Up until a few years ago, I never expected to have a cowhide rug in my home. My home isn't lodge-y or rustic, and I didn't think it was my style. Boy, was I wrong! Cowhides can be a very chic accent in many different styles of homes (check out this one from the office of the show home I visited last year!).
I've always been drawn to the zebra printed hides, but last year when I came across a deal I couldn't pass up at Sam's Club I tried a regular hide in my living room. I brought 3-4 home to try out and settled on this one. I know you all have seen it, but I've never blogged about it specifically.
As I've been refreshing my breakfast nook, I've thought all along how great a hide rug would look layered over my natural rug under the table. Since I already had the spotted hide in the living room, I planned to get the zebra printed hide that I've always loved. Then on a whim I threw a zebra blanket under the table to get an idea of what it would look like, and I didn't like it. It needed more color variation. I'm not giving up on a zebra hide someday, but it wasn't right for this spot.
So, while keeping an eye out in local stores and on the internet, I came across Cowhide Rugs, which sells their product through their Facebook site. I began stalking the page to see what new rugs were posted each day. These were just about the best prices I've seen, and I love how the exact rug that you're buying is pictured along with the exact size.
I watched for months, knowing I wanted a mid-sized rug with some white and black. When I saw this one I pounced!
I've tried it in the living room and under the kitchen table, but I'm keeping it in the kitchen for now. I'll probably switch them back and forth.
David is the nicest to work with. I asked a few questions over the phone which he answered very knowledgeably, paid, and had my rug a few days later!
It was more beautiful than I expected, and I was surprised that the hair was longer than my other one. There is such a great combo of colors...white, black, and browns. I know people definitely have their own opinions about hide rugs, but they feel SO good underfoot! And, they are virtually indestructible. I vacuum mine or take it outside and shake it out, and am totally unconcerned if there's a spill on it, it's easily scrubbed off.
Now, here's the deal that David taught me when shopping for hides. My rug from Sam's has folds that won't flatten out and curls up on parts of the edges. That's because it was tanned with formaldehyde. I'm just going to share his words with you...I thought this was such good information if you're in the market.
"The rug (I) purchased is Chromium tanned, which is the most sophisticated means to tan a hide. A chromium tanned hide will smell more like leather and leave the hide supple, not stiff. The best tanned hides derive from Brazil or Colombia. Hides from Argentina or Mexico are generally very stiff, have a strong chemical odor and will eventually begin to curl up around the edges. Cleaning your cowhide is simple, because Mother Nature continues to protect the cowhide, it is virtually impossible to stain. The worst enemy is very tiny particles of rocks or gravel collected from shoes or boots. The reason is over time, the added weight from day to day pressure will eventually cause the hair to pull free from the leather base. This is easy to prevent either by shaking out your cowhide or vacuuming it periodically." -David of Cowhide Rugs
By the way, I asked him about the curling edges and he said the best thing you can do is get some sharp scissors and trim it off. It will eventually get worse and become a tripping hazard if left alone.
So, I still love my "bargain" rug too, but can definitely tell the difference in the new one I purchased. And actually, considering the better quality and little bit bigger size, I consider it just as much of a bargain.
David regularly posts new photos of available rugs and has an actual store in Wichita, Kansas. If there's something you're looking for but don't see, feel free to ask! He carries the zebra rugs too although they aren't pictured very often. I believe he also has some of the crazy-popular metallic splattered rugs!
So, my Breakfast Nook is one step closer to being finished. Just one project left, and here's a hint:
Linking up with: Uncommon Designs Monday Funday