Area rugs…I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with them. Whether they’re wool or natural fiber area rugs, I have some mixed feelings about them. 

I love that they can add warmth, texture, color and pattern to an otherwise neutral space. They’re also great for softening hardwood floors and they can help anchor a space.

There’s definitely a lot to love but they also have a few small drawbacks.

Besides texture, there's so many reasons to love natural fiber area rugs and tons of different ways to use them when decorating your spaces.

My first “nice” area rug was a beautiful wool rug. I loved the colors and the softness that it brought to my room but I didn’t like the shedding. I vacuumed that rug weekly and waited for the shedding to stop but, sadly, it never did. Not even after 4 years. As a self-proclaimed neat freak it drove me nuts!

Besides the fact that it shed, profusely, I sort of tired of the color and pattern. My style changes often and having a particular color and pattern rug was not a smart choice for me. Lesson learned.

So, instead of buying another expensive wool rug, I researched other options. There’s tons of styles and materials available, but I was drawn to natural fiber area rugs. I loved the fact that it would add texture and warmth to my room and be neutral enough for any decor scheme. 

Natural fiber area rugs are inexpensive and add texture and warmth to small living areas.

Natural fiber area rugs add texture and warmth to a guest bedroom.

The two things that worried me about natural fiber rugs were the softness factor and, of course, shedding. I knew that they wouldn’t offer the same softness as a wool area rug, but would it be a deal breaker.

I wouldn’t know until I tried one out.

Natural fiber area rugs add texture and warmth and is a great inexpensive choice for a guest bedroom.

My first natural area rug was a round jute rug that I used under the dining table in our Illinois house. It was inexpensive and the perfect choice for our first try. 

Natural fiber area rugs add texture and warmth to a small dining area.

It’s a great rug and has worn well these past 5 years. I did have a small tear in one of the seams but that was an easy fix. The issues that I did have with this rug were that it would pull easily and it shed. Not as bad as my wool rug, but I knew that my next rug had to do better.

A natural fiber area rug adds texture and warmth to a sunroom, plus it's an inexpensive choice compared to wool rugs.

After more research and sample testing between sisal and seagrass, I ordered my next rug, an 8×10 seagrass rug. I like the fact that it was inexpensive (compared to wool), it’s durable, doesn’t pull, it’s stain resistant and, best of all, non-shedding.  

Adding texture and warmth to a small living room with a beautiful natural fiber area rug.

It did have a slight grassy odor when it first came but not enough to bother us, and it quickly faded.

I’ve had my rug for 3 years now and I love it just as much as I did when we first got it. 

As for the durable and non-shedding claims? Our seagrass rug has performed well on both counts. No shedding and not one stain in 3 years, and the dog has been sick on it several times (sorry, just want to give you all the facts). If something has spilled on it, I just wipe it up and it dries without staining. 

If there is one drawback to seagrass is that it isn’t soft, not like wool anyway. It’s not uncomfortable to walk on by any means but it’s not plush. My husband actually enjoys walking on it when he has tired feet. He loves how it feels underfoot.  

Another awesome reason to use natural area rugs is that you can layer another rug on top, for added color or interest. I haven’t done this with our seagrass rug but I have done it with the rug in the sunroom and I love the effect.

Add another style dimension to a room by layering a striped rug over a natural fiber area rug.

The rug in the sunroom is the Heathered Chenille Jute Rug that I bought for a steal at The Pottery Barn Outlet. I’ve had it for almost a year and it’s held very up well. It has shed a bit but nothing like my wool rug. There haven’t any spills or dog mishaps on this rug so I can’t report on staining. I’ll keep you posted.

The great thing about this rug though, besides the texture, is that it’s really soft. I love it!

Adding texture, warmth and interest to a sunroom by layering a striped rug over a natural fiber rug.

So, my love/hate relationship with area rugs?

I’m not so sure I would do wool any time soon, but natural fiber area rugs? Yes please!  As a matter of fact, I’m looking to get two more, one for each guest bedroom. I guess you could say I’m hooked.

Do you have natural fiber rugs in your home? What are your thoughts on them?

My thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the hurricane and devastating flooding. 

Room Sources

(Affiliate links used. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Please see my Privacy Policy for more info.) 

  • Wall color sunroom – Benjamin Moore Regal Select, Eggshell, Gray Owl (50% strength)
  • Wall color living room and dining area – Benjamin Moore Regal Select, Eggshell, Paper White
  • Living room and gust bedroom natural fiber rugs – NaturalAreaRugs.com
  • Dining area round jute rug – Overstock (affiliate link)
  • Sunroom natural fiber area rug – Pottery Barn Outlet
  • All black pipe and curtain rings – The Home Depot (affiliate link)
  • Linen sheers – Crate and Barrel (affiliate link)
  • Coffee Table – West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Wooden stool with dipped legs – Serena and Lily (affiliate link)
  • Blue washed velvet pillow cover – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Floor lamp – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Striped pillows – Etsy
  • Round woven tray – Target
  • Woven shade – Blinds.com
  • Striped rug in sunroom – Nordstrom (affiliate link)
  • Wood tray in entryway – West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Brass floor lamp – Home Goods
  • Dining chairs  – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Knit ottoman – Grandin Road
  • Chandelier in sunroom – Lamps Plus
  • Dining area chandelier – bought in little shop on the North Carolina coast
  • Sofa – the Holmes sofa by Taylor King (bought at the Furniture Mart in Hickory, NC)

The reasons why I love natural fiber rugs and tips on buying one for your living room or bedroom.

 

 

You can also find me at Between Naps on the PorchWorthing Court, Savvy Southern Style, French Country Cottage

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Right out of the gate I need to tell you that I have a problem. 

Problem may be too strong a word…maybe an obsession?

I don’t like that word either so let’s just call it a collection and be done with it. 😉  

Who doesn't love a good throw pillow? A look at pillow inserts, from down to poly, and throw pillow covers, from designer to West Elm to IKEA. www.chatfieldcourt.com

I’m not usually a big collector of anything but I have to say that my throw pillow cover collection is growing, a little too quickly. I’ve been purging and organizing for the first time since we moved in last July and my throw pillow covers and inserts were in need of some major help. They were a mess and all over the place until I sorted them into bins. This is the “keep” section. 

I have a good defense for my growing collection (I think). I love to decorate with neutrals (our sofa, chairs, window coverings and rugs are all neutral) and, in order to bring color or a certain style into our home, I’ve found that using pillow covers lets me do that without it costing a fortune. I mean, buying pillow covers can get pricey, don’t get me wrong, but it’s cheaper to change them out than it is to get new furniture whenever your style changes. For me, that’s often.

Who doesn't love a good throw pillow? A look at pillow inserts, from down to poly, and throw pillow covers, from designer to HomeGoods. www.chatfieldcourt.com

Early on in our marriage I went through a jewel tone phase. Remember that one? I was so in love with my jewel toned striped sofa, forest green comfy chair and dusty rose arm chair…for about a year or two (and that’s being generous). It was the first set of good furniture we ever bought, and we weren’t exactly swimming in dough, so we had to keep it and make due. I kept that set for 10 years and, when we moved to a new house, bought my first neutral sofa. I had learned my lesson and decided that if I needed a change, it would be with decor or pillows. Things I could change out easily.

So, what do I look for when I buy a throw pillow? It’s all about the covers…and the inserts.

Throw Pillow Inserts

Let’s talk throw pillow inserts first. I’ve gotten a lot of pillows with different kinds of inserts since I bought that first neutral sofa, and have found what works for us and what doesn’t. I have a lot of inserts, 4 large bins to be exact, from poly-filled to down, and I do use most of them, but each kind is used for a different purpose. My opinion on throw pillows is that, although the cover should look great, the insert is what gives your pillow that beautifully full designer look. 

Who doesn't love a good throw pillow? A look at pillow inserts, from down to poly, and throw pillow covers, from designer to West Elm. www.chatfieldcourt.com

Poly-Filled Inserts

I’m not a fan of the way a poly-filled pillow feels when I sit against it, so I use those inserts for decoration only. They are great for bed decor or on a chair that’s used occasionally. I also use them for the pillows on my front porch so they are good to have in your stash. 

Down Inserts

Our sofas and chairs (the pieces that we sit on daily) have down-filled pillow inserts. I know that you can buy them almost anywhere now but I’m partial to a firm, down pillow, one that doesn’t squish down to the size of a pancake. It took me a while but I finally found the perfect inserts at an awesome online fabric store, Robey’s Fabrics. They have all different fills and sizes and they’re prices are reasonable. I have a back injury, and I’m pretty particular about what I sit on, so I have a few of the 25/75 down pillows for my everyday chair and they are so, so comfortable. They are pricey but the comfort is worth it for my back. 

Who doesn't love a good throw pillow? A look at pillow inserts, from down to poly, and throw pillow covers, from designer to Etsy. www.chatfieldcourt.com

Insert Sizes

Through trial and error I’ve learned a thing or two about insert sizes, too. I’ve gotten pillow inserts that were way too small for my couch and they looked lost. Now I go with pillows that are at least 20 inches or above and get inserts that are a size bigger than my pillow covers. So if I have a 20″ pillow cover, I use a 22″ insert. It fills out the cover and it gives your pillow that full designer look

Who doesn't love a good throw pillow? A look at pillow inserts, from down to poly, and throw pillow covers, from designer to H&M Home. www.chatfieldcourt.com

Throw Pillow Covers

Pillow covers are a personal choice so I can’t offer much advice on what to get. I have everything in my stash from IKEA, I’m loving their designs lately, to West Elm and Etsy. The good news is that there’s so many awesome sources out there right now and you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a pretty pillow cover. 

This pretty black and white pillow cover is from IKEA, $10! 

Who doesn't love a good throw pillow? A look at pillow inserts, from down to poly, and throw pillow covers, from designer to IKEA. www.chatfieldcourt.com

So tell me, what throw pillow tips do you have?  

 

Sources

(Affiliate links used. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Please see my Privacy Policy for more info.)

  • Clear Bins – Home Depot
  • Large Gray Bin – Home Depot
  • Grey and Cream Striped Pillow (down insert included)- HomeGoods
  • Grey Velvet Pillow Cover – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Round Cutting Board (on ottoman) – Pottery Barn Outlet
  • Faux Rug – HomeGoods
  • White and Black Leaf Pillow – West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Black Cabinet – Pottery Barn (15 years ago)
  • Entryway Bench – DIY by me
  • Farm Fresh Pillow Cover – Porter Lane Home on Etsy
  • Cane Chair – Restoration Hardware
  • Tobacco Basket – Flea Market
  • Living Room Sofa – Taylor King
  • Grey and Navy Striped Pillow Covers – IKEA
  • Blue Washed Velvet Pillow Cover – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Round Ottoman – Grandin Road (no longer available)
  • Coffee Table – West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Sea Grass Rug – Natural Area Rugs
  • Black and White Geometric Pillow Cover – IKEA
  • Cream Chair – Furniture store in Macon, GA (years ago)
  • Floor Light – West Elm (affiliate link)
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.Now that we discussed the issues I faced in the bedroom, umm…I’m talking about our mismatched lamps, I thought I’d move into the living room and share my new sofa and a few shopping and buying tips I’ve learned after buying several sofas over the years.

The best tips and tricks for buying a new sofa for your living room that will last years. chatfieldcourt.com

We never had any intention of buying a new sofa when we moved to North Carolina but, once we moved into the new house and placed our furniture in our small, awkward living room, it became apparent that the sofa would have to go. It was just too big for the space and partially blocked the doorway into the guest bedroom, plus there was no room for any other furniture (like the hubs’ ugly recliner).

Helpful tips and tricks for buying a new sofa for your living room. chatfieldcourt.com

Anyway…The sofa that we had, a sectional from Pottery Barn, was purchased about 13 years ago after a ton of research and comparison shopping. I knew that I wanted something that was built well and would stand the test of time and, although it was expensive, it held up very well. A worthy investment.

Tips and tricks for buying a new sofa for your living room. chatfieldcourt.com

When it came time to look for a new sofa for this house, I went back to the lessons I learned the first go-round. I picked a great one last time so I was confident that I could do it again.

I’ll admit it, I usually love to go shopping when I’m buying things for the house, but shopping for a new sofa isn’t one of the things I get excited about. I think it’s because I know I’m spending a lot of money on something that I need to love for years and years, and it has to be done right the first time. Ugh…so much pressure! But I just took my time, carefully went down each item on my list, one at a time, and came out with a winner.

There are literally thousands of sofas out there in all different styles and price ranges. My purchase was on the pricey side but I was going for quality and durability over the long haul. My focus is on buying the best quality for your price range, whatever it is. Know what you are buying, buy what you can afford and buy it because you love it .

sofa-in-the-new-house-13

So what’s on my list?

Before we get to that, there’s a few things you need to do first, before you go to the store.

You should have some kind of idea what you want before you go shopping. Look online at a lot of different styles and fabrics to see what appeals to you.

Tips for buying a new sofa for your living room. chatfieldcourt.com

Measure, measure, measure!!! Make sure you measure your room so you know exactly what size sofa you need and how it will work with your existing furniture. I even make a rough drawing of furniture placement so I know where everything will go. Also, make sure you measure doorways and stairways so you know how much clearance you have. You want to be able to get your new sofa into it’s new home, right?

Now you’re ready to shop!!!!

I’m lucky to live in North Carolina, where we have so many awesome furniture manufacturers. I knew exactly where I was going to do my shopping…at the Hickory Furniture Market. Oh.My.Goodness…talk about overwhelming. There’s so much to look at and you could easily get distracted by all of the lovelies, but we were only looking for one thing…a new sofa.

Tips for buying a new sofa for your living room. chatfieldcourt.com

I usually walk around and do a quick inventory of sofas. Feel fabrics, sit on sofas with shapes that appeal to me and narrow down my choices. When I find a few that I like in my price range, and they are comfortable to sit and lay on (I sit and lay every which way when I sofa shop), I start to look at the way it’s made…the construction.

What I look for…

  • The sofa should be heavy, as in, it feels heavy when you lift it.
  • The frame should be made from a hard wood, like oak, birch or maple (that’s what makes it so heavy). Soft woods, like pine, can warp.
  • Eight-way hand tied springs are considered best. There are machine tied springs that are considered good but I prefer eight-way hand tied.
  • Built-in legs tend to be stronger. Removable legs may be necessary if you need to get your sofa in a tight space but built-in legs are best.
  • Lift the cushions, check the quality of the decking, push on the springs.
  • Speaking of cushions…pick them up. A heavy cushion usually means a quality foam was used, which is good. A lot of upper end sofas use down wraps around foam for comfort.
  • Consider your seat cushions. Should you have 1 long cushion? Two or three? I tend to go for three.

Tips and tricks for buying a new sofa for your living room. chatfieldcourt.com

  • Do you want a skirt on your new sofa or open legs? I have a small space so I like to have open legs.
  • Also consider the arms and the back. Do you want loose cushions or a tight back. I’ve had loose cushions before and they drove me crazy. The constant fluffing and fixing was a real pain. My PB sofa had a tight back, and I loved it, so I went with that again.

sofa-in-the-new-house-10

Once you’ve decided on shape, size and cushions, it’s time too pick fabrics and finishes.

Buying a new sofa? Here's some tips to help you make the best choice for your money. chatfieldcourt.com

I’ve had a colorful, striped sofa before (does anyone remember when jewel tones were all the rage?) so I knew that I needed to stay in the neutral family so that it would be in style for years to come. I like to bring my color in with throw pillows…lots of throw pillows..which can easily change the look of your sofa, and your room.

Buying a new sofa? Here's a few tips to help you make the best choice for your money. chatfieldcourt.com

Buying a new sofa? Here's a few tips to help you make the best choice for your money. chatfieldcourt.com

I think that picking out your fabric is the hardest part of this process. Everyone has their own wants and needs but I tend to go for something durable, with a tighter weave. A fabric that can easily be cleaned when the inevitable spill happens. My PB sofa was supposed to have a durable fabric. It was great, for the most part, but if something spilled on it, you could see where I wiped it up. It didn’t matter if I scrubbed, brushed or blotted, you could see the spot. It’s the reason I was so focused on getting a fabric that could withstand cleaning.

Buying a new sofa? Some tips and tricks to help you make the best choice for your money. chatfieldcourt.com

After all was said and done, I ended up going with the Taylor King Holmes sofa and it seems to be excellent quality. We also went ahead and purchased a warranty for spills on the fabric. I don’t usually buy a warranty but when you’re spending a fair amount of money on a quality piece of furniture, it’s a good idea. I’ll be sure to give an update to share how it’s holding up.

This room is still a work in progress and photos have proven difficult with the lighting, but it’s looking so much better than when we moved in, and there’s more room for my other furniture (with the sectional out of the picture).

Buying a new sofa? Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the best choice for your money. chatfieldcourt.com

It’s a big investment and you’ll have it for a long time, so you have to love it. Completely…no doubts…no reservations.

Any tips you’ve learned from buying a sofa?

 

 

 

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Tips and sources for buying an affordable bathroom vanity online. chatfieldcourt.comNow that my small hallway makeover is complete, I’m ready to start on the bathroom. It won’t get a complete makeover just yet but we will be painting the ceiling and walls and installing a new vanity, mirror and sconces.

The bathroom (which is our one and only) has a small, shallow pedestal sink that offered no storage and little space to put all of my necessities when trying to get ready, so I knew that it would need to be changed pretty quickly. I started my search for a new bathroom vanity before we closed on the house so, by the time we signed the papers, I was able to place my order and have it delivered and ready for us to install.

Pedestal sink before new bathroom vanity was installed. chatfieldcourt.com

Pedestal sink before the new bathroom vanity was installed. chatfieldcourt.comOf course, I started my search by shopping in our local home improvement stores but I just couldn’t find that perfect vanity. Perfect to me meant painted white, 36″ with drawers and cabinet space and a marble top. I also paid attention to quality and price, looking for a piece that was built with real wood at a reasonable price that didn’t break the bank.

Buying a bathroom vanity online never crossed my mind. I mean…you can’t really see what you’re getting for your money but, when I couldn’t find what I wanted in stores I bit the bullet and began to search online. What I found was surprising. There were tons more online than in the stores and there was every style and price point imaginable available. It was great to find a wide variety but it took me a while to sift through all of the choices, read reviews and find the perfect one.

Since I’ve already done all the research, I thought I’d share some of the sources and vanities I found online that were reasonably priced (and by reasonable I mean between $500-$1000), had good reviews and seemed well made.

See something you like? Click on the vanity name for more info.

 

Wayfair
 
Wayfair Beverly 30" vanity

Beverly 30″ by KBC – $849

Wayfair Bella 36" vanity

Bella 36″ – $899

Wayfair Silhouette 30" vanity.

Silhouette 30″ Wall Hung Vanity – $569

There are affiliate links in this post. Please see my Privacy Policy page for more info.

Amazon
 
Amazon 46" cottage look Abbeville vanity.

46″ Cottage look Abbeville – $765 (+149 shipping)

Amazon Simpli Home Chelsea 24" vanity.

Simpli Home Chelsea 24″ – $528.29

Amazon 36" vanity from Ellimax.

30″ Vanity by Elimax’s – $799.99

Joss and Main

 

Joss and Main Tatiana 25.75 vanity.

Tatiana 25.75 – $499.95

Joss and Main Marlene 30" vanity,Marlene 30″ – $682.95

Joss and Main Tuscana vanity.

 Toscana – $615.95

As far as shipping goes, I got my vanity shipped for free (yay!!!), and all but one of my picks have free shipping as well. Also, make sure to carefully check the return policy before you place your order.

So, if you’re in the market and can’t find what you want in a store, you can definitely buy a bathroom vanity online. Just remember to do your homework and know what you’re buying before you press “BUY”.

 We are in the process of installing our vanity now, we ran into some issues that set us back. Can you guess which one out of the list?

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