With three pups (and now a kiddo) ruling our home, I think I’ll only continue to get more raised eyebrows and “I could never do that”s re: the lighter neutrals that fill most of my house. Do we have stains? Yep. Is the dirt still there? You betcha! Haha. Don’t get me wrong, we try to stay fairly tidy and maintain a level of cleanliness but to me, as long as there is regular “upkeep”, I’m ok rolling with it. My goal — even if some things are unavoidable when you live in your house — is to disguise those imperfections without sacrificing the things I love. Today, more specifically, I’m talkin’ about the place that sees more stains, oopsies, and wear than anything else — our floors (and more specifically, the rugs that cover them). In a perfect world, I would be able to keep everything clean and there would be no need for camouflage. But, it’s not a livable reality for us; instead, we’re going for (still) neutral family friendly rugs that will help disguise and hide the dirt.
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Especially with (sometimes naughty) dogs, we’re in a season of life where I’ve come to terms with going for more budget friendly rugs. Remember this recent inexpensive rug I added to our dining room? The value can’t be beat and it still looks good when you walk into our home. And then just last week, after four years of going bare, I finally added this affordable rug to our breakfast nook. Hiding the dirt with lighter rugs isn’t a one-style-fits-all-problems strategy, though. Depending on your biggest struggles, different types of rugs can help conceal different concerns. Let’s talk about it.
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Family Friendly Rugs: Solutions by Problem Type
To be clear, I’m not advocating for grossness but a lot can be done to keep things looking nice and tidy, even when your rug might tell a different story upon closer inspection. I’m all about it.
Areas near doors and high traffic spaces that attract particles can be better hidden in a braided/jute texture with different fibers and tones. From afar, our new breakfast nook rug — which is positioned next to our back door/deck/backyard and attracts a lot of outdoor debris — looks like a basic, cream rug, just screaming for something to ruin it. But, when you look closer, you can see all the different fibers and texture that make this rug a prime candidate for concealing dust in between sweeps. I don’t necessarily want to put something big and woven for the particles to get buried in, disappear, and never come out but something more thin and flat like this is awesome.
It comes in about 20 different sizes — mine is the 8′ round which is now on sale for less than I paid at $120 (plus free, two-day shipping). You can check it out HERE and if cream isn’t your thing, it also comes in a Natural color, too. But, with the color variance, this is a “safer” rug to go lighter with if you’re just dipping your toe in 😉 Obviously, while it conceals debris well, if you are prone to lots of spillage, I would consider something more scrub-able 😉
2. “Dinginess” & General Wear/Fading
If you aren’t concerned about specific spots, but more overall wear, going cream/ivory (instead of a true white/silver) will keep people from knowing if the rug gets a little darker/browner/faded. I’ve had this chunky wool rug in our bedroom for a couple years now; is it dingy? Kind of. But it was never meant to be white so any color variances over the past two years have totally evened out and blended in. And even though it is a bit creamier than the white walls and white bedding, I love how the mixed neutrals look. Beware though — if you have pups who like to pull at loops, this one could be an issue. Mine actually unravelled a small corner the week I got it and then never touched it again. Dang it.
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3. Stains (Spills/Pet Accidents)
This is one of the tougher rug issues; while I’ve found some pretty solid stain removing solutions for some types of accidents, I’ve given up on others. Busier, more ornate patterns with lots of curves (like in oriental style rugs) do a great job at helping to conceal spills and pet stains. Be careful opting for stripes/designs with straight lines though; blotches will stick out way more than something with lots of curves, designs, and color variations.
In general, you can totally get by with lighter, neutral rugs in a less-than-immaculate home by looking for:
- color variance
- different thread weaves
- higher pile
- rougher, more natural texture
- pattern (especially ornate, small prints)
- Ivories/creams that lean toward the brown family
Here are a few favorite rugs that help hide the problems; I personally own numbers one through three 😉 Most are affordable (again, key with pets and kids) and come in a ton of sizes! All rugs are linked directly at the bottom of the nine rugs.
I currently have a few rugs myself that I’ll be looking to retire soon but after living out and observing the habits within our own family, I know exactly what types of rugs would be most beneficial in each room. For more updates and observations I’ve learned over the years, be sure to subscribe to my emails at the bottom of this post!