The $90 Rug Everyone Thinks I Spent a Lot More Money On

published Aug 24, 2018
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(Image credit: Taryn Williford)

I think about home decor a lot. It’s my job here at Apartment Therapy to dwell on dwellings, of course, but design is also my personal passion, too. Most of my free time and disposable income is spent decorating, outfitting, and loving on my home. “The loft is my baby right now,” I tell people at parties when they ask if my husband and I are having children. “And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

This loft is also my first place without wall-to-wall carpeting (thanks, crappy corporate apartments!), so it’s also the first time I’ve ever had to dive into the world of area rugs. Y’all, rugs are expensive.

The first rug I bought was for the living room; we spend 90 percent of our time in there, so it seemed a sensible place to start. It was a splurge from West Elm, something like $900 for a 9′ by 12′ (I really listened to all those lessons about buying the right rug size.) But I loved it.

I still do. I really, really love it.

I thought the pricey living room rug was money well spent until I bought my second-ever rug for the bedroom. This time, I felt like we’d get something more affordable, since the bedroom rug was a place that few guests would ever set foot on. It was OK if it wasn’t as nice or comfortable as the one in the living room. But then we got it, and it was. I loved it just as much as our other rug, but it cost a fraction of the price—only $200 this time for an 8′ by 10′. (It’s this rug, from Rugs USA.)

With the knowledge that great rugs can still come at a steal, I vowed to never buy an expensive rug again.

Which brings me to my best decor buy to date. The rug that’s garnered more compliments than any other in the loft. It’s a gorgeous fringe fest—two-toned, made of woven strips of leather, and best of all it was $89 for an 8′ by 10′. I bought it as a cheap fix for the guest bedroom upstairs (the wood floors in there are… rough… and not something I wanted to subject our overnight guests to), but made the mistake of unrolling it downstairs first. Turns out this new rug was a perfect style fit for the dining room. So the dining room is where it stayed.

Now it’s the first rug you see when you walk in, and I have to admit it gets showered with compliments. I relish in the moment I get to tell people it was less than $100.

The best thing of all is how unprecious it is. I don’t worry about wearing it out or staining it to ruin sitting under the space where we eat every night. I get to just live on my rug, instead of living around it.