Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm A Sucker For Sea Grass

I said I wouldn't backslide. I've had sea grass and sisal before. You spill one drop of water on sisal, and you have a water mark for good, unless you wet the whole rug down so the water mark blends in. They say sea grass is easier to keep clean only because the motled look of it hides the dirt better. It gets dirty, but it kind of blends into the natural coloring.

Dirt from muddy paws, or dirty shoes, or just everyday dirt that gets tracked in no matter what shows very easily on natural fiber rugs. And God forbid you should spill wine or coffee on it!

But I love the look. I've asked my designer friends if there's a trick to keeping sea grass clean looking. Michael Pelkey laughs, and says live with the dirt. He's had cheap ones and pricey ones, and says that after about a year they all look grubby. Joni Webb says just vacuum.
So I bought a mountain grass rug HERE at a great clearance price of $119.95 for an 8 X 10.

I'm revamping the bedroom for summer: Painting some furniture, putting on a white bed linens. A nice sea grass rug would look wonderful. But they weren't on clearance. So I asked the folks at Natural Home Rugs the difference, and they said mountain grass is less green (in color) than sea grass.

So I took a chance. It arrived today, and it smells divine. I haven't unrolled it yet. No time to move furniture. But I wanted to let you all know about the terrific sale in case you need a rug.

I'm going to put the bed on top of it. I'll also Scotchgard it. I know it will look ratty in a year or so, but for $119. I can deal with it.

I know alot of you have sea grass and sisal. How do you keep it clean?

The French love to use sea grass as a juxtaposition of something very rustic and simple to play off more elegant furnishings and spaces. It's used all time in our versions of French Country decorating.

Shabby chic and coastal beach interiors use sea grass as a matter of fact.
Sea grass also looks great in modern settings.

Sea grass is great for layering other rugs on top of it. That's a good way to keep it cleaner longer ha ha.

And traditional rooms look great with sea grass rugs.

So I fell off the wagon. Sea grass, mountain grass, and sisal are prefect fibers for New Orleans. Or for that matter anywhere.


pve design said...

when i worked at ralph, it was everywhere, and the more worn, the better it looked.
you just made me want sea grass, and summer.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Ya know...I AM i the market. I always had the kind without the rubber backing...that way you can buy another year or two out of it (turn it).

Thanks Madame!

Things That Inspire said...

I too am a sisal fan - I love how it looks in just about every room. You have some great images - I particularly like how it transforms the formal to a little more casual! Joni once posted some Bremmerman pictures with sisal in a very formal room, and I love the look.

I have a sisal rug in my front hall, and it it holding up very well. It is Siskiyou by Fibreworks, and the color 777, so it is not the lightest but not the darkest. I think the darker tone helps. I bought a lighter color for my family room - 774 - as it has a screened in porch off of it, and gets only indirect light. So far, so good, but I have only had it for 6 weeks.

I get my sisal direct from the mill - an advantage of living in Atlanta, which is less than an hour away from where a lot of carpets are made. I think they ship to anywhere in the US, so email me if you want more information.

Hill Country House Girl said...

Me again. Now I get it....YOU are Valorie and I am Ann! You think you had a "junior moment"?!

OK, now on to sea grass vs. sisal.....I bought sea grass from Pottery Barn for a client and sea grass from Restoration Hardware several years ago for myself. Both have held up nicely and I mean even after cleaning up pet "spots" - they aren't perfect, but really still look pretty good.I blot up the spill and then use a spray carpet cleaner and blot some more with a damp cloth, trying to pick up any color left from the spill. Then I go at it with a dry cloth, blotting until I can get it as dry as possible. Good luck! Thanks for the tip on the sale!

Design Junkie said...

I love natural fiber rugs, but I think they're just like white cotton slipcovers---to live with them, one has to be okay with the inevitable uncleanable stains and the wear and tear natural fibers take. Or maybe, I'm just a slob--all I know is everytime I've used either, stains appear almost immediately from guests or myself. Luckily, I have a high tolerance for imperfection.

Blushing hostess said...

I love the look but I have the same concerns you mention - the way it looks over time and with children too scratchy to fall on, er - I mean, sit on! Later on, I hope. Be well, The Hostess

Visual Vamp said...

Good morning everybody,
Thanks for the input.
Joni sent me an excellent long e-mail (and yes she does have the best pictures!) about the care and cleaning of sea grass, which you all have basically reiterated.
I think you just live with the cons of sea grass, sisal, and mountain grass, to get the one great pro - THE LOOK we love!
I can hardly wait to get started on the bedroom revamp!
xo xo

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

The photos you've posted are wonderful. I love the sisal/sea grass look and I love how it feels on bare feet. It does remind me of summer. Do post pictures of the room's progress....I'd love to see!

Anonymous said...

I've got a large woven jute rug. Does that qualify me to comment? It's hefty and surprisingly soft on bare feet, and it is anchoring two sofas in a huge room with stained concrete floors. I bought it on sale about 4 years ago at World Market, and it's holding up beautifully with vacuuming. It's in a low traffic area and has so far suffered no stains. But if the stains appear, I'll deal with it because there's really no textile other than grasses I would want in there. The room is rather formal but, as you already noted, that is exactly the juxtaposition that gives it spark. So again Miz V, I love the post and continue to fill my bytes or rams or whatever they're called with the images you bring to us.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I'm dying to watch you transform your bedroom for summer!

beachbungalow8 said...

I use sea grass throughout. I've raised babies on it, had dogs on it, it's remarkably sturdy. I have it wall to wall in my office even. I haven't had problems with staining.

If you use area rugs, realize that they can be found relatively 'cheap' on overstock.com or places like that. If you use it wall to wall, consider laying area rugs on top.

It's a classic, no matter where you live.

My Notting Hill said...

Thanks for the source & the info about mountain grass being less green - very helpful! I'm considering putting it in my office. Could you get away with not Scotchguarding it? - that way you can avoid possible VOCs off-gassing in your bedroom.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget that long-lasting, great fresh smell of a new seagrass rug. I think it's the best!

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