The great area rug search

29 August 2013

We hung our gallery wall! Hooray! And we’re really pleased with how it turned out! But before I share it with you (though you’ll see a little peek here), I wanted to finish up another post that’s been sitting in draft for awhile.

We decided when we moved in that we didn’t want to jump into any big purchasing or decorating decisions — especially expensive ones — immediately, as we thought it’d be wiser to live in the house for a bit and see how we naturally used the space. I’m glad we made this decision. Very quickly, however, it became apparent that our first big purchase would need to be a rug for the living room area. We love the wood floors throughout the downstairs, but without any soft surfaces of any kind underfoot, the overall effect was pretty cold. Plus, I don’t think our cats approved :) We also wanted a large area rug to anchor the seating area and set it apart from the adjacent dining area.

So, the search began! I virtually visited all the usual haunts, including Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Wisteria, Serena & Lily, World Market, Restoration Hardware, Lulu & Georgia, Overstock, Rugs USA, Ikea, eSaleRugs, and Layla Grace. One tip: Make sure to look at the baby, child, or teen version of a store, if one exists (like PB Teen or RH Baby & Child) — they often have lovely, cheaper designs!

Complicating the search a bit was the fact that I was kind of shopping for two rugs, even though we only had plans to buy one at the time. We are probably going to buy a rug for under the dining room table at some point down the road, and because the spaces are so close, I want the rugs to work together well. As an aside, this issue has actually come up a lot as I think through choices for this space, from lighting to curtains — it’s really like decorating one giant room in three parts as opposed to one room or three distinct rooms.

We would eventually like some sort of vintage Turkish/Oriental rug (kind of like this) for under the dining room table (all of those colors will help hide spills!), so I honed in on something simpler for the living room. I tried to keep my mind open and my search wide, so we ended up with options in several of the colors in our palette — which, coincidentally, is pretty much the same palette as this blog. I know what I like. More on that later.

Here are just a few of the options we considered:


A. Overstock, B. Layla Grace, C. Shades of Light, D. RH Baby & Child, E. Shades of Light, F. Overstock, G. Layla Grace, H. RH Baby & Child, I. Shades of Light, J. Shades of Light, K. Rugs USA, L. PB Teen, M. Rugs USA, N. Overstock, O. Rugs USA, P. Rugs USA, Q. Shades of Light, R. Overstock

This was such a hard decision, friends!! If we hadn’t had a deadline (see below), I think we probably would have been hemming and hawing still. A rug is visually such a large part of a room, and such a large investment, that we wanted to get it 100% right. Yes, you can return a rug, but shipping can get very pricy, and you often have to pay a restocking fee. We spent our time on this decision not because we’re overly concerned with how our house looks (I don’t think), but because, as with every other purchase we make, we wanted to be sure we were spending our money wisely on something we would love for years to come. We are trying to be good stewards of what we’ve been given.

We finally decided on the Surya Frontier Pale Blue Hand Woven Wool rug from Layla Grace, and I’d say we got it 90% right.* I’m particularly proud of the price — we pounced on a 40% off sale over the Fourth of July, and got free shipping, too! Our 8×11 rug was less than $500. (Dina posted about purchasing a rug for 75% off from Rugs USA over July 4th, so I made sure to sign up for all possible store emails and be ready with our decision in advance! Highly recommended!)



And after:




Anyone else purchase a rug recently? Did you find it as nerve wracking as I did??

*Though we are very happy with the look, I’m taking 10% off because it’s not as soft as I had hoped (duh, it’s wool). We don’t get down on the floor too much in this stage of our life, but I imagine it wouldn’t be the most comfortable for kiddos in the future.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
August 29, 2013 5:33 pm


Again, I am amazed at our similarities! After lots of research, I finally pulled the trigger on ordering a rug yesterday! I’m excited to share photos when it comes in. I love the direction your living space is headed, the house is looking beautiful already! The color scheme you have going (basically your blog- love that!) reminded me of this room, on another favorite blog. I thought you might want to check it out for inspiration. Glossy red chairs- wahoo!



August 29, 2013 9:04 pm

Hi, Emily!

We met at MTH in March – I was the girl who gave you a copy of the article you didn’t have access to online, and I promised to leave you a blog comment! : )

And, oh my stars, Emily, I could’ve written every single word in this entire post. I moved into a townhouse in Carrboro last June, and I was starting from scratch as far as decorating goes. My #1 priority was an area rug in the living area followed by one in the dining area. (Like you said, it’s hard to decorate three distinct parts of one room!) I spent HOURS looking at area rugs online and was so indecisive! We must have similar taste, because I recognize many of the ones above from my own search. : )

I ended up going with this one for the living area:

And this one for the dining area:

I bought one off eBay and one from Bonanza – both brand new at a discounted price + free shipping! Win! Anyway, I promised a comment, not an entire book, so I’ll stop…but I just wanted to say congratulations on your new rug and that I know EXACTLY how you feel!


August 29, 2013 10:24 pm

Love the cat accent in the photos!

August 30, 2013 3:16 pm

Oh I am LOVING those bright chairs! (I know your post wasn’t about them but I just had to share!!!) And, YES, finding a rug seems never ending for me right now… My hubby and I are still need a living room rug & an office rug. The search continues…

September 1, 2013 9:00 pm

Those are wonderful choices of rugs posted above. I personally love the Shades of light. I can just imagine how wonderful this would look on my space. I hope I can get one of those. Anyhow, I hope the brown couch will be change to white same as the other one.

September 30, 2013 1:26 pm

I love how your cats are just DYING to be on the blog and sneak their way into photos all the time!

April 23, 2014 1:26 am

I was looking for a 4×6 area to brighten up the darkness of my furniture. I looked and looked for something I liked for not a whole lot of money. Area rugs are so expensive. Originally, I wanted to bring some turquoise into the room but couldn’t find anything that was the right color and right amt of money. I luckily found a faux sheep skin off white 4×6 rug. It will brighten the room, the price was right and it was different. I will bring in the turquoise and some other colors using accessories. I think it will work out really well. I have two large male cats. They are good boys. Thank you for sharing and the rug you chose goes well in your living room and softens the hardwood floors.