A New Life for an Old Rug

kilim upholstery diy

If you’re here, you probably have a pretty similar design esthetic to me and would agree that the rug pictured above is wonderful. Look at those shapes!  Those colors! The perfectly worn condition! It looks like you could just plop it in a chic white washed California ranch with rustic minimal decor and you’ve got a winner! While that is definitely what it might look like to an outsider.  To me, it started fairly differently.

This is the story of an old rug and a series of events that lead to it being in my house and lead even further to it being the perfect candidate for my next project. You know when really great things happen just by chance?  Well that is the story of this rug.  A series of pretty random events happened which brought me to this point. Firstly, I had a garage sale last summer (yes, almost 9 months ago) and my dad just happened to drop off this rug for the sale.  I remember growing up with this rug in my parents’ first house that we lived in from the time I was born until about 3.  I know that sounds crazy, I don’t remember that house at all, but I do remember this rug and a small amount of other furniture.  Then in the house I grew up in from 3-7 I recall it being present, but I generally ignored it.  Then, in the house which I spent the majority of my life thus far (from 7 until 22) I remember it being in the attic, rolled up behind a crazy terrible painting and thinking it was so old, 70’s retro. It followed us from house to house and now in the home my parents have down-sized into, it was time to get rid of it.  My dad had a $40 price tag on it and my mom wanted to put $5 on it.  I suppose that shows who really valued the rug.  Regardless, it didn’t sell for $40 at the garage sale, so while my mom and sister took the clothes to a resale shop and I took the home goods to a donation center, this rug got lost somewhere in the shuffle and ended up being left behind.  A few days later, I saw that it was sitting on my front porch and brought it into my office thinking that I would take it to a donation center at some point.

Then, this spring I was cleaning out my office for the renovation and found the rug in the closet. Instead of donating, I relocated it to the guest room.  I just threw it on the floral ottoman at the foot of the bed that I’d been meaning to recover. I walked by the room several times that day and finally realized how great the rug would be AS the ottoman.  It goes with the esthetic of the room, working to pull together all of the solid neutrals that I have. I realized that this 40 year old rug was going to have a new life.

ottoman comparison

I started by just draping the rug over the bright floral ottoman (one of the few pieces I still have from college) to get a feel for it.  It instantly transformed the room.  The room went from preppy and feminine to modern and rustic instantly. Isn’t it crazy what I difference it makes in the whole look?

kilim upholstered ottoman

The rug is actually a runner so I have to work on the best way to cover the ottoman with it, but I’m so happy that not only did this rug wind up staying at my house, but that my procrastination ultimately led to something I think will be gorgeous once complete!  It might be a little difficult, but I’ll work on documenting the upholstery for you all and sharing the finished ottoman back here after my trip to France and Italy.

Have you had any happy design surprises lately?  Anything that turned out better than anticipated or seemed to materialize out of thin air?

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