About a year and a half ago I was desperately wanting a big area rug for our living room, but I only had about $150 to spend. Solution: I created a zebra-print floorcloth using a canvas dropcloth, paint, and shellac. Here’s how it looked back then.
Amazingly, I’ve not yet grown tired of the zebra. I still love it dearly, in fact. But we do have a problem. After 16 months of daily use things are looking a little worse for wear.
See all those wrinkles? I just cannot get the dang thing to lie flat anymore, and I’m concerned that it’s a tripping hazard. The area near the sofa (where it gets the most wear) is also really dingy and dirty and nothing I do seems to help. So as much as it breaks my heart to toss out something that I spent, literally,DAYS of my life working on, I think it’s time for little miss zebra to hit the road. I’ve started shopping around for affordable replacement options.
My first thought was to get a jute or other natural fiber rug.
I’m still leaning pretty strongly in that direction, but I do wonder if maybe it wouldn’t be worth it to get something a little softer for a crawling baby. So then I started looking at low pile rugs, especially the indoor/outdoor ones since they seem really easy to keep clean with kids and pets and grownups who like to eat their dinner in front of the tv. I decided pretty quickly that a solid color could look cheap really easily, giving off a commercial-grade carpet vibe (especially if I buy online instead of checking it out in person first), so I started gravitating toward simple patterns.
I’m paralyzed by the fear that I’ll hate the pattern in a year or two, which is hilarious since big huge zebra stripes make a pretty big statement and I’m yet to tire of them. The shade of blue in the rug pictured above is a color that I have repeated throughout my house, so that’s probably a pretty good sign that I’ll like it for a while. It’s technically an outdoor rug and reviewers mention specifically it being indestructible by cats, impenetrable to baby spit-up, and soft and comfortable to walk on. Plus at less than $200 for an 8×10 it’s a pretty good deal. I’m definitely keeping this one high on my list of possibilities.
Which one to choose? The neutral, safe, impossible to hate jute? Or the softer rug with a little bit of color and personality? These are the things that keep me up at night. Except not really because I catch every wink of sleep I can get these days, haha.