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Rug Zone Blog

How to be a good guest

 posted on Jan 11, 2015 by Rug Zone in Advice, Information
How to be a good guest
The Chinese have a saying that fish and guests stink after three days and although (hopefully) this is not literally true, it is nonetheless a fact that it is easy to outstay your welcome. Being a good guest is an art that unfortunately far too few people ever master, but by keeping a few simple rules in mind and sticking to them, you can make sure you will be asked back again!

‘Make yourself at home!’

They may say it, but don't forget – they don't really mean it! What a host means is that they don't want you dying of thirst if you are desperate for a drink, so please help yourself to a cup of tea – oh, and if you’re up and making, offer to do it for others too. What they don't mean is drink all the whisky, annoy the dog so it wees in excitement on the brand new large rug and, most of all, don't bring anyone home with you! This isn’t your home, it’s theirs, so if you tend to treat your home with contempt, hold yourself back when a guest.

What to bring

Flowers, as a starter. Plants can also work, but only if you know that your host likes houseplants. Some people just don't have green fingers and staying somewhere for a week and watching your gift slowly curl up and die can be embarrassing. Don't choose anything with a lot of pollen – loads of people are very allergic to lilies for example, so avoid those. The pollen can also cause nasty stains on neutral rugs under their table. Chocolates are also nice gifts, but make sure they will suit the whole family, so that everyone can share. Don't bring soap or bath items as it will make it look as though you intend to use them yourself!

What not to bring!

Uninvited guests – the boy/girlfriend you met the day before yesterday can keep until another time. Smelly feet – make sure that you are ready for taking your shoes off on arrival. Many people prefer socks to shoes to protect their traditional rugs; don't make them regret it. A shocking cold or other communicable condition – keep it to yourself in your own home; any host will understand if you cancel through illness. And lastly, leave your bad temper at home – a close friend or family member probably knows all your little quirks and loves you anyway, but it costs nothing to be nice!

Stripped and laminate floors – are they still on trend?

 posted on Dec 5, 2014 by Rug Zone in Advice, Information
Stripped and laminate floors – are they still on trend?

For the last decade or so, stripped natural floors and laminates were the big thing in interior design and many homes still have this kind of flooring though it isn’t quite the hot fashion number that it once was. The problem with any trend like this is going back to fitted carpets can cost an arm and a leg and of course the stripping or fitting of laminate, particularly if you went to the expense of real wood replacement floors, will have been a big budget item in itself. Stripped or laminate floors are easy to maintain on a daily basis, just needing a sweep and an occasional damp mop, but they can be a little Spartan.

Warm up the kids’ rooms

Little ones do tend to spend a lot of time on the floor and although they don’t usually mind what the surface is as long as it takes crayon well, they would be much more comfortable with at most of the floor being covered with a large rug. Children can incorporate anything into their surroundings into their stories which run permanently in their head, so why not help out from the start with a scatter of rugs of different shapes, colours and textures in their bedroom or playroom? A nice green shaggy rug, natural rugs and a carpet runner will give them endless opportunity for imaginative play. You don’t have to get a large rug unless your room is very big but if the floor beneath is very slippery, you might think it safer to either use a non-slip spray or have a large natural rug under the ‘play’ rugs to make things a little safer if things get a bit hectic as they so often do.

Were your floors stripped professionally?

If the floors in your home were a DIY job, you may find that you have big gaps around the skirting boards and even between the floorboards. Caulking all the spaces is a very time-consuming task and many DIYers, intent on getting the latest look, simply didn’t bother. This can create howling draughts even in summer and some people have found gaps so big that pens, keys and money can easily drop through never to be seen again. Obviously the first thing to do in this situation is to fill the worst gaps as soon as possible, but if you are in a rented property, a large rug placed strategically can do a lot to improve the situation with no actual permanent work being done.

Care tips

For many people, laminate flooring was a gift from heaven – easy-care and attractive, there seemed no downside. Until the major spill or (worse yet) a washing machine leak made all the edges lift and then the floor doesn’t look so great any more. You can cover the worst of the damage with a large rug, but the long and short is – don’t get your laminate floors wet! A damp cloth and a waxed mop for real wood is all it should need.

The fashion for downsizing

 posted on Nov 16, 2014 by Rug Zone in Advice, News

Many people nowadays are downsizing when their families leave home because they think they won't need so many bedrooms or such large family rooms with the children gone. Unless there is a very strong financial reason for moving to somewhere smaller, think very carefully. Children leaving home don't just go in one direction, sometimes, as the film title has it, they come back!

The Boomerang Generation

Not that many years ago, when a student went off to university, that was the end of their living at home full time, by and large. They would roll up their modern rugs, tuck their laptops under their arms, commandeer the house’s biggest telly and high tail it. You might see them for holidays but that was more or less the end of having that particular offspring living with you. Many parents went through serious ‘empty nest’ problems, but that always fades with time. However, now that jobs are harder to come by for graduates and rents and mortgages are more expensive and in the case of the latter, increasingly hard to get at all, many students come back after graduating.

Family friction

Often when the eldest child moves out there is general stations in the house as other kids move on into the vacated bedroom. A bit of furniture shuffling, the installation of a shaggy rug in their chosen colour and it soon feels as if they have never slept anywhere else. The problem comes of course when the boomerang child comes back – whose bedroom is it? Does the returner get the box room? Does the new incumbent have to move out again? There is no hard and fast rule, but it can make for some very traumatic times until it is all sorted out and in some families it never is truly resolved.

And along come the grandchildren

Even if your child is not officially a boomerang, grandparents are more and more these days enrolled as child minders, either during the day or even over night. Whilst for most this isn’t a problem – just roll up the traditional rugs and put down a floor saver – it does cut down on any plans they might have had to move. So, before downsizing, take a moment to look into the future; you may even decide to get more bedrooms, not fewer to accommodate an even bigger family than before!

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

 posted on Nov 9, 2014 by Rug Zone in Advice
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
There are many things that divide the nation but nothing comes close in importance to whether you are a dog person or a cat person. There are some who sit on the fence and say they don't like either or who say they love both equally, but come on folks – it just isn’t possible! Cat people often get a worse press than dog people because fiction often portrays them as being rather sneaky and underhand and even cat lovers will say that this describes their pet pretty well. No figures exist for how often crime writers have dog owners as the murder, but it is likely to come in well under the number for cat people.

Cats v dogs – the shedding problem

Many dog people say that cats shed more than dogs but this isn’t so – it is just that dogs shed in different places. Anyone with a shaggy rug and a dog would have to admit that keeping it fresh and hair-free can be a full time occupation. Not allowing dogs on the furniture is not the hiding to nothing that cat owners face – where a cat wants to sleep is where a cat will sleep and they rarely choose the floor. So their hair is shed on sofas, chairs and beds so is more noticeable, not more in quantity, relative to the size of the pet.

Dogs v Cats – yappy or silent disapproval

If you want constant validation – you are a dog person. A cat won't make a fuss when you appear, whether you have been gone for a minute or a month but a dog will treat you like royalty if you have only left the room for a second. On the other hand, some dogs can take being supercilious to a whole new level – Pekinese are masters at this, but perhaps it is just the way they look. They might be barking on the inside. Cats are very loving, they are just not as demonstrative but if you like to have a pet on your lap but don't like ‘yappy’ dogs, a cat is the best choice.

Colour co-ordinate your pets

To have some fun, you could match your floor coverings to your pets – oriental or traditional rugs for pekes and Siamese, modern rugs for the Sharpei or Cornish or a shaggy rug for a good old mongrel or moggy. If you don't like housework, make sure you go for a natural rug that matches your pet to cut down on the vacuuming.

Clever rug ideas for a quick fix

 posted on Oct 8, 2014 by Rug Zone in Advice, Information
Clever rug ideas for a quick fix

Although spring is the classic time for giving a home a quick wash and brush up and moving the furniture around to freshen things up, the urge to make a room look nicer can strike at any time. Sadly, this doesn’t always coincide with having enough money for a complete room alteration and so the work is often shelved. It can be quite depressing to sit evening after evening in a room you are not happy with but it doesn’t have to be this way – browse the internet for a designer rug and you are bound to find the very thing to really give your room a lift.

Hide that bare patch!

Carpets, wood flooring and ceramic floors can develop scuffs or holes over time and replacing them can be costly. Adding a rug is a great way to not only hide any defects but to also enhance the room. Rather than just put one rug over the hole – you may be unlucky and have the hole develop in a rather odd place – you could use a couple of designer rugs to bring the look together.

Think about shapes and sizes!

Many rugs come in designs that are available different shapes and sizes and if you put really your mind to it, this can be a great way of making a necessity look like a plan. Rectangular shapes are the obvious easy options because they dominate the marketplace and are available from small to extra large sizes. But once you start to research you will see many alternative shapes such as circles, squares, ovals, octagonals, long runners and even a few off the wall shapes. Be creative and explore ideas like a half moon rug in front of the fireplace echoed by a round rug with the same design on it further down the room, It could look rather retro.

Have your designs on the floor

Many designs today are semi-abstracts or stripes and many can look very stylish. It’s possible your room has little room for wall art, an Orangery for example is dominated by windows that prevents you from hanging pictures. Why not have your designs on the floor as modern rugs? There’s an abundance of abstract patterned rugs to be found that use colour and designs in either lively contrasting colours or subtle muted tones. Shapes and colour project a focal point that and be a virtual canvas on the floor.

Or you could introduce Texture to the Floor

Maybe too much colour isn’t your bag, no problem, another alternative is to introduce texture to the floor. The trend in plain textures for the last few years has without doubt been shaggy rugs. As manufacturers fight for individuality there has been many new innovations in shaggy rugs, different pile heights, using a combination of thick and thin yarns are just two of the popular variations that introduce a more interesting texture.

There is also a host of affordable hand carved textures hand tufted wool and even machine made rugs. Many of these are toned with muted colours, incorporating hand carving into the design gives another dimension, really bring out the minimal of tone variation. And let’s not forget the the humble Wilton flat weave rugs, these are durable, thin and extremely stain resistant rug generally found at the budget end of the price scale. Fantastically simple stitch elements can be transformed into a tapestry of texture combinations.

Rugs are a decorative and practical alternative that can give tired floor space new life, chosen carefully the can breath new life into dated decor while covering a multitude of sins.

Upcycling for dummies

 posted on Sep 19, 2014 by Rug Zone in Advice, Information
Upcycling for dummies

If you have two left hands you may watch the trendy upcycling programmes on TV with envious eyes. For those of you not familiar with upcycling, it essentially means taking one thing (which may be broken, but not necessarily) and making it do service as something else, or mending it, painting it or otherwise improving it so instead of being thrown away, it can still be used. TV presenters – and there are whole magazines devoted to it too – make it look so easy but many people fall at the first hurdle because they are not crafty and things look awful!

Don't give up

The trick is to start small. Making a trendy footstool out of an old traditional rug may sound child’s play but actually it can be really hard. Do you have a mattress needle (for the uninitiated, it is one of those really big, curved jobs that often come in mixed needle sets); some linen or waxed thread; kapok; buckram; endless patience and thumbs like pile drivers? No? Then in that case, your best bet would be to try an easier project! A plaited cushion cover is probably more your mark and you can do that with strips of old bedding, curtains, shirts or any other fabric. You don’t even have to sew it; if you staple the ends of the plaits onto a pillow pad and then tack a backing on, you have something that looks great – except it isn’t recommended for lounging (staples can be sharp!). The message is – don't set yourself up to fail.

Upcycling furniture

Using nothing more than glue, some paint and a flat weave rug (or a softer pile traditional rug) that has seen better days, you can make an old sideboard into a great pet bed. Just remove the doors, making sure you don't leave any bits sticking out, paint it on the outside and then stick the rug to the inside. If you have some spare old bedding or towels you can put this in as a soft bed which can be taken out and washed when it gets smelly. If you need to leave the cat out at night, having this available in a garage or shed will be a real bonus in cold weather. When you’ve practised on the cat, you are ready for a project for the house!

When buying rugs on the Internet you don't have the ability touch and discuss the various qualities and features of the rug. Our blog is there to give you some of the advice and information that you may need before you complete your purchase. Please take you time to digest the information and if you can't find what you are looking for you can always give us a call on 0191 454 1972 during office hours.

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