Friday, February 22, 2013

Rug Shopping Tips on a Budget

One of my blogging goals this year was to get a budget decor series completed that shares some of the tips and tricks I've learned over the years that has helped me save thousands when decorating my homes.  Depending on the size, etc of my rooms, I normally spend only $500-$1,000 top-to-bottom for furniture, accessories, window treatments, etc and my kid's rooms are even less. While part of that is due to using re-furbished, secondhand furniture, there are always items that need to be purchased new and I'd thought I'd share my shopping tips with you starting with rugs.

    
After many years and three different houses where the flooring was predominately hardwood or tile, and after having both rug successes and failures, I've learned a few things on what to look for in a rug as well as where to find affordable, quality rugs. Rugs play such an important part in both the functionality and the overall design of a room that I've learned to allocate a little more of my decorating budget to get what I want the first time around, but you still don't have to break the bank to get quality.
I mentioned last week that I'd been shopping for new rug for my living room as the one I had been using was from a different house and was too small for the space.  I just needed a change.  When weighing my rug options, I knew that I was going to go with jute/sea grass/sisal/bamboo or wool, which leads to my first tip:
1) Go all-natural for most living room/family room spaces.  If you're bargain shopping for a rug, you'll immediately notice that almost all the rugs that are in your budget are most likely made of polypropylene, olefin, or other synthetics and that's why they are significantly less expensive.    Polypropylene definitely has its place in the rug world (see below), but if your room gets quite a bit of traffic from kids or pets, save your money for the real thing.  Trust me...I've learned my lesson.  It's amazing how those pretty, wool-looking rugs that were such a good bargain were trashed and basically throw-away rugs way too soon.
I may have picked out a jute rug for my living room, but be aware that jute/sea grass/sisal/bamboo are not really cozy or soft rugs.  If you have small children or your family sprawls out on the floor to play games or have wrestle-mania night, then invest in wool.  Our great room above is where the family hangs out, watches TV, and even an occasional wrestle-mania event is held here so I needed a thick, quality rug that will last forever.  Wool rugs are virtually indestructible and worth every penny...more on the costs and sources below.
So now that I've hopefully convinced you to go all-natural for those spaces, now I'm going to tell you to consider synthetic for other living areas of your home!
2) Get a stylish, durable, and completely washable indoor/outdoor rug to save hundreds of dollars.  Depending on your living situation (kids, pets, entertaining, etc), indoor/outdoor rugs are stress-free for busy eating areas, hallways, and foyers.  Outdoor rugs aren't just for outdoors anymore!  Manufacturers make such beautiful indoor/outdoor rugs with hundreds of designs that mimic that high-end designer look that will make you do a double-take.
For example, this indoor/outdoor rug in my dining room has a soft, raised pattern, but I'm still able to take it outside and clean it with a hose and some dish soap and it was only around $100 for an almost 8'x11' rug!  The black and cream stripe rug under my breakfast table has already seen many spills and gets the most wear out of all the rugs in the house...
I've been pretty happy with it so far and once again, it was a little over a $100 for this large size.  
Yes, the days of plain-jane, plastic-like outdoor rugs are over...
source
My mom and I both have these houndstooth runners in our hallways coming in from the garage.  For $25-$30, you can't beat it.  Inexpensive, durable, easy to clean, and cute too! Seriously, I get overwhelmed with all the stylish outdoor rug options out there.
Alright...so you can see that indoor/outdoor rugs are completely affordable, but what does an all-natural rug going to cost you?  This leads me to the last tip...
3) Don't pay retail prices for rugs!  I hardly pay retail for anything, including rugs.  Shop discount stores, online distributors and stay away from rug shops unless you can get a discounted floor model that you can have cleaned or clearance rugs.  I've scoured and scoured the best places to get rugs and these are my favorite sources:
Great room before adding coffee table and ottomans
a) Overstock.com - Hands down, my favorite!  I'm not affiliated in any way with Overstock, just my opinion.  I purchased my dining room rug, houndstooth runner, my new jute rug for the living room, several outdoor rugs for my patio and the 9'x12' rug for my great room above (links are to the source).  After moving into our new home over a year ago, I was seriously overwhelmed with how I was going to afford rugs for all these rooms, including the large great room. It's a huge room and once again, I'd already decided on wool...until I found that easily could run over a $1,000!  I was going to go with the less expensive option of a jute rug, but my husband put his foot down (remember wrestle-mania).   Kinda scratchy.  After months and months of online searches and shopping all over creation, I bit the bullet and ordered the Hand-Tufted Coliseum Wool Rug from Overstock... one of my biggest house purchases to date at $500.  Yes, doesn't sound like decor on a budget, but this was a splurge that was worth it, but almost everything else in that room is from Craig's List so it evens out.  I should also note that this same rug was selling for around $1,200 on every other site that I found it on.  Overstock also has to hard-to-find sizes like my new 8'x8' jute rug in my living room after my searches in discount stores for 8' square rugs were futile... and for $165, it didn't break the bank. Note: if the rug you find on Overstock isn't on sale, save it in your cart and periodically check the price...they always run additional sales on their rugs.
One of the risky things about ordering online is not seeing the rug in person.  Colors of rugs on your computer screen can be completely off from what actually arrives so make sure you read all the reviews before you order.  Overstock has free or $2.95 shipping (and it's super-fast), but return shipping can be expensive if it's not right for you. If you really need to see that rug in person there are a few other sources that I love to find rugs...
b) Discount stores - HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Tuesday Morning, and Ross.  We all love these stores and I stalked the Raleigh-area HomeGoods for months because I was afraid to order my large wool rug online.  I was hoping that the perfect rug would miraculously show up for that room.  The prices run about the same as Overstock for the large rugs and you can see exactly what you're getting and can easily return it if it doesn't work out.  These places are also great for scatter rugs and smaller-scale rugs for the bathroom, kitchen, etc.    
I've also found an unlikely source for sisal, sea grass, and bamboo rugs at Ross discount stores of all places.  While this isn't my favorite place in the world to shop, they carry the most affordable natural rugs out there, including my $20, 5'x8', chenille-edged sisal entry rug (I'm going stencil this one soon).  I also found my white ceramic garden stool in my living room there for only $30 and those are very pricey.
I almost always find large bamboo mats as well and they are usually under $30.  I scored this one that I use in my booth for only $8!  These also make great stenciling projects.  It's hit or miss at any discount store, but be patient and you'll most likely find what you're looking for.
c) Walmart.com and other online distributors  I used to think everything from Walmart.com was manufactured by Walmart, but like Target.com, they sell and distribute from other retailers and manufacturers, but many times are able to discount their items heavily, which is also similar to Overstock.  This goes back to "don't pay retail"!  Most rugs are manufactured by only a handful of companies including, Safavieh, Capel, etc and then retailers will chose which styles/sizes to carry.  Here's an example:
I found through online rug searches that retailers will sell the same rug, but will change the names making it harder to do price comparison searches.  It helps to find the true manufacturer's name, like Safavieh's "Cambridge Welsh", and then "Google" that name to find the best online deals.  It's also helpful that these large chain stores will also have free shipping to the store and many times allow returns there as well saving tons of money and the headache of return shipping. 
As with shopping for anything...vacations, home decor, cars, etc, it just pays to do a little research before plunking down the cash.  Unless they are small, scatter rugs or bath mats, take your time to find the best deal because you'll most likely be stuck with your decision for several years and rugs are one of the hardest-working design elements in your home.  I hope some of my rug shopping tips and tricks helps you along the way!

Kristen

Sharing here:

27 comments:

Our Pinteresting Family said...

Thanks for sharing your tips, Kristen. I ended up buying indoor/outdoor rugs for my living room and kitchen because of my dogs and toddler. They are easy to clean up and they are actually pretty comfortable. I bought them both off Overstock. I love them for rugs too.

Angela Santaniello said...

This is such a great post with so much info! I second the idea of using natural materials. I typically stay with wool or jute. Pinning your post to refer back to in the future.

Angela

Laurel Stephens said...

This post is a huge and timely help as I search for a craft room rug. Thank you!

Atta Girl Amy said...

The Dash and Albert indoor/outdoor rugs are great, too. Pricier than some, but so worth the investment, in my opinion. I use one in our family room and the kitchen, and they've survived spills, pet accidents -- you name it.

I throw the smaller kitchen rug in the washing machine all the time and let it air dry.

The rug in our family room is too big for the washer, so I just haul it out to the deck and spray it off.

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Hi, thanks so much for the information on rugs! I'm looking for one in a room that has my computer and desk, a little of a high traffic area also, this helped me very much!

Lisa @ Before Meets After said...

Thanks for the tips! I have tons of outdoor rugs in my house, and with 2 dogs, they are easy to clean! I love how cheap they are but still stylish!

Artsy Chicks Rule said...

Your home is beautiful! Thanks so much for the tips. I am in the market now and have been looking! Undecided what to put where but this was helpful!
Nancy

Jaye Leon said...

This was a great post. I've spent hours on Overstock looking for a rug. Right now, I'm struggling with what size I "should" have. I have a huge room but obviously can't afford a gigantic rug (nor do they make one that big) so I'm so confused as to how to place it...under the sofa? At the sofa leg? Closer to the fireplace than the wall? I'm paralyzed with fear! :-)
Jaye@justtryintomakecentsofitall.com

Heather SettingforFour said...

Great article! We just moved into our home in September and am on the search for new rugs as well - overstock is always a great place to look! Where did you buy your striped rug for your kitchen set? Love it! I'm looking for something similar that's super easy to clean! Thanks!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

This is a wonderfully informative post Kristen...I love all of your rugs!....you are the "budget queen"!!!

Have a great weekend Kristen!

srpprcrftr said...

Wonderful post Kristen. All the tips are so helpful. I've been wanting something for our living room for Winter. I have a jute patterned rug for Spring/Summer but need something warmer in Winter. The jute rug is so much easier to vacuum up animal hair which we have in abundance.
I bought rugs to cover horrible carpet under them that were in house when we bought it. Can't afford to replace carpet so covered carpets in l/r and mstr bdrm. Hoping someday to replace carpet with wood floors. Your rugs are so nice, love the striped one. Thx again for so many wonderful tips.
Happy Days

Jenny@thelavendermagnolia said...

I knew about Overstock, but who knew the rest??! I am going to look for an indoor/outdoor rug for my dining room now. Never thought about taking them outside and hosing them down. Genius! I had a wool rug in my dining room at one point until it got food spilled on it and I hauled it out of there. Grossed me out.

I love your dining room rug. So pretty! Going to search for a houndstooth rug, too. I have always had a thing for houndstooth!

Thanks for all of the info.

Jenny

P.S. The walls look beige in some of the photos. Woo Hoo!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Great tips, I love all of your rugs, they look amazing. Hugs, marty

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Thank you so much for the great tips for buying rugs at prices that don't break the bank. I'm in the market for a rug for our dining room and you've helped narrow the search!

Jan Scott said...

Can you tell me where you got the beautiful aqua colored curtains?

Brenda from LA said...

Love the great room rug - I just ordered it on overstock.com = it is G*O*R*G*E*O*U*S

Thanks for the excellent tips :)

Denise Cerro said...

I'm not even in the market for a rug...and now you've got me thinking about shopping for one with your great tips! Actually the patio could use sprucing up this spring...I'm headed over to Overstock right now for two outdoor rugs and new chair cushions...thanks Kristen!

Tammy @ circa-1929 said...

Awesome post Kristen. Can't wait for more cost saving tips.

Tammy @ circa-1929 said...

Amazing info Kristen. I love overstock. But I hate Ross and never thought to check them out. Guess I will now. Can't wait for more tips.

Inspire Me Heather said...

I love all of your rugs - gorgeous - and thanks for the tips!

mrsben said...

Totally appreciate your frugal shopping tips. Love your choice of rugs BTW.

As a Canadian, everything (well pretty well everything) is far more costly compared to that if purchased in the U.S.A. regardless if our dollar is at par. Also, would be safe to say, even the online markup to 'us' is often about two to three times the price (without taxes and shipping). With that said, totally agree re your statement about Overstock.com as have been more than pleased with their customer servicing and pricing whereas cannot say the same for their competitor A--Z--. ☺
-Brenda-

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

I'm rug hunting now and I feel like I stole your homework, thanks!!
Your choices are beautiful!!

Susan @ homeroad.net said...

Ok thanks Kristin... I now want to replace every rug in my house! But really thanks for the info on Overstock, I love the carpet in your dining room (too bad everyone else did too because it is out of stock!) I'm a new follower, I like your style!
Susan

Lisa said...

What a ton of great tips - thank you so much!!! I am inspired to jump in my car and head to Lowes to check out their outdoor rugs! Happy Tuesday from the enchanted oven.
xo,
Lisa

Married Filing Jointly said...

I love the way you decorate! Your house looks awesome!

~Chelsea @ Married Filing Jointly

http://www.marriedfilingjointly.blogspot.com

fixitfaerie said...

Thank you so much for sharing your rugs and where you bought them. Love them all, but the dining room looks like a very nice rug, but like you said, you can hose it down. Great blog. Blessings Paula

Lindsey Domer said...

That is SO crazy that a manufacturer will sell the same rug under different names for totally different prices!!! I can't believe that!

I also love your suggestion of using indoor/outdoor rugs indoors. Unfortunately, my kitties won't let me have ANY rugs... Anything I have bought, they have picked apart!

Pinning for future reference though! So many helpful tips. :)

toddlindsey.com

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...