Mountain House Monday: The Living Room Rug Dilemma (+ Ask the Audience)

Emily Henderson Mountain House Living Room Rug Side By SideEmily Henderson Mountain House Living Room Rug Side By Side

It’s mountain house Monday, living room edition. We have some rug debating to do as I can’t move forward with the living room design and keep decorating until we know what is happening underfoot. In a perfect world, it’s a big white fluffy comfy, cozy rug. But I have kids and they have limbs full of marinara, mud and sand, plus we are a big Play-doh and Lego family (which get easily stuck in high pile rugs). I want a light simple rug, but what will be the easiest and hide stains the most is something darker or busier. It’s an age-old conundrum and it’s painfully boring.

Emily Henderson Mountain House Living Room Rug Trellis Rug

I know you need more information. Here is what’s going on: everything in here was left over from previous projects and I really love every piece, but it’s not there yet design-wise so any of the given pieces MIGHT change.

The sectional is from Article—a brand I love—and they kindly loaned me this sectional back when I staged the Glendale house. I really really really love it and almost wish I had tried it in our LA house before bringing up here. It’s extremely comfortable, a really simple shape, has the right depth and comfort level, and the color and fabric is even pretty forgiving. My thought is that it’s a great piece to mix with other more weird/vintage pieces HOWEVER if I find a vintage sofa that is a show-stopper, I might switch it out (in which case it would either be donated to a family via Pen + Napkin or used in a Feel Good Flash Makeover project).

The coffee table (from Rejuvenation, though I don’t think this finish is available anymore) is also leftover and might get switched out for that big live edge stump I got at the flea market (which I wrote about here).

Another leftover (from the Portland project) is the rug, above, which is GREAT but it’s the EXACT color of the sofa, plus in person, the blue is brighter than we were going for. But we really do love how neutral it was. So we tried a darker rug, which felt more “usual EHD fashion” in a patterned navy:

Emily Henderson Mountain House Living Room Rugsectional View

The above rug from Serena & Lily really changed the feel of the room. We actually think that the wood flooring should be the big “texture story” in the room, and that this rug is strangely distracting from it, while I do love it. There’s also the visual layer of the plastered stone fireplace, and all together, it might just be too much “visual noise.” As a reminder, I really want this house to be calm, minimal, Scandi. I’m not sure this rug is helping to achieve that look here (at least not in this room).

Emily Henderson Mountain House Living Room Rug Stone Fireplace

So what do I want?? Secretly, I just want this rug that I’ve used a few times, seen below:

photo by sara ligorria-tramp for ehd | from: target’s new “see it in your space” feature
photo by sara ligorria-tramp for ehd | from: styling to sell the (new) master bedroom

It’s so soft, plush but lighter than the sofa, with enough darker gray pattern to hide dirt, etc.

I also REALLY love the rug from the Portland project family room:

photo by sara ligorria-tramp for ehd | from: how to design a pass-through” room

It has enough darker tones in it to be forgiving and while I might think that it would be too simple (and therefore boring), I think that it really worked up there and I love the simplicity in a way.

So we figured we’d round up all the rugs we are considering, broken down in two categories: adding some blue (i.e. old-school EHD), or sticking with neutral (which might be what my heart truly wants).

Emily Henderson Mountain House Living Room Rug Blue Options

1. Malta Blue Woven Wool Rug | 2. Rida Rug | 3. Marais Rug | 4. Matrix Ink Wool Tufted Rug | 5. Rider Denim Rug | 6. High-Low Dilla Lapis | 7. Modern Rug, Teal | 8. Classic Rug, Blue/Cream

I’m going to try out #7 but it’s far less textured than I want. It does have some interest and pattern but it might be too bright. #3 is the same Serena & Lily rug from one of the photos of the living room above, and #8 is a rug we used in one of the Portland guest bedrooms, and it has a nice flatweave texture to it.

Emily Henderson Mountain House Living Room Rug Neutral Options1

1. Modern Rug, Gray | 2. Edison Rug, Light Gray | 3. Masinissa Hand Knotted Rug | 4. Numa Charcoal Hand Knotted Rug | 5. Linzie Rug, Gray | 6. Judson Rug, Ivory & Black | 7. Classic Rug, Gray/Cream | 8. Evee Rug

I hate pulling triggers on rugs without knowing what else is going on, but it really will set the tone for the decor. I’m SERIOUSLY considering #8 even though it is busier. The black lines will look good with the black island. But #3, #5 both could also be good, forgiving, but still calm and quiet.

We shoot this room (and most of the rest of the house) in 6 weeks so I HAVE to start pulling triggers. Luckily, because we are shooting for a magazine, many companies will send the rugs for us to try out as an option (plus we have other spaces we can try them in if they don’t work in the living room).

But I’d love your opinion. Know that any other chairs and accessories we bring in will be vintage and weird, but not wacky or too colorful. So…do I stick with a cozy neutral color story here and let the wood and windows be the star, or do I bring in some soft color/pattern with one of the blue rugs (which will feel in line with classic EHD style)? Let me know what you guys think. Xx


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