Never underestimate the power of a good rug.
Or even an adequate one.
No other surface in our house (well, maybe the kitchen sink) takes as much abuse as our floors. And yet people routinely opt for the cheapest floor coverings possible.
If you walk through my house looking straight down, you would be reminded of a patchwork quilt. Almost every single room has a different type of flooring. Carpet, linoleum, tile - and no two are alike. My landlords have "friends" in the flooring biz. At least, that is the excuse they gave for the utter mismatch. But the worst has to be the carpet that runs from the living room into my son's playroom. (Technically this doesn't count as two rooms with the same flooring - the living room is only half-carpeted, and it ends at a weird spot that we've been trying to hide with furniture.) I call it the casino carpet:
Not only was it hideous - it showed every spec of dirt so that it never looked clean. It was loud and busy. People were so entranced by its ugliness, they would accidentally run into furniture.
To its credit, it is high quality stuff. It doesn't show any wear after all of these years. (Probably because it was designed for use in a hotel lobby. In Vegas.) I'm not sure how much of a "deal" they got from their friend, but the landlords sure have gotten their moneys worth. And they weren't too keen on us tearing it up to put something else down. So, I tried to "make it work."
I thought that I might be able to tone down the rug if the rest of the room was more soothing. We went with a burgundy on the walls with a khaki trim. Very Craftsman-type colors. The ceiling was already a pretty light blue, so we kept that.
Didn't help. But we survived.
I think most people are like us. Your house is your home - you're not constantly walking into it with fresh eyes. There are parts that bug the heck out of you, but if they're not instantly changeable - you adapt.
And then this week, the boyfriend brings home a rug. A big rug. He says he wants to try it in the living room.
I know, you're probably thinking - that is the most boring rug ever made. If this was a true design blog it would be chevron or zebra print. But this isn't a real design blog - this is my house. And as much as I love chevron rugs (want one for the bedroom in the worst way) - it wouldn't have worked in the space. At all.
Previously we had tried smaller area rugs, but you could always still see too much of the carpet, and it looked terrible. So when he saw that they were replacing this large shaggy-type rug at his job, he grabbed it. It's 10x10. That was enough to almost completely cover! We hid the fact that it didn't go wall-to-wall by putting the short end under our couch. Since we pretty much have a wall o' furniture on that wall (bookcase, couch, and a skirted side table) - you can't tell that it's about 3 inches too short.
Now everytime I walk in our living room, I am filled with joy over the new rug. It's funny how sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest differences.