Animal Print Rugs

Sooo… yesterday we talked about the look of worn rugs acting as a neutral background for a slightly more traditional living space…

While we’re on the topic of rugs, let’s talk about animal print… kind of the opposite of “traditional”

I’m a fan.
My favorite pair of flats are leopard print, and I wear them like a neutral – literally with everything.  Could I do a leopard print rug??
Or antelope??
Or cheetah??

I mean if it’s good enough for the editor of Real Simple…

And it’s good enough for Erin Gates…
It’s amazing, right??
Well, I came across this bad boy… and it really got the wheels turning…
Could I do leopard print in a big dose like this??? I mean, I am pretty sure that this is the same rug as was used here…
Dark teal walls, simple clean lines, and light furniture… it’s only $341 right now for the 6’x9’….
It could happen… what do you think???

Grey and White… and a worn rug

Ok people – the tree is down, the holidays are over, and I’m back from my short hiatus – ready for some fresh design inspiration for 2014.  
Let’s start with this living space…
I love, loovveee, LOOOVVEEEE this space. Everything about it is perfection.  The wall color, the mirrors, the white tufted sofa, the rug… oh that rug.
Traditional but worn.  Quiet, neutral colors so it tones in with the wood floors and wall color.  It’s a soft background of pattern, and isn’t the focal point of the room.
Amanda Carol also used this same rug in her dining room… I’m just totally obsessed with it…

This rug ended up being discontinued, but I found it’s evil twin online, and want to pull the trigger on it SO BADLY.
The bad news?  Kris isn’t sold.  He thinks it looks old, worn, and is not a fan in general, but I’m determined to change his mind…
I mean look how pretty it is?!

And it looks SO GOOD in so many different kinds of spaces…
This contemporary, lightly industrial dining room…

This rustic living space with the pretty wood beams…
This amazing master bath with that claw foot tub I’d scratch someone’s eyes out for…

This uber traditional – but sleek – monochromatic bedroom…

This inviting dining room / breakfast nook…

Again… it looks so great with raw, light wood, and an open weave linen…
Over the last several years, I’ve started to hone my style, and while I’ve really embraced some more modern textures and lines in furniture, I still like a bit of tradition in my space.
To keep this rug from looking old, I think the key is to be sure that the overall feel is polished, use lots of white, a dose of bold color, and some modern elements (like stripes, abstract art).
I see this rug playing a neutral role in the background of our living room… working well with rustic wood pieces (possibly a worn wood coffee table), a big overstuffed white sofa, a brass floor lamp, black and white pieces here and there (art, pillows, throws) and some color like a vibrant green in a luxe fabric like velvet to cozy things up.
Something like this…

What do you think?
Do you think this rug is too worn looking, or perfectly shabby chic?

A Little Red Rug

Red is a color I stay away from in our own home…

Perhaps it’s from seeing a few too many homes in the 1990’s look like this:

Upstairs color for the blue and green walls.


There’s a lot of red, and a lot of brown… and all together it equals… just a lot.  Too much.  I call this look “faux elegance”.

That said, I have a real appreciation for this loud color when used in the RIGHT way.  For me, that would be in accessories.  More specifically, I could really see myself incorporating this color through a Persian rug… but not an uber traditional rug – one with more of a tribal print.  I swear I’m not trying to be vague!!  If you’re not entirely sure what I’m talking about, check out Jenny’s (of the Little Green Notebook):

She had this great little rug: from in her New York kitchen.  See what I mean?  With a less traditional pattern, that is more graphic and “chunky” it really makes this space come alive!

Here are some other good examples of using red Persian rugs without going overboard…

This hallway had me at hello… white adobe walls, substantial wooden beams.  It’s classic Spanish style meets the middle east, and the punch of red on this flat woven rug is absolute perfection…

Again… here we have a nice neutral kitchen, and the red runner just wakes things up a bit (plus, whatever gets spilled on this rug will disappear instantaneously with all the dark colors and pattern)

I love this pair of rugs in the library.  With a full wall of books, it’s hard to go wrong here, but they just add a global element, and having a more simple, large diamond pattern in the area rug isn’t too busy against all the book spines.

This rug isn’t Persian – it’s more southwestern, but I love it.  Again, who would think to put a large rug like this in a kitchen??  Not that many people, but with so many spills, it’s genius!  Just don’t put an heirloom in there…

So what is my conclusion about red?

When done in small doses, it’s amazing!

I’d go for red rugs with a global feel (Persian or Southwestern seem the safest).  More graphic patterns are also easier and at all costs, stay away from any red rug that looks “faux Tuscan villa”, or “old European” in any way shape or form.

Creating (a stylish) Living Space in a Studio

My old coworker (and fabulous friend) Margot just moved into a Studio (after living in a truly awful situation with roommates for a few years).  One of the BEST things about living alone is being able to make decisions on your own about what YOU want in your space.  You don’t need to take other’s tastes into consideration, and most importantly, you don’t have to worry about your sloppy roommates ruining your new pretty things.
Amen to that!
Well, Margot already has a few things in place, but I was able to help her out a bit, by creating a few mood boards for how I see her studio coming together.  She has white bedding, neutral walls, and this fabulous, bold, cobalt sofa from Ikea.  With that in mind, I pulled together a few fun accessories, to create several ideas of how I see this space coming together.
This first inspiration board was a fan favorite.  This rug (at the time, 75% off from RugsUSA) is the spitting image of the Souk wool rug from West Elm that retails for ~$6x the cost of the Marrakesh Shag rug we found at RugsUSA
So… you could have this one for $899 (8×10)…
Or… you could pay $187 for it’s long lost twin (8×10)…
No brainer right??
Margot really liked the idea of yellow being the accent color in the room as well, so I added in a few cool ikat throw pillows that incorporated a burst of sunshine-y yellow… but then we saw a few yellow and white rugs on sale as well, and it got us thinking…

There was a creme colored rug with an Indian inspired yellow and grey pattern, and then the yellow and white chevron piqued her interest too…

We also tested out a few grey and white options as well…

But we just kept coming back to this beauty…

We figured that the neutral colors would translate into any space – so if she moves, or wants to switch up the accessories, she won’t forever be trying to coordinate with a yellow rug, and the shaggy texture is just enough “boho” to be cool, without being sloppy.

We both agreed that in a small space where there is bold color in the sofa, it was important to keep the rug a neutral color with a bold pattern to keep your eyes from feeling “confused” when trying to make sense of the space.

These rugs have been getting lots of attention – just look how fabulous they look in these spaces…

Of course, West Elm’s blog has fabulous photos of this rug…

But it’s also a favorite of designer (and personal idol) Emily Henderson… she used it in her friend’s living room re-design, with lots of pops of color (god, I hate myself for using that phrase)

And clearly, she loved it enough to use it again in her own home… this space is so light and bright, and colorful, and pretty, and crazy all at once, but I adore it.

Amazing right???

Ok… fine… a few more glamour shots from Emily’s place… seriously, it makes me drool…

THOSE CHAIRS!!  What I would do for them to be mine…

So are you sold?  I WISH I had a need for this rug… Kris would probably kill me if I brought ANOTHER new rug home… but it makes me happy to know that Margot’s space is coming along!

The rug should be arriving any day now…

Our New Aztec Rug

Taaaa-daaaaaa!  Meet our new little Aztec print rug that came home with me from HomeGoods over the weekend… it’s now sprucing up our teeny tiny kitchen!
Like my leopard print pajama pants?  I’m just keeping things super stylish my friends….. 

Our kitchen is a room that I’ve never photographed or posted before – and for a good reason!  It’s small, it’s old, and as a renter, there is not a lot that we can do about the hideous tile, dated appliances, and miniscule size.  I hate this room.  Like REALLY hate.

Other spaces of our apartment, I’ve been able to doll up with paint, or large rugs, or furniture, and art, but attacking the cabinetry and walls in here with paint seems like a HUGE undertaking… especially since I’d have to remove cabinet doors, hardware, and paint around big appliances like the refrigerator and stove.  I’d really rather not go there, since there’s no telling how much longer we’ll be in this apartment.

Don’t get me wrong… we have a great place (which I DO love), and it’s in the best neighborhood of San Francisco, but this kitchen is pretty much the bane of my existence.

Fortunately, this little gem of a rug is bright and happy, and a good size!  It measures roughly 5’x3′ so it covers up quite a bit of our very old, very dinged up linoleum floor (is there anything worse than linoleum??)
Maybe it’s in my head, but I think the bright colors help distract from the ugliness of the rest of the kitchen, and the dark colors will also help camouflage spills (we had a white rug in here previously, and let’s just say that it ended disastrously).

Ok, prepare yourself for these next photos… there’s nothing cute about them…

Here is the view into the kitchen from our hallway… everything is painted in that dirty off-white paint that the rest of our apartment suffers from.  Looking at this photo, I’ve decided that the wall above our lovely $15 trash can needs some flair…

Will be on the hunt for some art ASAP.  And perhaps a nicer trash can…

And here’s the view from the entry hall, looking in towards the sink, and the glorious tile.  While there is something to be said for the kitchen still having it’s original tile from the 1930’s, I’d love to know what posessed the person who picked out the color combo…

The tile on the back-splash is like skin colored!  And the trim is maroon.

Seriously, WTF?

Ok, my rant is over… Let’s pretend the tile doesn’t exist, and focus on the good here… my new little rug.

Oh I love it!

ANOTHER Bedroom Post (sorry!)

Ahh the bedroom – all talk, no action on my end so far!  I swear, this room really is next on my list for a makeover said the girl who cried wolf.

Do you remember this inspiration board I had put together for our bedroom??

I still love it, BUT… the rug is going to end up being too small!  It took me oh… six months… but I finally took measurements, and the 5×8′ rug that used to be in the living room is not going to work in the bedroom!  You literally won’t be able to see it from underneath the bed.

So, I’ve decided to sell it, and get something larger.  With the option to choose a new rug (which by the way, RugsUSA is having a 60% off sale that ends today) my options for the room just got a whole lot more exciting.

You all know how much I ADORE a creme colored upholstered headboard with nail-head trim… but after months of thinking, I’ve come to the conclusion that a headboard in this color won’t stand out against our off-white walls and it won’t add much interest to the room (sad).  I’ve shifted gears, and I’m going to be brave with color!

What color??  Navy!  I am now thinking of a lush navy headboard that will be the room’s centerpiece.

Taking a look on RugsUSA, I’ve narrowed down my choices to these three rugs…

Amazing right??  Not only are all three of these available in 7.6’x9.6′ measurements, but all three are below $300 – one of them is even below $200 (can you guess which one??).

I can pretty much guarantee that Kris will veto the zebra print rug immediately, even though it looks so soft, the grey is so pretty, and I love a good zebra print if it’s not too crazy.  I’m not even going to pick that battle…

I love the bold pattern and the rich color on the navy rug, but I worry that it will be TOO graphic (is that possible?).  On the other hand, if we go for a navy headboard, this rug would really tie everything together.

The third option is a pretty neutral trellis rug.  This rug (like the zebra) looks incredibly soft, and I love the colors, but while it will be versatile no matter how much I change up the room, is it boring?  Also, is the trellis pattern too similar to the rug in our living room?

I need to make a decision today since the sale ends today – if I’m not getting 60% off, I can’t justify a new rug.  To help me make this decision, I’ve put together two new inspiration boards for the bedroom.

Here is the first one…

I like this option… I yellow and navy look so great together, so I could use the extra fabric from the roman shade in our hallway to make a few pillows, and whip up a quick navy chevron lumbar pillow as well.  I keep coming back to the fact that the rug is simple, and that it will go with everything, no matter how many times I change the accessories up.

I also like the idea that I can move it into the living room for a very different look since these rugs will be the same size!

Next up, is the inspiration board with the navy rug…

This just looks awesome, right??  Aside from looking super styled and tailored, the navy rug is also less expensive!!  It will be just $200 with taxes tacked on!  I think I am leaning a towards the navy rug, but my head keeps telling me that the neutral trellis is the “safe” choice.

I have some thinking to do, but by the end of today, I might have a new rug on it’s way!!  No tricks this Halloween, just treats!!

Lions and Tigers and Bears… and Zebras??

Rugs USA is having a big 50% of blowout sale this weekend, and I’m seriously considering getting this zebra print rug for the bedroom.  It’s an amazing deal, and I don’t know if I have the strength to resist.  I know what Kris’ reaction will be… Um… animal print?? Really Becky??  But I think I may do it anyway…
Am I going crazy, or is this rug awesome?? (Answer: It’s awesome)

Ive seen several rooms where zebra is used as a neutral and I love it!  Look at it in this living room!
love this room- teal, lime and grey.  love the subtle grey zebra rug and the teal behind the bookshelves
June and Bear

And here again!!  I think I’m not crazy… and I think I might just end up with a rug on it’s way in the very near future…
Grey Zebra rug + yellow accents + original artwork

I’m also loving this pale blue chevron printed rug….

This modern damask rug…

The awesome Flokati Rug I mentioned before
And the sky blue moroccan trellis rug…

Oh I have some serious decisions to make!  The discount code for 50% off your RUGSUSA order through Monday is Private50!  Happy shopping!

Cow Hide Rug – Do or Don’t?

Dark gray and cream living room
Emily A Clark

I am a city girl at heart – I love to be in nature but I also like to come home to my blow dryer and cozy bed – but while I might be slightly scared of horses, and would never wrangle a cow in a million years, I am really into the idea of a cow hide rug!

I keep seeing cow hides pop up in some really refined, contemporary spaces, and they look really cool – not cowgirl.  I’ve been drawn to the lighter dyed versions (cow spots are not really my thing), but I’ve even seen a few with a zebra print on them that looks SO cool.

One time, I told Kris that I loved the look of zebra print, and he gave me his “Who-is-this-crazy-person-and-where-did-my-completely-sane-girlfriend-go” look, but I SWEAR, if done right, zebra print can look classic!  I need to print out this photo from Stephmodo’s blog, and put it on the fridge for him to see.  This room is actually a nook off the hallway of a Southern California home, that the family made into a functional office space. Genius!

Cow Hide Rug cow hide rug
Look at how these light cow hide rugs blend into these rooms!  The rest of the decor is relatively simple – clean lines, and not a lot of color.  Aside from the irregular edges on the rugs, nothing about them looks “risky” – the first word that comes to mind when I think about purchasing a cow hide rug.  Maybe simplicity is the best way to ease into it?

Beige cow hide rug
Ok, this room is just awesome, right?  Those icy blue walls with the vibrant yellow Louis XIV chairs?? If I had an office, this is the color scheme I’d want to go with.  It’s bright and light all at the same time, and somehow it doesn’t feel like too much.  Dare I say it, the rug is the safest choice in this room!

So… this room is very “styled”.  I actually hate the ceiling from the sunburst light fixture to the bamboo wallpaper (sorry homeowners), BUT what I do love is how the zebra print cow hide is positioned underneath a glass coffee table (so as not to obscure the pattern), and that when laid lengthwise, it mirrors the symmetry of the two sofa’s that are facing one another.  I’ll ignore the ceiling, the screens, and the complicated sconces, because the rest of the room is spot on perfection.

I once stayed at a house for a weekend that was decorated with a vibrant orange as the focal color. They had a cow hide rug as well.  Beyond all this, I'd really like to see more of the coffee table.
Create Girl
And… the cow print.  Not my taste, but I’ll admit that it brings some much needed life into a totally neutral oatmeal colored room.  This rug also looks a bit furry, which creeps me out a bit too much.  How do you find a rug with minimal “fur” – I really do not want to imagine my rug in it’s former life… aka eating grass and chilling on a hill in the sun.

Flokati Rug

I spotted a Flokati rug in a commercial for this local San Francisco furniture store, and it looked so soft, and luxe, I’ve since become a bit obsessed.  You are probably thinking, this crazy girl JUST got a new rug… and this is true, but I think that when we move into a larger space, I’d love to invest in a pretty, fluffy Flokati for the bedroom.

I see all the fluff and think how it might not stand up well to a high traffic area like a living room… but in a bedroom… that could be a match made in heaven.  Just picture it… it’s a cold morning, still dark out, and the alarm goes off… you get up and swing your legs of bed… imagine how amazing this rug would feel under your feet!  Like butter, I tell you!

A real Flokati rug could put you into some serious debt, but the amazing (I wish they had a different name) has the Standard Shag Greek Flokati Natural Rug for a sweet deal.  The 5’x7′ is ~$600 normally, but it’s 35% off right now.

Doesn’t it just look like a cloud with all the pale grey accents below?  And with the zebra skin??  So chic.  I wonder if this is a look I’d tire of, since I normally go for cleaner lines, and very classic pieces.  This is way more hippie dippie than I’d normally go, but looking at these photos where the rooms are based around classic furniture… Luckily we’ve got quite a few big ticket items already lined up, so this goes at the bottom of the list, but the Flokati… it’s on the radar for sure (plus it’s just so fun to say).