Archive for June, 2009

Dorm life is dirty life. Let’s face it college kids aren’t known for their cleanliness. Heck how cluttered was your kid’s room before he headed off to school?

Well if you want to at least keep one area of the room reasonably clean then you need to figure out how to choose an appropriate dorm room rug.

Durability is a big concern. Heck you might be better off getting outdoor carpet that could be hosed off. Granted it’s not that attractive a look for a dorm. So ruling that option out look for a carpet that has a stain guard on it, a LOT of stain guard.

Color is the next choice. Look for something that’s going to hide stains. Normally the darker the better is a good rule of thumb. Black though can show dust and dirt.  Dark blues and greens work well for camouflaging all the dirt in a college dorm.

The next thing you’ll want is a patterned carpet. The more dense the pattern the less it will show dirt. Even though the rug hasn’t been vacuumed in six months doesn’t mean it has to look like it. A tight interwoven pattern can hide crumbs, chips and of course pencil shavings from all that studying.

If you’re just picking out a throw rug then you might as well get one that’s washable. That way when your kid comes home to do laundry you can wash the rug out at the same time.

So there you go, a few tips on how to choose a dorm room rug. Look for a dark carpet with a tight interwoven pattern. Make sure it’s stain repellent as well. On the bright side the carpet only needs to last four years. Almost anything you find at the store should hold up to abuse for that short of time.

An Area Rug for Your Outdoor Area

shaw-rug-reverie-sandbarAs more and more families are moving their entertainment and living areas outside onto the patio, deck or backyard, they’re treating those areas as rooms to be decorated just as their indoor spaces are.

If you’ have always thought that area rugs were strictly indoor decorating items,  then think again. Outdoor area rugs can serve the exact same purpose outdoors as their less sturdy counterparts serve in your living room, den and dining room.

In fact, since outdoor areas tend to serve multiple purposes, using outdoor area rugs to help separate and define the various purposes and uses of your patio or deck can be even more effective than it is indoors.

The use of olefin (also known as polypropylene), and the refinements to its manufacture over the past few decades have allowed rug manufacturers to create outdoor area rugs that are every bit as stylish and beautiful as their indoor counterparts. But you don’t need to be concerned about the weather affecting them – olefin is an amazingly durable fiber that resists fading and mildew, can be hosed down to clean it and dries quickly without fear that it will shrink or be damaged by the moisture.

You can use outdoor area rugs to help set off a dining area from the rest of your patio, turning it into a ‘room’ by simply choosing a distinctive pattern that works with your patio table and chairs and using it as flooring beneath them.

Mark off the end of the ‘pool’ by laying down an outdoor area rug that defines the edges of the patio conversation area, ballard-indoor-outdoor-rugor pick an indoor/outdoor area rug in a bright, juvenile print to define a ‘kid’s corner’. A whimsical jungle print outdoor area rug in soft sheared olefin can soften the patio flagstones under baby’s knees, for example, if you fence off a baby play yard on your patio with a child safety gate, turning it into your little one’s own special outdoor room.

By choosing patterns carefully, you can use outdoor area rugs to bring together conversational groupings surrounded by benches and planters, or emphasize a rustic country atmosphere with a homespun rag rug in 100% easy wash and wear polypropylene. Outdoor area rugs have come a long way since the days when your choices were limited to fake green grass carpeting. Take full advantage of the flexibility offered by today’s new generation of outdoor area rugs to make a definitive design statement on your patio or deck.

The Glorious Colors of Rooster Area Rugs

rooster-rugIt boggles the mind. Having grown up with a mother whose classic sense of Mediterranean and contemporary style often had my friends declaring that my house was ‘the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen’ has made me a decorating snob.

The whole ‘whimsical country’ decorating craze that sweeps from coast to coast every few years tends to make me cringe. Cows wearing sunhats, little pigs pushing wheelbarrows and chicks and ducks as salt and pepper shakers on my table or sideboard just leave me completely cold.

So the headline of ’25 unique rooster rugs’ drew me with the kind of fascination that made P.T. Barnum a rich man. Rooster area  rugs – 25 different, unique styles of rooster rugs – with the awe that is usually reserved for staring at train wrecks, I clicked on the link and…

What a surprise! There were indeed 25 different styles of rooster rugs, and to the astonishment of my turned-up nose, most were NOT the kitschy style that is usually associated with poker-playing dogs and velvet Elvis wall hangings.

ROOSTER GARDEN RUGInstead, I found a selection of beautifully crafted and designed area rugs to suit many different decors – and not a single one that screamed ‘tacky’ or ‘camp’. These were rooster rugs that would be perfectly at home in my mother’s unique contemporary/traditional blend style of decorating.

A particular favorite – one that I’d even buy if I were in the market to redecorate at the moment – is Claire Murray’s French Country collection of rooster rugs.

Available in several different colors, the border of roosters on the rug resembles a stamped design that surrounds a field of stylized flowers on a cream-colored background. It’s a country rooster rug – but with that indefinable sense of French flair.

Then another  rug caught my eye,  the  Accents Decorative Rooster Design Wool Rug By Valerie its border of warm sunflowers and a central motif of stylized roosters, the rug has the timeless appeal of colonial styling blended with a hint of contemporary that makes it a perfect fit in a modern country kitchen.

Decorative Rooster Design Wool Accent RugAnd then I was stopped dead in my tracks by a stunning Oriental style rooster rug that made me redefine my entire line of thought. Oriental rooster rugs, it turns out, have a long history.

The rooster is one of the Chinese astrological symbols – 2005 was the last Year of the Rooster. The rooster is seen as an all-seeing, vigilant guard who aggressively defends his home and his family – but is also kind and trustworthy.

Roosters, it seems, have been perched on roof vanes and mounted on front doors for centuries to help guard the house and drive away bad luck.

Rooster RugSo it’s no wonder that – unlike cutesy cows in sun hats and pigs toting market baskets – roosters are a decorating motif that fits into the most sophisticated of decorating schemes. Believe it or not, you really CAN find rooster rugs that will accent your modern contemporary dining room – and why not? Would you turn your nose up at one of the animals that the Chinese consider ‘the most noble of birds’?

Hints & Tips on Caring for Your Area Rug

org-nuance-lavarBuying a good quality rug for your home is a great investment that will last for many years providing it is looked after correctly. One of the advantages of buying a rug as opposed to wall-to-wall carpet is that you can take the rug with you if and when you move house.

Cleaning your rug yourself is an option but if you have a hand-woven or an expensive rug it is probably best to leave it in the hands of professionals.

Vacuum your rug as required and ensure that you vacuum under the rug as dust and dirt accumulates underneath. Avoid using the beater bar of the vacuum on the fringes as they can easily be pulled loose.

premium-lock-rug-padUse a broom to dislodge the dirt or depending on the size of the rug, simply take the rug outside and shake it well. There are times when no amount of vacuuming appears to revive your rug; then it is time to have it professionally cleaned.

To prolong the life of your rug, purchase rug pads to cushion your rugs and provide a softer base to walk on. Rug pads also provide a means of preventing the rug from slipping, particularly on hard wood floors.Just following a few basic steps will keep your rug looking pristine.

What to Buy – Wall to Wall Carpet or Area Rugs?

Purchasing wall to wall carpet rather than area rugs depends on a number of factors the first being ‘ your preference’ followed by your budget and then whether or not you have polished floors, tiles or slate.

If you have polished floors you will more than likely consider  the purchase of area rugs so that the rug is nicely edged by the wood or tiles. However, wall to wall carpet creates a total look to a room and gives you a nice base from which to incorporate your overall color scheme.

CLICK HERE to read about the advantages and disadvantages  of  purchasing either wall-to-wall-carpet or an area rug for your home.  Our guide will help you to make the decision on which is best for you.