Tag Archives: frugal decorating strategies

Rug Ruminations

I have the same slubby fabric I talked about (here). I decided this is just enough to do the stairs and maybe, just maybe something else, but I better do the stairs first. I know who to take the fabric to, to get it prepped. I will ask for and take the woman’s advice. I know where to get a rug pad for the stairs, when I get that far. The stairs need to be painted first anyway.

I found the price tag on the bolt, I spent $32 for it. The stair runners I’ve found which I like are all around $200, so I have a way to go before I’ve spent that much.

With the stairs taken care of, that leaves the 5 x 8 foot or 6 x 8 foot rug for the hearth.

I like this, a LOT. My only problem is that it’s printed, not woven. So in 5 years or so I’ll have to buy another, sigh. I try to not buy printed fabrics for the house, I like woven patterns, as they wear 2x as long. My opinion, but it’s my house & money.

print rug

My second choice is another one at Birch Lane. (I can’t get an image to save so I can load it here.) (birch lane rug link)

My problem with it is two-fold three-fold. 1) It looks thick and comfy to walk on, and messy. 2)It’s jute & cotton (so is the first one) and because it’s so thick, I’m afraid it will stink, like the other mats did. [I’m less afraid of this with the printed rug, ironically, because I think they’d have to clean the fibers well to get the printing to work.] And 3) DH doesn’t like it.

Thought I had a solution. I found a rug at Ikea which would work.  But they aren’t in stock: in MA, in CT, in IL. . . . trying to find the same piece another way, found 0. Sh*t!

All of which leads me back to trying to make my own. I do not want to make a 5 x 8 foot rug. The last 2 door mats I did, I crocheted out of jute string, took about 2 balls of string and 8 hours to do, not to mention “airing” the string and having to stop because the fumes were getting to me.

I bought the last door mat at Home Depot for $8 on sale. Being sick for a day to make a door mat is one thing. Being sick for a week or two, month? to make a 5 x 8 foot rug? Not going to happen. And that’s not counting however long it would also make me sick living with it.

Since the last time I wrestled with this, I (finally) found a place which sells natural fiber rug warp and yarns. I can buy a cone of rug warp and use some fabrics I have prepped here and/or buy some and see what I think. I could crochet one, it would take a long time, but I could do it. Or, if I could find someone to teach me how to warp my loom, I could just weave one!

Also I will buy a small amount of the warp and other materials and see if I can come up with a way to make a rug with materials which don’t make me sick. If the printed rug at the store stinks? Then the warp, etc. is what I’ll do.

However, for the moment, I think I need to go to the store which has the printed rug and see if it stinks? If not, I may buy it, for $199. (That’s on sale, sigh.)

I will take the bolt end to the woman who can prep it and see what she thinks. She no longer has a store front but works out of her home. 11/15

Thirty years ago I would have gone to Pier One and bought a sisal mat. Actually, 30 years ago I bought a blue, flat woven, cotton rug from Conran’s. It’s in the attic. The color was uneven, so I stopped putting it out. In Tampa, I had wall to wall  med. gray carpeting in the living room, bedrooms, dining room, etc. The blue rug was used in my library, a large open area. The faults were obvious and I put it in the attic here. But the hearth area isn’t an open area, it’s fairly crowded.Our huge living room is divided into three functional areas. Hm. If I can get the rug out of the attic, I could maybe put a rug in the hearth area for $0.

I’m off to go look at the attic!



Solids vs. Patterns

I have for years bought almost exclusively solid colored clothing. Why?

Because I was reading one of those “capsule” dressing books and it said that colors go out of style much slower than patterns do. That made sense to me, and in the 10 years or so since, I almost never buy or wear patterned clothes. (There are exceptions, but they’re just that, exceptions.)

I have adopted the same strategy at the house, basically. I have decided that I will use classic patterns (plaid, stripes, dots, gingham checks) and solid colors. My personal favorite type of plaid is what I call a thick & thin plaid, like this rug from Dash & Albert:


which they call tattersall. I’m probably wrong, but who cares? Anyway, that’s my favorite kind of plaid. Almost all my tablecloths are that type of plaid, if more colorful than the Dash & Albert rug.

I have a boatload of colors I want to use for the house, but intend to use black and white to anchor the entire thing, like with the rug, my current favorite for the stairs.  I just have to figure out how long it needs to be. . . .

Also, I inherited a bunch of Black and White scotch crates. They look like this one at the National Museum of American History:




Although mine aren’t in as good shape, not museum quality — but the price was right.

This is the way I’m going, decorating-wise. We’ll see how it all works out.

I’m not likely to be making or buying something like Mackenzie Childs’ work, but it definitely is an inspiration I drew from. Don’t know her work? Much of it looks like this:


Although her new line doesn’t seem to have any b & w checks anywhere. Also being married to someone who takes lots of pictures, usually black and white, had something to do with my color scheme choices too.

Not sure how this will work out.

Curious why I’m focusing on these details before the house is clean?

It’s the only part of the house clean/purge/redecorate I enjoy. So, it’s my carrot for doing the hard work I don’t enjoy.