When you go out shopping for home decor do you hear "Highway to the Danger Zone" and see visions of Top Gun in your head? Haha I do. How bent is that? Where's the danger you say? Well, the danger is that I go out to buy a basket and come home with $200 in new purchases that I hadn't planned on. Also when you are shopping for fairly expensive items (like rugs and furniture) a purchasing mistake can be very costly indeed.
Here are a couple of Rug purchasing mistakes I recently made...
I currently have 5 large rugs in my home (5x7 - 8x10) but as recently as one year ago I had a couple of door mats (don't really count) and one 8x10 dining room rug. I didn't realize at the time that all fibers are not created equal. Sure I figured that darker colors would show dirt far less than lighter colors (that's true). But I didn't realize that some fibers crush easily, others show the direction the traffic is flowing, looped rugs are prone to snags and pills, and some fibers are quick to show dirt; which doesn't mean they don't wash up well but who wants to be washing rugs all the time?
So in my ignorance I selected a couple of lovely new rugs that were not appropriate to the use I had in mind. Oops, costly mistake. Fortunately I found other locations in my home where they will do quite well (master bedroom and the attic - more on the attic rug later).
Beautiful Mistake #One:
I bought this lovely hand tufted polyester "Ocean" 8x10 carpet from RugsUSA.com for $310 and put it down in the family room. No that is not a picture of my family room - that is an advertising photo from RugsUsa where you can still purchase this rug today. My husband and I both loved the color and design for our family room. But... it's looped (really cool looking) and the loops snag at every opportunity and when vacuuming yarn ends tend to pull up making it look like it has a pill problem (like a sweater). Also within 2 months it was showing dirt that didn't vacuum out. The dirt problem is largely due to color but it's also based on fiber content and being a looped rug. This beauty was cleaned, rolled up, and stored in our attic until one of our sons moves out (probably 1-2 years from now) and we become a household with a guest room. This rug would do great in a guest room - the looped rug doesn't crush easily which will keep it feeling plush underfoot and the light traffic will keep the rug looking lovely for a long time.
Beautiful Mistake #Two:
At about the same time I purchased another hand tufted polyester looped rug from Overstock.com for $327 that we rolled out under the dining table. As you must have guessed based on mistake #1 light colors were a very bad idea for the busiest area of our home (in the great room dining space), the cream background and pastel colors didn't stand a chance against that kind of daily wear. Two months in and it already needed a bath; props though for remaining plush and uncrushable under heavy use. I moved this one to the master bedroom and gave it a bath and a small trim (cut off the snags and protruding yarn ends with some sharp scissors) and it looks brand new and is thriving in it's new location (6 months and going strong). See, "location, location, location" applies to more than just real estate.
Side Note: My Oreck Orbital cleaner work great on the looped rug because I cleaned it with the looped cleaning pad instead of a brush and used an encapsulation cleaning product so very little water was involved.
Research Before Replacement:
I found a chart on the CarpetBuyersHandbook.com and saw that nylon was an excellent option for high traffic areas based on pretty much every measure. Surprise, surprise the old carpet that served me faithfully for 10 years was made of what? You guessed it: 100% nylon fiber. Ok. Since research and personal experience were in agreement I went looking for nylon replacements. It was harder than you would think... 100% nylon for an attractive area carpet is not the most common option out there. If you want a nylon rug with your favorite team logo on it that, no problem. If that's not on your shopping list then good luck you're in for a some serious hunting.
The replacement for both rooms had to be cut pile (no snags) and I held out for nylon. The family room choice was as close as I could get to original "mistake carpet" as I could get at a reasonable price point ($251) and came from Amazon.com (I love Amazon Prime - just saying). Both my husband and I prefer the color and design of our "mistake carpet" but this one is workable and it's handling the family room punishment much better.
The new dining room rug came from Walmart.com and it cost me $138. Even though there is some cream in this design and the edges get walked across repeatedly every single day it still looks new - WaHoo!! It's hard to see but there is a tan "stitch" like pattern repeating throughout the navy background which does two things. The rug looks more like a looped rug even though it's cut pile AND it keeps the navy from showing every little speck of white lint that might land there between vacuuming. Also the light blue and the green in the design are perfect for my color scheme and I love the whimsical feel of this rug. Both of these nylon rugs have a very soft feel to the touch making them comfortable for bare feet and floor sitters.
So there are two ways to look at this... "You bought four 8x10 rugs for $1026 - AMAZING bargain" (since most rugs this size regardless of fiber content and being machine made start at $300 and go up into the $1,000 range - each). OR you could say, "You dropped over one grand on area rugs??? Lady you crazy!!" I am pretty certain that if I took a poll and asked which view you take on this matter the vast majority of you would be firmly on team "Lady you crazy!!" Haha. Most people seem to have other places they prefer to spend money and while feathering the nest is a priority most people would go to Disneyland before they would spend that kind of cash on rugs. This blog is too new to have a bunch of crazy decorators reading it so yep - I'm predicting the consensus is that I'm crazy. It's okay, different strokes for different folks. What can I say? Home is my happy place and that's where all my spare funds go. So, whadaya think? Survey says...