I love shopping for rugs, they come in all shapes, sizes, colors and more importantly price tags. They help make a statement in the room, set the mood and even define the area. They also have practical uses; from hiding ghastly floors, to providing warmth, noise insulation and protection.
The kitchen was the one room in the house where I was unsure of the use of rugs. My families roots are deep seeded in the Mediterranean (even though I grew up in Australia), so it’s tiles, tiles and more tiles. Growing up with the stereotypical Spanish mother mopping her fancy tiled floors, I think carpet of any sort in the kitchen would have been considered both unsanitary and unnecessary. I can quite honestly say that until I left home at 22 the thought of carpet or rugs in the kitchen was not something I spent my time thinking about.
That was until I moved from Australia to the UK and found myself renting a room in a house in Liverpool, with a landlord who insisted on calling me Sheila and felt that a fully carpeted kitchen and bathroom in a shared house with a gaggle of 20 something year olds was acceptable. Writing this I just had a flashback to the silvery trail the slugs would leave on the kitchen carpet during the night for us to find the next morning !! Needless to say I was traumatized and it is only now that I can even contemplate the use of carpets in the kitchen and then these must be in the form of rug runners.
Rug runners in the kitchen can be a quick and inexpensive way to update it, especially galley kitchens where a rug runner takes center stage. There are various styles available, each with their own pros and cons. Whether you use natural or synthetic you can find either at various price points.
Ikea has some great affordable natural fiber woven runner, which have the advantage of being cheap, making them easy to replace, they are pleasing to the eye and work well in a casual setting. Some of the sea grass ones shed like crazy and because these tend to be lighter in weight they do move around a lot, which isn’t ideal for high traffic places like a kitchen and they can also entice kids to rug surf as mine do.
Synthetic rugs made out of polypropylene have the advantage of usually being reversible so when one side is looking worse for wear you just do a switcheroo and voila! The material is designed to also be used as an outdoor rug so they are hard wearing and easy to clean, they don’t shed and are stain resistant. You can find these in a range of plain designs or geometric patterns for a bit of fun.
Then you have your cotton and wool rugs. Whilst these are at the higher end of the price point, wool rugs in particular are extremely hard wearing and a good rug can last you 50 plus year. This is probably not high on your list of priorities if like me you change décor every 3-5 years! They are on the other hand flame resistant unlike the highly flammable synthetic materials and lets be honest they do feel softer and more luxurious to walk on than their synthetic cousins.
I’m currently thinking of updating my small apartment galley kitchen and a new runner might do the trick. I have a synthetic grey one from IKEA at the moment that has been turned around more times than I can count and after 3 years its starting to look old and tired. I’m leaning towards a wool one this time with a bit more color. I love the CB2 blue asa rug (top right). I like its traditional style look but think the colors give it a modern feel. The gray will balance the stainless steel and gray quartz countertops and the blues and yellows will make the white lacquered kitchen cupboards pop. Overall I think it will tie in nicely with the mid century feel of the apartment that I am going for. My only concern is that it will be too dark. Oh well I guess one can always return it and try others. Happy running!