditions in which they were woven. They're meant to be walked on and used!
    I am also a big fan of Dash and Albert's indoor/ outdoor collection. They can be hosed off and they look and feel like cotton dhurries. With a dog and 2 cats, I need rugs that can clean up easily. I've had luck with a Savafieh indoor/outdoor rug too that I ordered through Ballard. It wipes clean.

  16. Hey Jenny-
    Great problem solving! I just wanted to write and tell you that the rug you passed up is a Khotan – or East Turkestan – pomegranate pattern. My favorite! I have a post with photos of them in all kinds of interiors (Preferring Patina Over Perfection) and there was even just one in the May House Beautiful in the living room of the home on the cover. They are the perfect combo of softened geometric pattern and would be just right for tying all your things together! I'd be so excited to see one in your new LR!!!

  17. Jenny, Do you think that this rug combo (jute with persian layered rug) could work for a bedroom or do you think this is only or should only be dedicated to a living room area? I've been thinking about this combo in my bedroom, but am rethinking my decision after this post…. would love your two cents!

  18. I've needed a large rug for years and finally broke down and ordered a 10 x 13 fringed jute from overstock. The $320 price was unbeatable but the rug reads yellow– not a bad thing unless you've OD'd on yellow like I have! It also comes in "natural" which looks more taupe on my monitor. I guess I'll deal with it since return costs will be at least $100. Did I mention that it smells like dirty feet? Sure as heck hope that dissipates. Ah, the joys of being a tightwad… Note to self: stop making significant purchases unless you can see and smell it in person!

  19. I just bought a graphic black and white chevron for the living room. I have been freaking out about the white a little bit since I put it down a few days ago. No shoes, no wet dog feet, etc. The good thing it was so incredibly cheap, about $85 for a 8'x10'on a deep discount, that I'm not really worried about ruining it. And yes it is obviously not a wool rug but it looks surprisingly ok for its price. I love the graphic look and I'm not embarrassed by the quality so win-win.

  20. Rugless! Why didn't I think of this? We have a cream-colored (inexpensive) shag rug that has served us fine for the last year & 1/2 but a) is beginning to look grungy and b) just isn't working out with an 8 month old (too tempting to eat, too hard to clean, etc.) My husband doesn't want to spend $1K on the Crate & Barrel rug I'm eying, but I'm adamant that something must be done because of the baby. I think we'll go rugless for a while. It can't hurt – it's free!

  21. Rugs are so personal – totally get that they are a tough decision (usually a pricey one too). Love the layered look.

  22. I think you don't have to have kids for nice things to get worn or ruined…and doing what we love is inspiring to our kids – even if it's finding a new rug (or two!) to love and wear out! (SO so want a beautiful persian and white painted floors in my house! Love the braided edges on the jute rugs, too.)

  23. I wonder if there is a heavy dudy fishing line equivalent to colored thread for your rug project? Invisible stitching And strong thread. If that doesn't exist it should ; )

  24. Hi from Australia. I have a couple of wool jute look rugs from Armadillo. So soft and more easily cleaned. Hope you can source them in the US.
    Jacinta from Brisbane

  25. I had a jute rug in my living room and my husband tried to clean out a spot and it bleached out in the middle! Our biggest problem with the rug was that it shed like crazy! The second we sat on it we had fibers on us…was my rug just cheap or does this happen with jute? i would love to try again…maybe I will do seagrass an forbid my husband from "helping!"

  26. I had a jute rug in my living room and my husband tried to clean out a spot and it bleached out in the middle! Our biggest problem with the rug was that it shed like crazy! The second we sat on it we had fibers on us…was my rug just cheap or does this happen with jute? i would love to try again…maybe I will do seagrass an forbid my husband from "helping!"

  27. I really wanted to be one of those people that can have nice white area rugs in their home, but alas. I live with two boy roommates and it was so much stress and cleaning that I decided to get rid of our dingy off-white rug and settle for just hardwoods right now. I agree that persian or jute is the way to go, but I've always wondered how you clean a jute rug.

  28. This post came at the perfect time for me! We moved into our home and I could not make up my mind about the rug for the living room. Dhurrie weave in blue morocan tiles or VERY colorful persian?!? I think I finally mae up my mind, thanks to your post.
    Thank you for being such an inspiration. Please come visit when you are in Sydney, Australia.
    Lilac

  29. Its the details of our lives I think that in some respects make the impact. Its only once in a while the big picture matters. I loves these photos of the details.

  30. I live on Long Island and there is a great macy's clearance in Westbury. They frequently have rug sales, I have bought there frequently. The prices on sale are really, really good. Also, for anyone needing beds they frequently have super good deals. I like long weekends as they usually put everything on sale.

  31. oh Jenny, I have that same Karastan rug in my living room (creme/grey) and I always think twice about having gatherings because of the stain factor. sad to be restricted by a rug! I need to just live and get over it — and keep in mind the jute + overlay for my next rug!

  32. Ah! So glad you have this post today as this is on my mind as well! What are your recommendations (or other readers, feel free to chime in) for a type of rug that is stylish, easy to clean, soft on little knees, and masks stains? I've got hardwood floors, and little ones at home, so I'm trying to be very practical, but I want good looks too. Do I go for an all-over pattern in a short-fiber wool? or would a natural fiber rug work as well (I do love the look of those)?

  33. I hit the accidental rug jackpot when I bought a rolled up mat in a Lao grocery store for $14. It unrolled into a 6 x12' plastic floor mat similar to those sold by Mad Mats. I use it folded in half as a runner over the hardwood floors in my kitchen. It could easily work in a family room or kids room. When the puppy has an accident I take it outside, hose it off, and let it dry in the sun. It is now three years old. Not bad for my investment!
    F

  34. I use jute in rooms if there is no chance anyone will sit on the floor. I used the Tarnby in my kitchen and I love it, but I layered a flat weave rug on top in front of the sink.

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