Thank you all for the wonderful comments and suggestions for Kim’s dining room.
Of course, there’s rarely just one way to do things. I could sit here for a month, drumming up different solutions.
However, there were a couple of comments regarding the advisability of putting in a seagrass rug in the dining room.
That inspired me to do a post about seagrass rugs.
Below are the comments from last Wednesday’s post:
“Hi, Laurel Love all of your suggestions except the rug.
Little Johnnie drops his plate, and the gravy goes everywhere. The baby is, of course, in his high chair and tips over his plate. Not good. Quite frankly, bringing or pulling a chair up to the table is difficult on a seagrass rug. have to stop the dinner, pull up the rug and take it outside and hose it down, then go in and wash the food off the floor, then everyone, “let’s go in the living room and eat. An excellent host/hostess would ignore it and entertain her/his guests. I want to be like the latter but not there yet.”
Maureen concurred with her regarding seagrass rugs.
After the floor is installed, find a wool rug with the beautiful colors in the wallpaper. I love seagrass rugs, but I agree with the person who described a gravy spill – it may not be easy to clean.
Earlier, Marilyn wrote this comment after reading 10 Decorating Questions with Difficult To Find Answers:
I did wall to wall seagrass in my last home and will do it again in this new home. I have two dogs: a lab and a brown dog. The seagrass took a beating and looked fantastic after ten years. True, it’s not soft, but the texture is fab.
Who’s right? Are seagrass rugs durable and nearly bullet-proof or a disaster waiting to happen?
Okay. I’ve talked about seagrass rugs numerous times in dozens of blog posts over the years, and they are one of my favorites and for good reason which I will be explaining.
Some of you may not know me very well and just see me as this aging blogger who likes interior design.
Well, for those who don’t realize, I had a real interior design business for 20+ years, worked for a decorator for four years, went to design school full-time for three years before all of that. Also, I was married for 26 years and raised two exceedingly, grimy little boys into adulthood.
Oh, and I had an adorable, highly destructive kitty, Peaches, who passed away in December 2014.
In other words. I’m a real interior designer who’s had a full life with a lot of experiences.
In addition, I’ve sold about 60 of these babies (seagrass rugs) to at least three dozen clients.
Now, for some of the stories they have shared with me:
One of my favorites is about the time the dog dragged the greasy, gravy-laden turkey carcass down from the table and feasted on it for 30 minutes on the seagrass rug. This was my former boss who’s entire shop had wall-to-wall seagrass, which always looked new. I had no problem sliding my reproduction Chippendale arm chair numerous times a day.
And, then there was the client whose cat barfed all over her seagrass rug.
Incidentally, cat folks, did you ever notice how they go running FOR the rug just before they upchuck?
My lovely client tried to show me the spots, but couldn’t find them.
Another client with four kids 16 and under, told me years later, after we did a seagrass rug in her family room, that it was her favorite rug in the house. The kids played, ate, and painted in that room, and the rug always cleaned up beautifully. Indeed, four years later, it looked like new.
All of my clients loved their seagrass rugs, and there was never one complaint, except one time, the weave came loose in one tiny area.
Normally, that wouldn’t have been a problem and still probably wouldn’t have been if it had been glued down immediately. However, the dog noticed the loose spot and from there had a good ol’ time when he was alone with the rug.
Seagrass rugs do have a latex backing that prevents unraveling, but something happened with this rug, and all it took was one loose spot for the dog to get in there. But that was the only time I ever knew of something going wrong with a seagrass rug.
Besides, seagrass rugs are great looking, stylish, and inexpensive.
Yes, you need a rug pad underneath your seagrass rugs and other rugs, as well.
I recommend a good felt pad, about a quarter-inch thick. This will add a touch of welcome cushioning and protect your floor as well.
Below are a few good ones I found.
(please click on individual images for more info.)
Okay. I hope I’m not coming across as a miss-know-it-all. I definitely don’t know it all, but I have had a lot of experience with area rugs and carpeting of all kinds. If you’re commenting on something and you disagree, please back it up with why.
While no fiber is ever “bullet-proof,” seagrass, in my experience, is as close as you can get.
That’s because seagrass grows in water and has a natural waxy coating that makes it impervious to whatever gets on it. Plus, it’s tough as nails.
Still don’t believe me?
There are two excellent blog posts written by two highly experienced interior designers.
Lauren Liess wrote this fantastic post about natural fiber rugs, including seagrass.
And, amazing Joni Webb of Cote De Texas is the gospel on seagrass rugs. You can read her gorgeous and highly informative post here.
Gosh, may I be excused? These gals say it all!
However, I have a few more things to say.
Like, what about using wool area rugs in a dining room?
Yes, absolutely. While completely different from seagrass, wool is a fantastic material to go under a dining room table. As most of you know, wool has natural lanolin in its fibers, and it’s the oily lanolin that protects the rug fibers from stains. But, best of all, the lanolin self-cleans the fibers.
The best way to maintain your wool rugs is regular vacuuming and only spot cleaning, if necessary. Once every year or two, turn the rug upside down and vacuum the underside. Then, vacuum the front side. After that, take the rug outside in the mid-day sun in the summer months. Set a timer for three hours and then bring it inside. Your rug will now be clean and fresh.
If you wish to destroy your wool area rug, have it dry cleaned every year.
It will rob the fibers of their natural lanolin, and in no time, the beautiful rug will not be self-cleaning, and the fibers will be dry and brittle.
Back to our seagrass rugs.
Above is a Fibreworks seagrass with a fabric border with a mitered corner.
Fibreworks is to the trade only. However, Fibreworks rugs are sell rugs at Pottery Barn in custom sizes.
And, if you’re interested in some gorgeous custom sisal rugs (see above) from Fibreworks, you can find those at Williams-Sonoma Home.
Wait, Laurel. I thought you said never to do a sisal rug.
However, many of you will recall after visiting the talented Lotte Meister, who has several sisal rugs, she convinced me that sisal was not to be feared as she has one in her dining room and most other rooms as well.
Above and below is from a custom installation of two seagrass rugs we did with cut-outs.
I made a little boo-boo with this one, but they came back and fixed it.
Above is the living room rug, and below is the dining room after it was fixed.
The board above is from one of the 12 bonus boards created the following year. You can see the bonus boards here.
The bottom line here is that I would not recommend a seagrass rug for a client or a reader for their dining room if I didn’t think it was practical.
And, I wouldn’t hesitate to put a seagrass rug in a dining room for one second.
Still, if you have firsthand experience with a seagrass rug that has not performed well, please let us know and also what the circumstances were and the remedy, if there is one.
That way, we can all learn from each other.
Below is a widget with some of my favorite seagrass and sisal rugs. Some are custom and some are program sizes.
There’s a beautiful seagrass rug available in extra long lengths with a serged binding if you don’t want the fabric border.
By the way, in addition to seagrass and sisal, I love jute too for area rugs, as well. It is also a practical and durable fiber.
PS: Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES. Some fantastic sales are going on this Martin Luther King weekend!