Winter weather in all its snowy salty beauty is a killer on all flooring, but can be especially detrimental to your rugs. Not all rugs are created equal so leave your shoes at the door and follow these steps to maintain your rug’s beauty... Machine Woven || Available in both wool and synthetic, these rugs are durable and naturally stain-resistant so they are a great choice for high traffic areas. However, if the rug is wool its best placed in a room that doesn’t receive direct sunlight all day to prevent inevitable fading. Synthetic rugs hold their color well and are great for allergy sufferers! Vacuum regularly and blot any spills immediately with a clean, white cloth. Professional cleaning is best and the only method if the rug is wool. Hand Tufted || Also available in both wool and synthetic, these rugs are durable and naturally stain-resistant so they are a great choice for high traffic areas. Hand-tufted rugs will shed excess fibers when new so be sure to vacuum frequently until the shedding stops. Blot any spills immediately with a clean, white cloth. Again, professional cleaning is best and the only method if the rug is wool. Hand Loomed || Usually only available in wool and in a thick pile, hand-loomed rugs are also susceptible to shedding and should be vacuumed often. Only professional cleaning is recommended so this rug style is best used in lower traffic areas. Hand Hooked || Made of wool face yarns, sometimes cotton, hand-hooked rugs are the most delicate of all the rug styles. Best used in low-traffic areas like the bedroom. Be gentle when vacuuming; only use the bare floor setting. Never pull a protruding yarn, cut it off at the pile height to prevent further unraveling. Always be sure to place your rug on a quality rug pad to prevent the rug from sliding and the possibility of color transfer. Pads with a rubber bottom are the most durable and will also prevent your rug from stretching out and scratching the floor beneath.
Rugs are a fantastic way to define a space. Choosing a rug for your dining space might seem overwhelming at first, but if you’re mindful of the following three design tips you’ll shop confidently. Fabrication || If the rug is going in your main dining area then it will need to withstand frequent foot traffic. The two best fabrications are Hand Tufted and Machine Woven. Both fabrications are durable and stain resistant. Hand Tufted is only available in wool and can shed excess fibers when new so be sure to vacuum frequently at first! Machine Woven is available in synthetic fabrics and is great for those suffering with allergies. If your dining space is in an area that sees a lot of sunlight synthetic is the way to go as it won’t fade as fast. Pattern & Color || The rug is the foundation of the space. Choose whether or not you want the rug to make a statement or simply enhance the furniture. If you are just starting to design your dining space, a rug is a great way to determine your color story. Patterned rugs will feature multiple colors which gives you the opportunity to incorporate a few different hues into your overall design. Spaces that are already saturated with design or color are better suited for a rug in muted hues and subtle patterns. Shapes & Sizes || All legs of the chairs should remain on the rug even when the chair is pulled away from the table. No one enjoys taking a seat and having their chair get tripped up because the rug is too small. When measuring your table and chairs, add 18” – 24” to the measurements to ensure this doesn’t happen. Square tables should always be placed on a square rug, while round tables could be placed on either a round or square rug. Rectangular tables are best on a rectangular rug to play up the shape. Don’t forget the rug pad! Not only will it prevent the rug from sliding around, it will also protect your floors and extend the life of your rug. Rug pads will last forever and can be used interchangeably as long as the rug size and shape stays the same.     
Outdoor Living || Relax and entertain al fresco with cool seating, patio umbrellas, fire pits & more If you live in a part of the world with four distinct seasons, it feels incredibly invigorating when you first open your home to the outdoors in spring. Because the season can seem short, it's key to make your outdoor space as comfortable and inviting as possible, especially if you entertain a lot. If you happen to have a swimming pool, this will probably be the focal point of your setup. Organize your space much as you would inside, with designated seating areas, complete with area rugs – durable synthetics, or natural abaca or sisal are ideal. Sprinkle in garden stools or small tables that can be easily rearranged. For finishing touches, include hanging flower pots, large planters, and string lights to make the view even more enticing.   Furniture Must-Haves || Start with the coziest seating you can find. Depending on the size of your space, you can include a sofa, loveseat, chairs, or even a sectional. Consider how you plan to use the space. If dining al fresco is number one, invest in a table that accommodates an umbrella, and make sure the chairs include cushions. If frequent naps and reading time are on the agenda, a chaise, swivel chair or glider will feel especially welcoming, along with a convenient side table to place your beverage, snacks, and a book. When choosing fabrics for seat cushions, pillows and umbrella canopies, decide if they will receive full or partial sun exposure. Generally, acrylic fabrics such as Sunbrella are the most durable and soft, and will not fade, while spun polyester fabrics are durable, but stiffer, and more likely to fade.   Inviting Extras || A memorable outdoor soiree includes many elements. Obviously, a fun mix of family and friends is essential, but as afternoon segues to evening, certain factors make people want to linger. If it gets chilly, a fire pit can provide just the amount of warmth and ambience you need to keep the party going. If you prefer an upgrade to your old beach cooler, you can set up a portable trolley cart on casters for a "help yourself" bar. A large tray to organize accessories like napkins, cups and plates is helpful. And, if your gathering is still in full swing during evening hours, don't forget citronella candles to keep bugs at bay – except for fireflies, of course. You may want to count or chase them.   Light & Shade || There's simply no comparison to natural light. It just makes you feel more energetic. But when temperatures sizzle in midsummer, you need to shield yourself and guests a bit. This is where a great patio or deck umbrella will do wonders. As the day progresses, adjust the umbrella's angle to keep direct sunshine under control, and if you feel a sudden raindrop or get a downpour, a strong, sturdy umbrella really helps. If you're making s'mores come nightfall, hang some string lights or battery-operated lanterns to make the scene magical.
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