Day 22: A Rug, But Not in The Laundry Room, Which is Where We Were

I could post the scribe molding pictures and 50% of the crown molding we were able to install, but I knew the difference wouldn’t be enough to warrant a blog post, even though it took hours and hours. I could also post pictures of the hinges I bought shortly after telling Jeanne in this comment that I had high hopes modern day hinges would work like they did in the pink bathroom. As it turns out, modern day  hinges do not work in our laundry room. The sizes are off and the doors don’t open and shut easily, just like Jeanne foreshadowed. I am now faced with the task of stripping 50+ years of paint off hinges. Anna has used This Old House’s method for stripping paint off hinges with great success, so that’s what I’ll do.

Instead of going into any great detail about what we did on Sunday, I’ll share a quick project I did on Wednesday of last week. Every couple of days I double up on projects in case something should prevents me from doing a project. That pretty much sums up this post. I was out shopping for the bathroom when I found this 8×10 rug at Home Goods for $100. I’ve looked for a rug for as long as we’ve been here, but my plans our usually thwarted by budget or sizing issues. Boring, but true. What I like either costs too much or isn’t the right size. There was no adventurous hunt, no romantic find at a Parisian flee market. It’s a rug I bough at a discount big box store and it’s fine.

I didn’t love the chenille brown border, but I didn’t dislike it enough to pass up a good deal on something that serves our needs quite well. Years of scraping chairs left the floor under the table damaged beyond reasonably priced repair and dog hair bunnies were always gathering underneath. I needed a sturdy rug that could withstand indoor/outdoor traffic at a low price point. This works.

This is why I could never be a design blogger. My practical side slightly outweighs the side of me that loves interior design. It’s the same reason I won’t dispense my Tide into glass jars, but will put my Oxyclean in a cute tub. The oxyclean boxes are worthless, so to me it’s worth the effort. There’s a purpose. As far as William Morri’s quote goes, I lean towards the useful, and that’s why I bought a rug with what could arguably be described as a border of poop.

I acknowledged this about myself on Sunday when I stood in front of a hardware display. There was a handle I liked, but another one I thought might better fit the holes in the pantry doors. I didn’t love the one I thought would fit, but the price fell within my budget and would save me time in the end. I don’t have it in me to scour the planet for perfect handles in a laundry room only I will see on a regular basis. As luck would have it, the cabinet handles I liked are the ones that fit. I’m actually a bit disappointed. The other handles weren’t as stylish, but they had the solid, comfortable feel of a pair of elastic pants on Thanksgiving. These new handles are classic and pretty, but it’s like someone just told me the skinny jeans I was eying are available in my size. Yay?

A part of me envies the aesthetes who take their home environment so seriously. Those little touches I normally ignore are nice spots to rest your eyes. Martha Stewart is a perfect example of someone who exalts a broom, ponders the form of her lemon reamer, and has a toaster with the working parts of an Italian sports car. Our toaster is 13 years old, and we’re due for a new one. I wonder if she has a brand she recommends.


New here? For the next 31 days I’m living according to the famous William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” You can learn more about the project here, and catch sneak peeks of my projects by following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (I’m @pancakesfries).

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Susan G says

    (A) I think the rug looks great; (B) “exalts a broom” – amazing; and (C) the whole paragraph about cabinet handles and skinny jeans – best and funniest thing I’ve read about practicality!

    (Can you tell I’ve been writing too many contracts? If I’m not careful I’ll start putting titles on each paragraph of my comments!)

  2. Deb says

    Love this post! You have such a way with words.

    Love the rug – I’ve been thinking about one for our kitchen eating area and this one would work well. I have the same criteria – serves the purpose and not too expensive – you’ve given me hope I will find it after all!

    • says

      Check your Home Goods! This area gets such abuse that I can’t justify spending a lot of money. It’s not even because the boys are careless. It’s just a high traffic area that sees lots of muddy feet and paws.

  3. jeanne says

    I love the rug. It adds a lot to the room. Bravo for the good deal. Hey, are those walls your favorite Behr Garden Wall color? BTW, I found your blog googling Elephant Tusk which I think you had in the dining room. . . .?

    I totally know what you mean about the handles and the skinny jeans. I am a practical person, and while I can admire the beautiful interiors that Martha and her ilk promote, when push comes to shove, it’s not the world I gravitate toward to actually live in.

    Sorry to hear my hinge prediction came true. I have always found house doors of all kinds to be finicky, as well as hardware on window sashes–no luck replacing those with shiny new brass either. Good luck with the paint removal.

    • says

      Yes! That’s Garden Wall. It looks gray there, but in other spots of the room it goes from a squirrel brown to a gray green. It’s a great color if you have windows coming in from all directions like I do.

  4. Kirsten says

    thanks for the sunshine of hilarious-ness again today (border of poop! – I rather like it anyway).
    COMPLETELY agree with you on the terrible oxy-clean box – I dump it into an ice cream bucket (which doesn’t hold it all, but it’s a start).
    still haven’t been brave enough to try on skinny jeans. pragmatist’s, unite!
    (which is why I enjoy PC&FF so much – so much practical, so much sarcasm – makes it yum!)

    • says

      Is that not the most ridiculous packaging ever? You have to pry the cardboard open, it never really closes again, and then to make matters worse, the open box never really dispenses well, either. It’s like wrestling with an open box of toxic Uncle Ben’s Rice 3 times per week.

      • Karen F says

        oh Jules, I needed a laugh today, and this post + your toxic rice box comment definintely gave me a few – thanks! (p.s. I like the rug – considering it’s in a spot where it’s bound to get a bit messy, there’s no sense in being too precious about it!)

    • says

      Thanks, Leanna. I think I will like it more once I finish out that room. It looks a little bare, but it doesn’t bother me enough to move it to the front of the DIY line. 😉

  5. Jasi says

    the rug looks good. don’t sweat it. i have no design sense and spend too much time and money hunting the perfect function over form. dont be like me. =D

  6. says

    I like your rug, and the border, too. The room looks warmer & more finished. I’m much the same when it comes to cost vs. practicality. Also, I’m married to my wonderful husband, who is cheaper than cheap when it comes to home decor. Right now we’re in need — NEED, not just want — of an 8×10 rug in our family room. Dang, 8×10-sized rugs are spendy. In the past, I’ve compromised with smaller rugs, but the size of the room really demands a bigger one, and I’m sticking to my Willie Morris guns this time & holding out for one to last us a good while.

    Yours would be too light against my lighter wood laminate, but maybe a trip to Home Depot is in order!

  7. Anne says

    I like your rug (actually I like all your William Morris posts – it motivates me because I have no inner decor Martha Stuart.)

    Also, I would really love to hear about a good toaster! (We bought one in January after our last one died -(Menards sale because I couldn’t find anything on which one would be better) and it barely toasts an English Muffin!

  8. Barbara says

    Hog wash! That rug is great. I’m heading over to Home Goods to see if I can catch a deal on a rug like that. Thanks for a bright spot in my busy day! When I can’t keep up with my blogs, yours is one of the few I make sure I read.

  9. says

    Ok, I have to tell you that I first read this at work today, and had to do the silent, shoulder-shaking laugh at “border of poop”. That being said, I like it! Sometimes choices for our homes shouldn’t require soul-searching. Not everything can be made from hand-harvested chinchilla, woven by master artisans while meditating in their cloud-coated Patagonian tents. Sometimes a need + a good deal = a great find!

  10. says

    I can attest to the hot water bath being a very effective paint stripper. I used it to remove paint from an old lamp base, and it worked like a charm. Sometimes just a quick boil will work too!

    Do you ever worry about food spills on a rug under a dining table? I always do, which is the reason I have never had one. We have rolling vintage office chairs to avoid crazy scratches, but there is still wear and tear. I love the look of rugs under tables, but I wonder if it would really work out for us right now….the number of times I clean off the walls and chairs themselves make me wonder. Let me know how it goes for you! It sure looks fantastic though. Nice shopping!

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