Decorate the natural way: A guide to natural-fiber rugs

Photo credit: Iridescence

Photo credit: Iridescence

I’ve noticed more and more people choosing natural-fiber rugs lately. If you’ve read some of my earlier entries, you already know that I am a fan of natural rugs (although synthetic rugs have their place, too). Natural-fiber rugs are durable, stylish and depending on which fiber you choose, they can also be very affordable. If you’re considering a natural-fiber rug for your home, use this guide to narrow down your options and choose the best material for your space.

Wool: If you’re searching for a soft, high-quality rug, wool is a great option. Wool rugs are soft, durable and stain-resistant, which makes them well-suited for high-traffic areas.wool rug

Jute: Jute is the softest fiber you can choose and also often the least expensive. It is also much less durable than other natural fibers, though. Choose a jute rug for low- or medium-traffic areas.

Bamboo: They might not be as soft as other rugs, but bamboo rugs are long-lasting and great for areas like the entryway. Bamboo rugs also feature a unique, earthy style that many homeowners love.

Hemp: Hemp, also known as mountaingrass, is a renewable and pesticide-free fiber. If you prefer colorful rugs with patterns, consider using a hemp rug as a layering piece.Cotton: If you like the look and feel of wool but don’t want to pay a higher price, cotton rugs can be a great alternative. Keep in mind, however, that cotton rugs aren’t as durable and may need to be replaced more frequently.

Seagrass: Most natural-fiber rugs are absorbant, making them bad for high-moisture areas. Seagrass, however, grows in marshes and can repel water. These seagrass rugs are also very durable and can handle years of wear.

Silk: Silk is very soft and gives rugs a shiny appearance. If you’re looking to add a touch of luxury to your space, a silk rug is a great choice.

Leather: Leather rugs bring texture and a unique style to any room. Use a leather rug to give your space a rustic appearance.leather rug

Depending on which one you choose, natural-fiber rugs can add style, warmth, color and function to your home. Before you buy one, consider where you will be placing the rug so you can choose the fiber that is best suited for the space.

By Wendy Weinert

Layer your rugs for an interesting look

Photo credit: The Glitter Guide

Photo credit: The Glitter Guide

I don’t know if you all have heard, but layering rugs is in style – and I love that it is. I think there are many benefits to laying one rug on top of another. For example, if you have a beautiful rug that you want to display in the living room, but it is too small, layering a larger rug underneath is often the perfect solution. Layering rugs can also lend a designer look to your home, as it is bold and sometimes tricky to pull off.

If you like the layering rug trend as much as I do, here are some ideas for making it work.

Photo credit: Carla Aston

Photo credit: Carla Aston

1. Combine bright colors and interesting patterns with a neutral rug

One of the easiest ways to pull off the layered look is to pair a natural fiber rug in a neutral color with a very detailed and colorful one. When placing the colorful rug on top, make sure there is an equal amount of exposed rug around all sides underneath. Bonus point: this could also help you save some money, as large Oriental rugs can get expensive!


Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

2. Use two or more rugs to create one larger rug

Instead of placing one rug directly on top of another, try setting them up side by side, with the edges slightly overlapping. This style is popular when using cowhide or sheepskin rugs, but you can try the look with other shapes, fabrics and styles as well. Just be sure the two rugs complement each other in some way.

Photo credit: SF Girl by Bay

Photo credit: SF Girl by Bay

3. Create an eclectic style by layering two different patterns

Layering a neutral rug with one that features intricate patterns and a variety of colors is easy. Pairing two or more rugs together that all show different patterns is much harder! To create a cohesive look, try finding different rugs that all feature a similar style. Two tribal-print rugs make sense together, but a tribal print mixed with a floral pattern might not.

These ideas will help get you started, but there are other ways to layer rugs as well. Play around with what you have and see what works!

By Wendy Weinert

How to add style to a temporary space

As a renter, you rarely stay in one place for very long. You consider each new apartment, house or condo to be only temporary and because this is so, you don’t bother spending money on stylish, long-lasting decor. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, to have a few personal touches here and there?

How to add style to a temporary space
It makes sense not to overspend on decor when you’re likely to pick up your life and move again in a few years. You can easily add personality to your space, however, and do it without spending the big bucks! Here are just a few affordable ways to add elements of “you” into the interior design.

How to add style to a temporary space

1. Accessorize

Decorative accessories like pillows, rugs, throws and ottomans add life to a bland environment. They allow you to add color and interesting patterns to your home for a small price. When you’re ready to move again, keep what you can and give away what is left over to family or friends.

How to add style to a temporary space

Photo credit: BHG

2. Paint an accent wall

As a renter, you are sometimes limited when it comes to making improvements to your space. Most landlords will allow you to change the color of your walls, however, as long as you paint them back to their original color before you move out. To reduce the amount of work you have to do when moving in and out, just paint one wall an eye-catching color instead of painting all four.

How to add style to a temporary space

3. Hang up a versatile light fixture

Almost all rented homes and apartments have outdated and unattractive light fixtures. Update your light fixture with one that complements a wide range of styles, such as the Crystorama Solaris chandelier. That way, you can switch the fixtures back when you move out and take yours with you to adorn your next home.

Although temporary, each house or apartment you live in is still your home, and it’s important that you feel good living in it! Use these affordable solutions to create a new home every time you move so you can enjoy living in a space with style.

By Wendy Weinert

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

Lowering your impact on the environment by reducing waste in the home is easier than you think. Start by incorporating just a few of these 10 strategies into your home life and continue by adding more when you’re ready. Before you know it, these waste-reducing tips will become second nature.

1. Buy in bulk whenever possible and you won’t need to throw away as much non-recyclable packaging.

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

2. Illuminate your home with LED lights. They last much longer than alternative solutions.

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

3. Get creative and repurpose old furniture and household items. Using items in unique ways will give your home character.

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

4. Have less furniture and invest in quality pieces. The less surface space you have, the less space you have to accumulate junk. And by investing in quality furniture, you won’t have to keep replacing worn-out or damaged pieces over and over again in the future.

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

5. Supply your home with bedding and rugs made from natural fibers, such as bamboo or wool.

6. Take your thermos to the coffee shop. Most cafes will happily fill your thermos with coffee, and you might even save a few cents in the process.

7. Bring your own reusable bag to the store. You’ll be grateful later when you don’t have an overflow of plastic bags anymore.

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

8. Make your own cleaning supplies. Many brand-name cleaning supplies use a small number of ingredients such as white vinegar and baking soda.

9. Eat more whole foods instead of packaged products. Eating a frozen dinner everyday results in a lot of waste. Make it a goal to cook more often, and when buying packaged food, buy in bulk.

10. Reuse gift bags and tissue paper. You can even reuse wrapping paper if you open presents carefully!

You don’t have to change your whole life to be more green. These waste-reducing strategies are easy to incorporate into your lifestyle, and they will help make you more environmentally conscious in other aspects of your daily life.

By Wendy Weinert


5 essentials to design a stylish mudroom


5 essentials to design a stylish mudroom

A stylish mudroom – can you imagine it? Probably not. After all, it’s called the mudroom for a reason. Although the front porch or entryway tends to be the place in your home where family members dump their coats and track in dirt, you can strategically design the space so it attracts less mess with these five essentials.

5 essentials to design a stylish mudroom

Photo credit: Thrifty Decor Chick

1. Hall tree bench

Hall tree benches are perfect for mudrooms because they offer a place to sit and take your shoes off, hooks for coats and storage for shoes. Plus, there are many stylish options available, allowing you to set up the mudroom to be both functional and attractive.

5 essentials to design a stylish mudroom

2. A mirror

Mudrooms are typically smaller, but you can make yours appear larger with a stylish mirror that reflects light and opens up your space. Plus, hanging up a mirror allows you to do a quick appearance check when you’re heading out the door in a hurry!

3. Umbrella holder

Your umbrella might be protecting you from the rain, but it certainly doesn’t protect your mudroom. Upon entering your house on a rainy day, place your wet umbrella in an umbrella stand to keep the water from dripping all over your floor.

4. Welcoming light

The mudroom is the first room guests walk into as they enter your home. Make sure it looks inviting by installing a wall fixture for ambient lighting. If your space allows, you can also hang up a stylish pendant or chandelier.

5 essentials to design a stylish mudroom

5. A durable rug

Mudroom floors have to handle a lot. Water, gravel and dirt can all be tracked into the entryway, so you’ll need a durable indoor/outdoor rug that will protect your floors. When choosing a rug, make sure it is absorbent and can hold water and mud without becoming too dirty-looking right away.

Spring is here and you know what that means: more mud. Make sure your mudroom is ready with these five essential items.

By Wendy Weinert


5 guest-bedroom essentials to create a comfortable space for company

You may not run a hotel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide a comfortable space for visitors to enjoy. These five guest-bedroom essentials will ensure that your space is ready for company at any time of the year.

5 guest-bedroom essentials to create a comfortable space for company

1. A lamp

You’ve mastered the art of finding your bed in the dark, but your visitors are stumbling in an unfamiliar space. Help them out by placing a lamp next to the bed. A lamp is also nice for guests who like to read before falling asleep.

5 guest-bedroom essentials to create a comfortable space for company

Bellacor Number: 743169

2. Blackout curtains

If you want to give your guests the opportunity to sleep in, you’ll need blackout curtains to keep the room dark in the morning. When visitors are spending time in the room during the day, they can simply open the curtains and enjoy the sunshine.

5 guest-bedroom essentials to create a comfortable space for company

3. A bedside table

Bedside tables are convenient to have in any bedroom, but are especially nice for guests. With a bedside table, visitors can keep a glass of water, their glasses, a book or any other item they want within reach. You can even use the bedside table to offer magazines or popular books that you think the visitors might enjoy.

5 guest-bedroom essentials to create a comfortable space for company

Bellacor Number: 698763

4. A rug

If you have squeaky floors, guests might feel uncomfortable walking around in the morning. Cover your hardwood floor with a stylish rug to soften the noise and add visual appeal to your space. A rug is also a great way to cozy up your space, making it more comforting to guests.

5 guest-bedroom essentials to create a comfortable space for company

5. Extra bedding and pillows

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to sleeping. Some people like to sleep with five pillows, while others are content with just one. Some might get hot during the night whereas others are always cold. Provide extra bedding and pillows for your guests so they can sleep in whatever style they find most comfortable. It might be useful to have a storage chest nearby where guests can place any unwanted bedding.

Does your guest bedroom have these five essential items? Before new guests arrive, update your guestroom to create a comfortable and welcoming space.

By Wendy Weinert

5 Conversation Pieces to get your Guests Talking

Is the décor in your home all just a little too ordinary? Maybe you’ve noticed that guests look bored when they see all of your traditional furnishings. While you can’t have every item in your home make a statement (it would be too over-the-top), you can add a few unique pieces here and there to make people stop and ask, “what’s the story behind this?”


Here are just five of our “conversation pieces” to get you inspired:


1. Safavieh Cow Hide Rug

With its unique shape and style, this hand woven cow hide rug will instantly capture your guest’s attention. If you want to create a rustic or country style room, this rug will fit in perfectly and complete the overall look.

Butler Specialty Company Artists Originals Guilded Cream Drum Table

2. Butler Specialty Drum Table

Not all accent tables have to be brown and simple. This antique favorite instantly stands out with its off-white color and elegant design. Put a coaster on top and use it in your living room or set the table in the entryway and use it to display decorative items like photos. The hand-painted floral motif and gold frames will make any space appear more sophisticated.

3. AF Lighting Elements Orange Mini Chandelier

Wow your guests and make them jealous with this stunning orange chandelier. While most chandeliers are dramatic, this fun piece also adds a pop of color and instant glam to liven up any dull room.

Premier Copper Products ADA Wine Barrel Vanity in Whiskey Finish with 17-Inch Oval Copper Sink and Wide Spread Faucet4. Premier Copper Products Wine Barrel Vanity

Wine barrels aren’t just for the wineries anymore! Once an actual wine barrel, this piece was made into a vanity and now you can have it in your home! While most vanities typically have a similar style, yours will definitely make an impression and guests will leave feeling a bit jealous of your creative taste.

Global Gallery 3-D Movie by John Lund: 24 x 24 Canvas Giclees, Wall Art5. Global Gallery 3-D Movie Wall Art

This reproduction of John Lund’s original work is quirky and fun and will certainly grab anyone’s attention! Hang it up in the living room for a little more pizazz or add it to your game room’s décor. Wherever you put it, you can be sure that it will stand out and intrigue company.

Don’t decorate your house to be boring. Get people talking and add some conversation pieces in your home!


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Selecting an Area Rug

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With all the styles and colors available choosing an area rug that integrates with your decor is a breeze.  Consider the following factors when deciding upon your rug.

Consider your room’s focal point

•Choose a rug with a center medallion, if you need to create a dynamic focal point.

•If your room already has a focal point, such as a fireplace choose a rug with an all over pattern.

Consider wallpaper and upholstery patterns within your room

•If your furniture has an upholstered pattern consider choosing a rug with a more subtle pattern, or pick out and accent color and choose a solid rug.

An ornate wallpaper also should be considered, if you choose a rug with a busy pattern the two patterns will compete with each other and create a frenetic design statement.  However, if your room is more subdued choose a rug with bold pattern to breathe life and excitement into your design.  If you fancy an updated look for your room, pick and accent color from the rug and paint an accent wall in your room to coordinate.

•For high traffic areas you want to consider rugs made from durable fibers, that are easy to clean and stain resistant.

•The main family room that is used as a gathering place would require a more durable rug than a guest room that is used twice a year during the holiday season.

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Consider textures

•Several different fibers within a rug or high and low pile areas can add depth and dimension to your room’s design.

•Rugs made of sisal, sea grass or jute can add an interesting textural element to hardwood or tile floors.

Consider Shapes

•Don’t limit yourself to rectangles.  Ovals, circles and octagons can add symmetry or a unique design twist to a room’s decor.

Select a rug that coordinates with your decor.  Remember the colors in the rug don’t have to match the colors within the room, but at least one color should coordinate.  Color is necessary and, without it a home can look lifeless. Vibrant patterns and colors can strengthen the look of almost any room. Although it can seem simple enough, adding color to a plain room isn’t always easy. An addition of a bright area rug can offer a welcome reprieve from neutral design schemes. If you want an area rug that conforms to your room’s general appearance, then you may want to opt for neutral tones and designs that blend with your existing decor.  A textured shag rug is also a great option as a backdrop for you furnishings.

Be it contemporary or traditional, both styles account for your self-expression and taste. Geometric patterns are best suited for modern settings, whereas traditional floral patterns are the ones you can use to enhance the vintage style of the old world. When mixing patterns, it is important to remember that either the color or the pattern should be in sync with each other. This helps to create cohesion within your decor.

How to determine the perfect sized rug?

Determining the proper size for a rug is just as important as finding the right color and pattern.  The size and shape of your rug can help determine and define furniture groupings and living spaces.  Choosing the right size rug can mean the difference between a comfortable inviting space and a room where something seems awkward and a little out of place. The key to success is proper measurements.

Under the coffee table

•Depending on the size of your coffee table and accompanying furniture, choose a rug that accommodates all four legs of the table.

•Area rugs should approximate the same length and width of the furniture within the space.

•You can either leave space between the furniture and area rug or place the front legs of the furniture on the rug with the furniture coasters under the back legs to adjust the height.

Dining Rooms

•Area rugs should extend beyond the chairs in the pulled out position.  To obtain the correct measurement pull out the chairs around the table, as you would to sit down, then measure from the rear of the chair legs in length and width.  Add 8” to this measurement to get an idea of the minimum size rug needed. 

Living Rooms / Great Rooms

•Balance the area you are trying to define by leaving an equal amount of rug around the furniture grouping.

•An equal amount of exposed flooring around your rug can also give balance to your room. Don’t get a rug so large that it touches the baseboard around the room.

•Don’t “float” a rug in a room. Use the rug to define the space and incorporate your furniture to anchor the rug.


•In bedrooms, one large rug is luxurious, but remember the bed will cover most of it when you are selecting a pattern.

•If you plan for the rug to be under the bed , measure to allow for three feet on both sides of the bed.

•In many cases, multiple smaller area rugs can be used effectively in the bedroom by placing one at the foot of the bed and one or two on each side of the bed. In fact, using multiple area rugs can be more affordable while better complimenting your furnishings.

Make Your Dining Room Look Complete With a Rug

You’ve picked out the necessary chairs and table for your dining room and even included an elegant sideboard to store dishware. But what about a great-looking rug for underneath the table?  Rugs are an easy way to prevent scratches on your hardwood floors; they can also complete the dining room look by adding comfort and style and provide a nice frame for your table.

Table size

Picking out a rug for the dining room requires a little thought. The design you choose mostly depends on your own taste and the look of the room. Size, however, should be determined based on the table’s measurements. A dining room rug needs to be big enough so that people can scoot their chairs back, without the legs leaving the rug. Standard dining room rugs are usually around 8’ x 10’, but not all of them. Be sure to measure first so you can be certain.


To begin measuring, arrange your dining room furniture in the exact layout that you want. Then, measure the table top and add 24-30 inches to every side to account for chair space. You definitely don’t want the rug to be too small that the chairs end up scratching your beautiful hardwood floor and ruining the ends of the rug.

While you want the rug to be a large enough to act as a cushion underneath the table, you also don’t want it to be too big that it almost touches the walls. Create some distance (at least 8” on each side) between the rug and the walls, plus any other furniture you have in the dining room.

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As a general rule of thumb under a dining room table, the rug should be at least 4′ wider and 4′ longer than your dining room table. The goal is to be able to push the chair away from the table while keeping the back legs on the rug.

Here is an example of a rug that is a little small for the table:11717 500 060096_rm01Add a rug as the final touch to make your dining room look complete!