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  • Stephanie Donnelly

Eco-Friendly Area Rugs For Your Home

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

There are many different ways to personalize your house in order to make it a home. Your aesthetic, style, furniture, decor, and paint colors are only a few elements that play a role in shaping and molding your home into the vision you always imagined. However, one area of your home that may often be overlooked is the area rug.

In all of our years of experience designing homes and rooms of every kind, in most rooms we recommend wood flooring with area rugs made of natural materials. We choose to use rugs over wall-to-wall carpeting for many reasons. One great thing about area rugs is that you can swap out a rug a lot easier, and at a much lower price, than completely replacing a carpet. This is especially useful when you want to change up your room's style or when the old carpeting begins to look dingy.

Low quality carpeting wears a lot more easily than area rugs made of natural materials, and carpeting also can contain VOCs along with many other chemicals in order to make it flame or stain resistant. These VOCs and flame retardants will then continuously release gases into the air for a significant period of time negatively impacting the indoor air quality of your home. Carpets hold onto dust, dander, and hair even when undergoing regular vacuuming. This is especially prominent in corners and edges of carpeting where focus is typically lacking. If you are set on putting wall-to-wall carpeting in your home, high quality wool is the preferred material as it contains less chemicals due to being naturally flame resistant and it lasts a long time. However, wood floors allow you to see and clean dirt more easily while rugs are easy to fully vacuum, shake out, or even wash.

There are many materials that area rugs can be created with, and it is important to look for good quality area rugs that will last a long time. Our personal favorite material used in area rugs is wool.

Whether you are looking to buy a wool area rug in new or vintage condition, these area rugs always have a great feel, are full of warmth, and are very durable. Wool is surprisingly easy to clean and resistant to stains (even with a toddler!) as it tends to naturally be stain resistant and new wool rugs do tend to shed fibers at the beginning of its lifespan. There are so many options to choose from with wool rugs from patterns, designs, and colors. Vintage wool rugs have been professionally cleaned and repaired while having already lasted generations, a few flags you want to look for are patches, stains, and unequal fading if you're looking for a more pristine condition. These are incredible area rugs due to their lasting quality and durability. With proper care, these area rugs will last many more generations.

Silk is another natural material that can be used to create area rugs. Silk has a natural sheen and luster which allows it to take dye beautifully, allowing for an exquisite array of colors. It is a strong, natural fiber that is very durable and long-lasting and has a soft feel. Because of the labor intensive manufacturing process, silk is a lot more high maintenance and expensive. However, silk has a luxurious look and feel that is unmatched.

Sisal area rugs are very durable as they are made from the toughest of plant fibers, but they are also know to not be the softest material. Because sisal rugs are usually cream colored, they can stain a lot more easily that other natural materials. Sisal rugs are naturally flame-retardant, long-lasting and great for high-traffic areas.

Jute area rugs are the softest of the natural plant fiber materials. Because of this, jute rugs have a soft silkiness and shine to them that is soft to the touch. Most jute rugs are woven in brown and tan colors in order to fit most decors and, at the same time, hide dirt well. One of the best parts about jute area rugs is that they are inexpensive, non-toxic, and are environmentally friendly because jute does not require pesticides or fertilizers to grow. These area rugs are typically meant for low to medium traffic areas which make them perfect for living and dining rooms.

Seagrass area rugs are made from a marsh plant which makes them environmentally friendly, affordable, non-porous, and incredibly water resistant. These rugs feel great on bare feet and their natural color goes well with almost any room design. The color typically starts as a light green that eventually fades to khaki as time goes on. Seagrass rugs are allergen free, stain resistant, durable and fantastic in high-traffic areas of your home.

Cotton area rugs are a very affordable natural rug option that are soft and easy to clean, but they do not last as long as other natural rug materials. Organic cotton is the best choice for a cotton area rug since conventional cotton is grown with a lot of pesticides. Cotton rugs are extremely comfortable and add a touch of softness and warmth to any room. They also come in a variety of colors and patterns since they take colors on beautifully.

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~This blog was brought to you by S. Donnelly Interiors. Learn more about the interior design project process by following Stephanie Donnelly and her interior design services in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and the surrounding areas!


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