by Laura Knight-Keating

Our living room rug was the first adult purchase my husband and I made as a couple. It was a big investment for us at the time but the warmth and color it brought to our sparse little apartment radically improved our space and made us feel extremely grown up. It felt like the difference between a random rental and a real home. Fifteen years and two kids later, our beautiful rug has seen better days. It served us so well, its grid pattern making the perfect yoga zone, dance floor and putting green – we weren’t quite ready to say goodbye altogether but it was definitely time for it to move out of the spotlight and into our bedroom where most of it’s war wounds could be cleverly concealed under the bed.

And so the hunt for the new living room rug began. I knew I wanted a bigger rug for sure. The old one was only 5′ x 8′ and the room, although quite small, really needed 8′ x 10′.  The cost difference between the two sizes was surprisingly large so that unfortunately had to be factored into our decision. We also have kind of a colorful hodge-podge of new and vintage furniture. A modern Lorimer burnt orange sectional from West Elm and two inherited leather armchairs in varying shades of teal. My instinct was to go super neutral and I was really attracted to the surge of black and white shag rugs I was seeing because I have black accent pieces sprinkled throughout the room. Black and white made perfect sense despite how trendy it seemed. My only hesitation being the wild ways of my seven-year old twins…I felt I had to lean waaaayyy into the black and away from any large areas of white.

I looked. And looked and looked. And don’t get me wrong, I found a lot of beautiful rugs that would have fit the bill. Here were some of the front runners:

from left:      Dwell Studio, Diamond Motif, Jonathan Shag, Pixel Shag, Oxbow Rug  

And then something surprising happened. We saw the movie Trolls. And I know what you’re thinking…what could Trolls possibly have to do with rug shopping?? But you know how the Trolls teach the Bergens that true happiness comes from your heart? And then they all dance together and the sad, grey Bergen village turns rainbow colored with all the happiness? Shortly after, my daughter and I were looking (again) at rugs on anthropologie (one of my favorite stores for clothes and decor!) and we saw this rug. The Poppy Rug. And wow was it colorful – the polar opposite of what we were looking for. My daughter said: “Look at that happy rug, Mommy, it’s named after Princess Poppy.”


It was already on sale with an additional 40% off sale items, it got the thumbs up from husband and son, and that, dear reader, is how we found true rug happiness. Our living room couldn’t be happier. Or more colorful…

(It does shed like a small dog but we collect all the wool and taught ourselves to felt! The happiness just keeps on coming…)


Additional tips for rug shopping:

There are so many great places for rugs! Also options for custom rugs in a wide array of price points. Some of my favorites are West Elm and Anthropologie. Both have great sales. Wayfair is good if you kind of want to experiment and spend less (ie. you have small children and dogs of any size). If you need something custom, I love Crosby Street Studios, Tibetano and Stepevi. Tibetano also has a wide selection of broadloom that can be customized and are priced around $20-$25 a square foot. If you have the budget and a taste for rolling around naked on the softest surface imaginable, all three have amazing options and are great to work with:

Find your rug happiness!


TAG/Laura Knight Keating