Hi Friends! Ryann here ready to talk shop about living room rugs (well, mine at least). You might remember me and my apartment from this post where I explained my closet storage agony and consequently felt super vulnerable in showing strangers my very unfinished bedroom. But I’ve made some changes since then, namely, the sofa of my dreams has entered my life. And it is perfect. It is so perfect in fact that I have agonized over picking the right rug to accompany it. But then I remembered Sara did this post where you all really helped in helping her choose the rug for her living room and I was like, Oh WAIT I can commission our readers to help me make this decision?? YES Please.
But since this is such a big decision, let me get you more up to speed. Up until now, I’ve avoided the whole MOTO (“Makeover Takeover”) introduction thing because diagnosing my style is not for the faint of heart. I think once I managed to get it narrowed down to “Contemporary-Rustic-Mid-Century-Seventies with a hint of Boho” but after seeing my inspiration photos you’ll notice Victorian has definitely sneaked its way in too. Apparently there’s room for everybody on my pinboard. Another thing you should know is I live with another human (my boyfriend Rocky) and our dog Gus. And they have a say in rugs, too! I am not a monster. Rocky and I have similar tastes so we often agree or he nods nonchalantly as I show him my pinboard. Gus on the other hand ALWAYS agrees with me, but his white fur doesn’t agree with colored rugs.
Okay back to me. I can’t be tamed style-wise but I know what I like and as I true empath, I base my design leanings on my feelings. When I look at a photo and it stops me for whatever reason – to the pinboard it goes. It’s all about how it ~feels~ to me and less about what it would technically be categorized as style-wise. Here are my most recent inspiration photos to give ya a taste:
So now that you know about me and my style chaos, are you ready to dive deep into the helping me decide on the perfect rug?? I’ve been in the online-rug-shopping game for a few years now so I am both completely terrified of making the wrong choice and SO sick of being at a standstill. I’ve never bought a rug in my whole life so this feels like a great milestone to share with thousands of strangers. Let’s get to it.
As it so happens, if we kept our current cowhide rug (pictured above) we would be far from downtrodden. In fact, we are extremely grateful we even own this cowhide since it was a REALLY NICE gift from Rocky’s former coworker. She had this beauty on hand that she had no use for and graciously gifted it to us as if it were an act of God because we were desperately in need of some semblance of style in our 1 bedroom fully carpeted apartment back in 2017.
Now three years later, I am currently growing weary of the cowhide look (though we can certainly make it work with some new pieces). To be super clear, I would not consider replacing it if we didn’t have someone else to gift it to. You see, my mom has been in a design rut since 2005 and I would love to give her something special that could bring some character to my parent’s otherwise dated (I AM SORRY MOM) family room. And even though I keep redirecting her to the blog that I WORK FOR, she has a tough time navigating not buying sale home decor items at Big Lots to redecorate. So she really deserves this beauty as a jumping-off point – and then, of course, I’ll be redesigning my parent’s entire home but that’s why you have kids, right???
Back to my house. Rocky and I have been contemplating rugs for far too long so I’m not kidding when I say I need your help. What I am asking of you is simple: tell me what my rug destiny is. I am relinquishing all my power to you.
As you may have guessed, I narrowed down my rug options based on my feelings. I don’t have the words to describe my style necessarily, but I do know exactly how I want to feel when I look at my living room and that’s my design strategy and I am stickin’ to it. The rugs styles are different which effects how I would style around them, so if all else fails let me know what style option you like best. Here goes:
This is my concept for keeping our cowhide. I would add a faux sheepskin to layer and bring in some added coziness and honestly I really love the way I feel when I look at this design. I want to live here! The girl who lives here would definitely have a book deal and several friends that own yachts. Simply put, she would her sh*t together.
I also love this design because A) It’ll save me money B) We already know that it holds up well to our dog’s shedding, and C) It’s neutral enough that I can get creative with my styling. I can put up some colorful art or do something weird with my bookshelf styling. It makes me feel like there are endless possibilities for styling and restyling. A dream! Or maybe a nightmare..? You tell me.
This is Rocky’s least favorite rug option. He prefers a sculptural rug (like the cowhide) or an asymmetrical design (which you’ll see below). While I see where he is coming from, I like the decor options I envision with this rug plus it feels so welcoming. I’d probably take a nap on it. I’d probably invite friends over and host a movie night and we could all snuggle up on it together (when life is normal again, of course). I don’t know guys, that’s just how I feel.
I also considered this rug from Anthropolgie that has a similar look but I am really trying to buy vintage if I am going to buy a rug at all. Oh, and here’s another thing! My living room is narrow so the standard 9′ x 12′ rug doesn’t work. We need something between 5.5′ x 7.5′ and 6’x 9′ which is why this and this rug that I loved did not make the cut.
So here’s why I like this option. It’s the right color so that my dog’s hair shedding won’t be an issue (dog owners know this is a REAL deal-breaker – read this post and the comments section if you don’t believe me). I also just really like the pattern. It’s not too much but it’s not boring either. It is vintage which I appreciate, but if it does sell out the Etsy retailer it is from has tons of options that are similar so I feel pretty good about my chances of getting one that would feel similar. It’s also the smallest size of all my rug options but there are always ways to work around that. I can layer it or have it “float” depending on the coffee table I chose. I am not just winging it, I promise!
But now for my personal favorite. Or shall I say, the “Chaotic Good” option of them all:
Whew. This rug is the interior design equivalent of going to a party wearing snakeskin boots and a plaid skirt. It’s called power clashing and it either looks really f-ing cool and effortless or completely clownish. There’s a fine line and that’s how I feel about this rug. The thing is, Rocky and I both love it so much (please click the link to see how amazing it is (my sub-par photoshop skills do not do it justice). To be honest, I almost thought about not linking to it but if you buy it before us, I won’t hate you but please send me a pic of it in your home and subsequently link to another rug that is just as unique and perfect as this one is. We both feel like it is more like a piece of art than a rug and if it was the first thing I saw when I walked in my home everyday I would be so satisfied.
“Virtual decorating” around it has been tricky though and I am terrified of my living room showing up to the party looking like a clown – okay that metaphor kind of fell through but you get it. I’d have to be really careful with everything else I put in the space so that’s EXTREMELY terrifying. Even now as I look at the design I put together I don’t love it. But I can’t stop loving you, rug. The question is, am I cool enough to pull it off? Or will I resent you forever for making me chose it? Am I using you as an obvious scapegoat?? Yes yes, I am.
So that’s where I am at and I change my mind daily. Decorating is fun! But also painful if you are indecisive. So will you just be a doll decide for me?? Tell me what I should do! Fix my life!! Pretty please? Is it option one, two, or three??
Opening Photo: via SF Girl Bay