We love Tibetan rugs. They’re sumptuous and thick and artsy-craftsy and they must be tasteful, because they cost a billion dollars. Twenty years ago we bought one for the piano room. We probably should have gotten the larger size, but we only had a half billion in our pants at the time.
Piano room, living room, dining room: they’re all small and right next to each other, and Dave, who splurges once every forty years (so far) thought we should get Tibetans for all three. Horrible idea! All those colors and designs jumbled together! Chaos! Plus if we got a patterned rug for the living room we’d have to reupholster the furniture. I thought maybe we could get one for the dining room, though. So I went online to see if I could find something affordable.
Yes! I found a rich rosy-red rug with green in the border to match our dark green wallpaper. It looked fabulous in the thumbnail picture on the website. Kind of spendy, so it had to be good. When it arrived, it was duly stunning! Stunning-ish. Vibrant colors, but a little on the thin side. Kind of a sparse design, once you see it full size. But hey! It was shipped and paid for and I decided to love it. It was good! It was good enough.
Kind of. I mean, jeez, there are those little threads that keep poking out, and it looks a little shreddy, and it won’t stay vacuumed for five seconds. But it’s fine. Just fine.
Kind of. But then I saw an ad for new Tibetan rugs in town that were practically half price almost. Still expensive of course. But half price! Almost! I told Dave maybe we could just take a little look-see. No charge for looking.
Man, that there is a beautiful rug. And it only costs another fifth more than the rug we already bought that is really kind of shreddy. Can’t justify replacing that rug though, unless–I know! We can put it in the TV room where nothing is ever clean anyway! That way we won’t have wasted the Thin Shreddy But Expensive Red Rug.
“You can always take this rug for a test drive in your home,” the rug pusher lady said.
“I could see if it works with the green wallpaper,” I said. “I mean, I doubt it, but it might. I certainly am not about to scrape off wallpaper and repaint.”
No way it was going to work with the green wallpaper, which I am in no mood to scrape off. I haven’t painted a room in this house for twenty years, when I painted all of them, so one could make the case they needed a little freshening up, but that’s not the case I was planning to make. I was planning to make the case that any wear and tear would coincide with my own failing eyesight and enhanced ability to not give a shit, and the rooms could remain as is until they finally hauled me out the front door on a gurney, and the new owners could waltz in with a sprayer and a vat of Eggshell White and have a ball. That was my plan.
“You could try it out,” the rug lady said again. Well, we could. That doesn’t cost anything. So we did.
Rats! Rats! I LOVE the new rug. And it totally doesn’t work with the wallpaper, at all. But I could take the wallpaper down and repaint. It would totally be worth it.
“What was your plan for the red rug again?” Dave wanted to know. “Because we could put it in the living room just for now.”
It sounded chaotic, but after all, we had the rug already.
“Shoot, might as well try it,” I said. “Just for now.” His ideas are not always horrible.
We tried it. It looked amazingly not horrible. And besides that, it was now obvious that we really needed a rug in that room. It was way better than the bare floor. Maybe not that exact rug, although it was truly amazingly not horrible. But a different rug. I consulted the rug pusher lady again. We found a good possibility. It was in a warehouse in New Jersey, but maybe they had a deal. Maybe it had a minor flaw and it would be less expensive.
Good news! It did have a flaw and it was less expensive. Not less expensive than the mail-order rug, or the rug I just bought, or any rug I ever contemplated buying ever in my life, but way less expensive than it would have been without a flaw. It was practically a steal. For that kind of rug. I mean, it’s just money, right? Just something we’d have wasted on nursing care down the road or something.
Of course, we’d have to have our furniture reupholstered. The green worked with the green wallpaper that has to come down, but it probably doesn’t work with the new rug that we might be buying in place of the red rug that will go in the TV room that needs to be repainted. The living room will have to be repainted too. We should probably spring for an arts-and-crafts light fixture in the dining room.
Of course, if we do paint the living room and dining room, and we leave the door open to the stairs, the color in the stairwell carpeting will look a little weird. And that color goes all the way upstairs to the landing and the wall-to-wall matches it and sort of determines all the other wall colors, furnishings, and quilts I’ve made over the years.
“Shut the door,” said Dave, whose ideas are not always horrible.
I started hyperventilating just reading this. Fortunately, with parrots, having rugs is out of the question, since I don't want to spend all my time spot cleaning poop off of them. Bare floors it is. (I do have to vacuum every day, though.)
The last time I painted, which was a few years ago, I wanted to make it the last time I painted. So I used rags to apply three variations of a yellowish-beige on all the walls to give it the colors of old parchment. I figure that any subsequent damage will help contribute to the wabi-sabi look I am going for. Deciding to embrace imperfection and go with "shabby chic" was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I no longer have to paint an entire room just because I have a blight on a wall somewhere. The blight becomes a "design element."
Seems to me that "I have parrots" could be a plausible explanation for all kinds of things. I might just start saying that, myself.
I started hyperventilating at the thought of spot cleaning parrot poop all the time.
Ah, the phenomenon known as mission creep. "Be careful what you start," I try to remind myself.
It's totally out of control now.
Look out. Down that path lies madness. Bob bought a rolltop desk for his room, which was already full. So something(s) had to be moved to make room. Only place they could go was the basement. Which was already full. So stuff had to go from there. And my room had to be rearranged because the desk I was using fit better in his room, and a table from his room fit better here in my room. Several trips to Goodwill, the recycling center, and Schnitzer's later, his office/room is beautiful. We still aren't done though.
It's like musical chairs, only the chairs never get taken away.
With ten cats I can't have anything nice except my redwood burl coffee table. They can't wreck that. Yet. Those rugs are beautiful. I can tell that even though I have very little sense of design.
"…With ten cats" works just about as well as "I have parrots."
I couldn't breathe either because we just did a couple of minor repairs here that turned into a completely demolished bathroom with a remodel that's been ongoing since August and I wwear to god it'll never be finished. The kitchen's a nightmare of things needing spackle and paint after we opted to finally have the electricity grounded. We didn't do it for ourselves because we'd gotten used to being zapped by all that is metal in the room but whoever those new owners are might make their decision to buy our house based solely on the wiring being up-to-date in the most dangerous room in the house. Then there's that water damage in that tiny spot upstairs that requires all the walls on the second floor of our cape to be painted.
You know that doing one thing turns into a thousand things and we just don't learn. Like that time we actually paid someone to paint the walls and ceiling of the spare bedroom only to have ice dams on the roof that leaked into ONLY THAT ROOM and we've opted to figure out how to cover that up without actually doing a lick of work or paying someone to do it again.
Oh and the worst of it is you didn't even do it so you could live in a house that didn't try to electrocute you when you got the munchies. So many remodels are done right before someone LEAVES! Ice dams are attracted to finished walls, by the way.
We had devised work-arounds so were just fine with a minor zap here and there when we got careless. I wouldn't put another penny into this place if I ruled this kingdom but we decided to have some kind of democratic process when we hitched up so there's a lot of accommodating going on right now. I'm not budging on doing anything else in the kitchen.
Thanks to you, I stopped into a lovely Persian rug shop yesterday and am trying to decide if I want to make an investment in my future or just get a rug that's brighten up the room. The folks who own the shop send the matriarch out to let you know those are your choices in the nicest way possible.
AKA "I don't see why we couldn't just…"
Best decorating advice I ever heard. "Shut the door."
Plus there are so many unfinished things and dings and divots that we no longer even register. Brain editing!
I love Tibetan rugs, too. I visit the Tibetan Refugee Camp rug store in Jawalakhel near Kathmandu every time I visit Nepal, and always bring back a rug. They have a mind-boggling display of rugs. And they're woven right there.
The ladies at the looms seem really happy. I got only one BIG rug (had it shipped), which fortunately melded into our dining room well. The others are small and scattered around artfully.
I think I'd be happy all the time just if I got to live in Nepal, but I hope they are also adequately compensated!
I managed to make it one more summer not 'freshening' up the inside. I am going to have to paint next summer yuk!
Do you hire out? (hahaha)
Oh, honey. I can be persuaded. I actually don't mind painting. It's so satisfying and I'm good at it. But just thinking about starting…anyway a miracle did occur. I love love love my new living room color. You can't count on that happening.
So funny (from a faraway vantage point, at least) and so true. So flippin' true. Gah.
Those are beautiful rugs. But almost like carpet in my mind. We just spent the last two years slowly replacing carpets with hardwood. And by we, I mean my husband. My responsibility is to keep them clean for the next however-long-I-live.
Or you can put in light dimmers.
I am so not showing this post to my partner. Shut the door works for me.
Which side of this story are YOU on?
What you *really* need, the item(s) that will stand out from all other attempts at coordination and pattern-matching, is a FULL set of car upholstery, plus assorted mechanical pieces (factory-matched, naturally).You would be AMAZED at how cunningly they draw they eye from the one unpainted wall in the master bedroom…
Or you could just bring in a goat. A goat would work.
A few years back I started to take a wallpaper border off the walls in a bathroom. Before I knew what had happened, all the plaster walls and ceiling came down, new fixtures were ordered, two replacement windows were installed, the hardwood floor was restained and polyurethaned, a new ceiling light wasput in place, a woman was hired to give the new walls several fancy paint treatments, AND, all the wood trim around the door, the windows, and the mirror was taken down, stripped of paint, stained and polyurethaned. Holy cow! I just hated that stupid border that the previous owner, on the advice of her realtor, had pasted up there just days before I was shown the house. She also painted all that beautiful woodwork for the same reason!
Gadzooks! You were emboldened by the size of the room, I'm thinking!
Yes- this is how I decorate, too. One slightly too expensive step at a time. Matches my eclectic personality.
Oh- and the new rugs are great, especially the not red one. The other two.
There are four rugs here. The red one is now folded up awaiting another Round Tuit when we re-do the TV room. In its place is the plainer rug in the last photo. It's plain but has Frank Lloyd Wright touches in the border.
I've given up on rugs altogether. They just hold too much dust unless I vacuum twice a day and that's not happening. I prefer a floor I can just run a damp mop over and call it done.
But damp mopping is so much more trouble than vacuuming! At least the way we do it, and by "we" I mean Dave, who insisted on a professional mop and bucket that weighs a ton.
Reading all of this just made my head spin….
You're overdue for a visit!
Somehow, this wonderful post plus all the comments reminds me of a saying we had in the Air Farce: "Flexibility is the key to air power, and indecision is the key to flexibility."
The one-thing-leads-to-another is why I'm paralyzed by design decisions for our house….But one of the great things about Oriental (hey, the Orient covers a lot of territory) rugs is that they're so busy that they go with everything. At least, that's what I tell myself about the ones we acquired after my MIL passed away. Yours look great!
Thanks! Halfway through this business I was really afraid I'd spend all that money and go to all that trouble and it wouldn't even work. New upholstery, new paint–but it turned out great.
Larry and I cannot agree on rugs. We will go rugless. Until I get fed up and order the rug I want anyway…
The sooner you order it, the sooner he'll get used to it and pipe down.
Waiting for him to go on a work trip. Waiting…
I thought you said you didn't have room for a little wolf painting!
Aha, you must've seen that little patch of empty wall in the living room! I'm not sure what belongs there but I have a stack of about ten pieces of art just waiting for me to frame them and then put them…somewhere.
All this has made me so tired, think I'll go read (or listen) to a good book.
I don't know. This sounds suspiciously sensible of you.