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Rather than talk about the history of the rug, I would like to review a rug that I purchased within the last six months.
When I first moved into my house, I was determined to carpet the house throughout, as that is what Im used to, but I was advised not to because having alittle baby at the time, it would be easier to keep the flooring clean if I had laminated flooring downstairs but have carpet upstairs so it would give comfort and make it homely. Thank goodness I took that advise, because I was not prepared for the amount of poo, pee, puke and general food mess I would experience, more so downstairs, when my son arrived ( then later his sister ). But to make the floor look less harsh and and dress it alittle more I added a rug, which the children tend to play on, watch tv etc.
Upstairs, despite it being carpeted, I really wanted a rug for my sons room. I had decorated it in a more neutral cream colour as I knew at some point his sister would share the room with him, but I felt it was alittle empty and needed some added accessories. I thought a rug would be perfect as I didn't have to spend lots of money on it, but I wanted a pop of colour in their without adding any more paint or pictures to the wall. My concern was getting a rug that was unisex, and would work well whether it was in a boys or girls room, as my children would be sharing, and this is when I found this particular rug, I was over the moon.
It cost £12.00 plus p and p from Amazon ( around 6 months ago ).
How does it look?
The size of this rug is 100cm x 133cm. Its 100% Nylon and completely washable ( 30% ). The rug itself is spilt into 20 squares. Each square being a different colour, half of them having the numbers 1 through to 10 on them and the other squares have either 1-10 different patterns or pictures on them that correspondent with the numbers.
The colours are bright and colourful, completely unisex and the pictures on the rug are basic but eye catching for the little ones.
What do I think of this rug?
I think its great. Not only does it provide some brightness to my childrens room, but its quite educational. My son can count very well now, and knows his numbers well past 10, so I always catch him jumping on the rug as if hes playing hop scotch and counting the pictures on the squares.
Another reason why I bought this particular rug was because it was machine washable. I did wonder how clean the rug would remain with the kids and thought what a great idea to be able to throw it in the machine rather than sat on my hands and knees scrubbing madly trying to get out dirt and goodness knows what. But thankfully I haven't had to wash it, as they spend most of the time being gruby and grimy in the livingroom.
I think the rug itself is quite a good quality. Not too thin where you would question its durability but not too thick and heavy where you would find it difficult to move around.
Great buy at a great price
Its currently being sold for £17.00 free p and p. http://www.amazon.co.uk/
I am not quite sure how one is supposed to review ''rugs in general'', but let's try.
How about, rugs are great?
When I arrived in the UK for the first time (back in the early 1990s) from what was then freshly-post-communist Poland I was surprised by several aspects of day-to-day life in this country, some delightful (you don't have to carry any documents on you even when driving a car) and some, let's say, less so. Domestic routines were often among those, chief of them the separate hot and cold water taps.
What appeared to be an almost obsessive love affair with wall to wall carpeting was another. Not only almost all rooms everywhere appeared to be carpeted, and that included even upmarket living rooms in middle class houses, but I was astonished by carpets in bathrooms (including bathrooms that had toilets and showers in them) and even sometimes carpets in kitchens.
This trend has somewhat diminished in the intervening 20 years while I started to appreciate advantages of carpets in the notoriously underheated and drafty British homes and bathrooms in particular.
Still, I still think that wall to wall carpeting shouldn't be used as a default option. There is nothing that screams ''cheap rented flat'' then the same cheap (usually cord) carpet laid in all rooms, halls, bathroom and sometimes even kitchen.
Carpeting has advantages through. It's soft underfoot, muffles sound and makes rooms and floors warmer. There is no reason however why this should be achieved by covering the floor with a permanent, unmovable, fixed covering.
A much better alternative is a rug: from small area/scatter rugs to large almost-whole-room rugs, there is a rug for every room and occasion (and, incidentally, for every pocket).
You can use smallish cotton rugs (often rag-rug style) as bathroom mats and in kitchens and childrens' rooms as these can usually be machine washed and often tumble dried (they are also very cheap).
Other cotton rugs (particularly chenille) work well as larger centre-pieces for kids' rooms. Vertbaudet do really nice ones.
Grown up rooms can have pretty much anything, from sheepskin to fluffy chenille, and of course the massive range of artificial fibre rugs on offer. Some acrylic rugs are very good indeed.
There are also rugs that are more mats than rugs, for example sea=grass, jute and the like, good for halls and similar areas.
But the best rugs are still woolen ones, or woolen and silk ones; and among those the rugs from Asia - Turkish, Persian and similar - are worth seeking out. You can buy these second-hand for very good prices, though if buying online it's worth carefully examining the photos for condition. If traditional patterns are not your thing, you can buy modern rugs made from natural fibres too, though I find that as I get older my distaste for swirly and ornate patterns diminishes a lot.
Square foot per square foot, rugs are often better value for money than wall to wall carpets, and if you buy a big one you don't have to have fantastic parquet flooring underneath but half-decent floorboards will do. I even occasionally put rugs on those horrid rented house cheap beige carpets to decent effect.
In the western world for the past 50 years, the fashion has been, by and large, for wall to wall carpeting.
This fashion began with the wealthy and as we collectively got richer, we followed suit. All my life I have lived in homes with wall to wall carpeting however I have always loved having rugs in my home.
Rugs have grown in popularity as the fashion for wall to wall carpeting has come under attack with the growing trend of stripped wood floors or laminate flooring - a rug adds warmth to both the room and the feet.
When I was a child my parents didn't have rugs but this changed when I hit my teens and a shaggy pile fake sheepskin rug appeared in our living room. These were de rigueur in the 1970s and I was suitably impressed.
When I got my first home I had cheap rugs in the living room which I used to ring the changes - cheap rugs are an inexpensive and easy way to give your living room a fresh look for instance.
My husband was a huge fan of rugs, and when we first moved in together he was taken by some Chinese rugs in Allders, dragging me from Fulham, where we lived at the time, to Croydon to check them out.
Up until I encountered these Chinese rugs my experience of rugs had been of the cheaper variety - but these were something else altogether. Firstly, they were huge - not the kind of rug you would have in front of the fireplace for instance. They were also very thick, and very, very expensive. Purchased nearly 20 years ago, we paid nearly £400 each for these, and that was in the sale.
However - they really gave rooms a truly luxurious feel - when you stepped on them you sank into the pile - and they were purchases we never regretted.
Sadly, one of these rugs bit the dust several years ago when our daughter got hold of some match pots for emulsion paint and had a field day in the living room when our backs were turned. Despite frantic scrubbing with water and carpet shampoo, one of the rugs was damaged beyond repair.
Ironically, the second one remains in my daughter's bedroom and she has clearly learned from her earlier antics as it still looks almost as good today as it was when first purchased.
We did, however, have to replace the ruined rug and my husband decided we would get some more oriental rugs, and he went so far as to buy a book depicting classic oriental rug designs to get some ideas of what to go for.
Once again our port of call was Allders, but this time they had a branch on Oxford Street for us to visit. Sadly this branch was short-lived and is now Primark.
There was a sale on and we decided we wanted to buy a large wool rug which was predominantly red in colour. The selection in store was excellent and one caught our eye from the off, despite it being considerably thinner than the lamented Chinese rug. This rug was a Bokhara rug, which is a traditional type manufactured in Pakistan.
We decided to purchase this, but my husband was drawn towards a much smaller genuine Persian rug which was reduced in the sale to a rarely affordable price and he decided to get this one too. I have to stress it still wasn't cheap and was still more expensive than the far larger Bokhara rug we had spotted first.
The Bokhara rug, despite being far thinner than the old Chinese rug, is still very soft to walk on and the traditional design is, I think, lovely. These rugs are available in a variety of different colours with varying designs and are worth considering if you want to buy an oriental rug for your home.
The Persian rug is a little thicker and is trimmed on the rear with leather and uses thicker ply wool. You can tell this rug has been woven using more traditional methods and is, quite frankly, the nicest rug we ever owned, and to this day it is something I am very proud of, in spite of the very high price tag.
Cleaning them is easy too - I use the stair cleaning attachment on my upright Dyson to gently lift the dust. On hardier rugs I just vacuum straight over but being aware of the fact my Dyson has brushes and very strong suction, it's sometimes better to be safe than sorry - it's not unheard of for rugs to unravel under the strength of a Dyson's suction.
One thing you do have to be careful about with some rugs is slippage. A rug slipping can cause a very nasty accident so ensure you use underlay if the rug moves - my Persian, for instance, doesn't move on the carpeted floor, but the large red Bokhara rug does. As a result we had to purchase special underlay to place on the rug if it is going to sit on carpeted floor - different underlay is available for laminate or wood floor to prevent slips and I would suggest using underlay on all rugs placed on this kind of flooring.
Oriental rugs have another advantage and that is the fact they do not date. However you can buy rugs which are designed to be funky and fashionable and this can be a cheap and easy way to make a statement or update a room.
I particularly recommend IKEA if you want to put rugs in a young child's bedroom - you can pick up rag rugs for under a fiver here and these are hardwearing and very easy to clean - just bung them in the washing machine when they are looking a little grubby and they come out looking as good as new.
I could not imagine living in a home that didn't have rugs. To me they are more important than a fireplace for making a living room feel homely, and are a great way to add colour to a room.
So if you want to change your colour scheme without redecorating, why not consider buying a humble, or perhaps not so humble, rug - and perhaps add a throw and some cushions to add to the effect? Its one cheap, easy and clean way to give a room a whole new look!
Wall-to-wall carpeting is one of the best luxuries enjoyed by those of us fortunate enough to be living in this age. That is, those of us with the means to acquire it and to maintain it. Alright, so I'm not the world's best housekeeper. But can you imagine the amount of fur and debris generated everyday by two dogs, six cats, two rats and a moulty mammal with black fur two feet long? If you haven't guessed, a lot of fur and stuff gets left on the floor. Fortunately for me, I hadn't gotten around to carpeting the downstairs, so it's all wood, lino and other non-carpety stuff. Unfortunately, it's not as warm as carpeting. This is where IKEA comes in. They have very thoughtfully come out with the JEKSEN range of rugs for £2.90 each. These rugs are 65x130cm, come in a variety of colours and designs, and live in huge huddled stacks in IKEA. I used to walk past these stacks, appalled by the horrible colour combinations. Then one day ... To cut a long story short, if you take the trouble to sift through the pile, there are the most remarkable rugs in there. I found one which was a wonderful pure bubblegum pink. This would have suited a little girl's bedroom so well. You'd have to pay a fortune to get a rug that colour from a catalogue. The rugs are made of various fabrics, some fluffier and some smoother than others, and come in all various colour combinations. I have opted for two sets of rugs, one in shades of blue and white, and the other in shades of grey and white. I have over twenty rugs in all, and use 10 at a time. Spread over the floor, matching yet different, they are pleasing to the eye and yet more interesting than if they were all the same. I have several in front of the door, laid so that the animals can't help but clean their paws as they some in from the muddy garden. The rugs are then chucked into the washing machine for the 40-100 degree wash,
depending on my mood. 40 degrees is the manufacturer's recommended temperature, but the couple of rugs which have shrunk now fit in a corridor better. Simply avoid the higher temperature washes if the size difference matters to you. So there you have it. I've spent under £80 on these rugs. They fold nicely to fit onto the shelf of an IKEA Billy bookcase, and I always have clean stacks of them readily available.