Skip to main content

Area Rug Inspiration

A new living room area rug is providing me with a fresh and fun combination of neutral colors to work with ... one that combines gray AND tan.

 (Note:  I was not compensated in any way for this post - 
the opinions expressed are my own and reflect personal experience.)

With a transitional design, the background is warm smoky gray, and the pattern is soft tan, creamy white, and deep charcoal.

The interior walls throughout our home are Sherwin Williams Softer Tan and this rug's subtle use of tan in the design ties our basic color palette in with gray --- a color I've not yet used in decor. 

Sherwin Williams Softer Tan

I like that I don't have to choose between gray and tan, and can have both!

It comes in other size options as well, including a runner.

Home Depot - Anniston Brindle Area Rug

However, actually choosing an area rug posed a bit of a challenge thanks to these three loveable and furry family members:

(L to R)  Baby, Mia and Shelby

While there are many beautiful area rugs available in unlimited textures, materials, patterns and colors, our rug has to be invincible.  

It has to endure paw traffic, has to camouflage multicolored pet hair, withstand daily vacuuming and ... accomplish all this while continuing to look fresh, clean and inviting!  Oh, and before I forget ... it has to also be super budget-friendly.

Yes, we do expect a lot from a simple area rug.  :)

In addition to the daily pet parade and pet hair, there is an even bigger challenge.  One of the beasts in the photo above (I won't mention names, but here's a hint ... it's not the one on the left nor the one on the right!) can't resist the temptation of super fuzzy rugs and likes to pull fibers out when no one is watching.

Fortunately, this trio doesn't have accidents on our rugs (knock on wood) and they don't scratch or dig in them.  See .. they do have some redeeming qualities! 

With this list of seemingly impossible criteria in hand, the search was on for an 8' x 10' area rug that would somehow meet most of our requirements and yet be visually appealing.     

It was so much fun to browse through all the awesome area rugs at Home Goods, Tuesday Morning, At Home, Home Depot, Target and Lowe's.

The beauties below were immediately eliminated as contenders but I'll share them with you in the event you can use them in your more "civilized" home.  



Tuesday Morning

In my desperation, I even considered an indoor/outdoor patio rug, but it was woven and the one on display actually had several pulled loops which gave me a realistic view of how it might hold up with our pack.


Then I spotted the Anniston Brindle area rug, part of the Home Decorators Collection at Home Depot.  

I was immediately drawn to the contrast between the warm smoky gray background and the light, fresh pattern.  The online specifications describe the light area as "yellow," but in our home it reads a soft tan.  

Unlike the chenille, shag and natural fiber rugs of my dreams, it is 100% polyester but is a practical low pile and paw-friendly with no loops.

We've had it for a few weeks and I'm still thrilled with the pattern and color palette. 


More importantly, I'm happy to report no attempted fiber removal efforts have occurred. :)

I'm really thankful that at this time I didn't give in to a super plush or natural woven looped version that would have been exhaustingly impractical for us ... standing guard constantly to protect an area rug from a mischievous set of teeth wouldn't have been my idea of fun! 

Do you have furry family members that pose decorating challenges?  Have you tried a color scheme that combines gray and tan?  

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I look forward to your thoughts and ideas!  I try to respond to comments via email as soon as I can. If your email address isn't available, I will comment here. Thanks so much for visiting!  

Shared with:


  1. That is a lovely rug! I have been thinking of getting an area rug for my living room (and I too have a furry family member who sheds and likes to sharpen his claws on rugs). Something with a neutral color scheme like yours would be ideal.

    1. Dancer is such a cutie, Bless! This rug has been remarkable at camouflaging pet hair - it gets a deep vacuuming a couple of times a week with a full-size vacuum, and daily with a slim vac and no pet hair tumbleweeds yet.

  2. Carolyn, I love your new rug.. Beautiful colors.. Proud your sweet pets are being nice and protecting your rug.ha
    I love those colors.
    We have no inside pets. I have asthma , and am allergic to pet hair.. I have never done tan and gray together, but this rug shows how pretty the colors are together.
    Know you will enjoy it for a long time.

    1. Thanks so much, Judy! You definitely don't want to be exposed to pet hair with asthma, I'm sure. The tan and gray were a fun surprise!

  3. Carolyn, your new rug is lovely. I have a particular passion for Persian rugs and lookalikes. The colours in yours are so subtle! Mimi xxx

    1. Hi, Mimi! I think you're so right - it's a Persian pattern. I saw two different descriptions and one called the design Oriental and the other Persian. I was undecided so played it safe with "Transitional." LOL!

  4. I love the grey and tan! I have lots of those two colors in my home too and it makes it so easy to incorporate holiday decor. I think you made a great choice! I've considered outdoor rugs (for inside) too and actually have a small one from Ballard right inside my backdoor. Your fur babies are ADORABLE!!! Would you mind sharing their names? I love to hear what other people name their pets. :)

    1. So glad to hear that these two neutrals will work well with holiday decor! The orange one (LOL) is Baby - she was the smallest in her litter and after 14 years really hasn't grown much. The brindle and white beast is Mia. She's 5 and was the largest in her litter. And, the white faced black sweetie is Shelby. Her racing name was Sakkara Shelby and she's 9. They really are good furkiddos - except for Mia's fascination with removing rug fibers. :)

  5. This looks so great! :) Love the colors!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  6. Hello Carolyn,
    I really love the rug you picked out and it looks lovely. I love the color scheme you chose too. Thanks for sharing this at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    Enjoy the weekend.
    Julie xo

  7. I Love the color and design of your new rug. Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

DIY Console Table Reveal

Last weekend we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and turned our garage into a workshop as we measured, measured again, cut, assembled and sanded the boards that would result in this beauty ....

To say that we like it is an understatement!  

This journey began with the need to replace our drastically undersized original console table and you can read more about that HERE.

Our inspiration was Ana White's Rustic X Console.  We followed Ana's wonderful free plans to construct the frame using 2" x 2" and 2" x 4" boards.  These were the only boards we had to purchase, as we had the two shelf boards (1" x 12" each) and three tabletop boards (2" x 6" each) on hand.

The finished dimensions are a whopping 76-1/2" x 18" x 32" - a little over 6 feet, making it much more appropriately sized for our 18' long wall (our original console table was only 42".)

You'll notice a few additional foyer changes as well.  The wall was…

Frugal Craft Space - File Cabinet Makeover

After years of having our kitchen island serve as my craft table, I am excitedly creating a craft space in our guest room where craft supplies and equipment can remain set up and ready to go!  I envisioned a large craft table supported by two 2-drawer file cabinets.  The cabinets provide great storage, but were less than attractive and desperately needed a makeover.

The first criteria for the new craft space was to be frugal and to use items we already had on hand whenever possible - basically, the same criteria for any project we undertake. No surprise there!


Two metal 2-drawer file cabinets
Four decorative drawer pulls
Zinsser 123 Primer
Latex Paint
12 large wood paint stir sticks
Paint brush
Mitre saw box or hand saw 
Loctite Power Grab adhesive
220 grit sandpaper
Wood filler

We already had one file cabinet and located another of the exact same height at a local thrift store for only $15.  Along with being thrifty, an added bonus is that older metal file cabinets are made really well…

Our Cozy Stone Cottage

It's been a while since we've updated our little blog but now is a great time to revive it!  We've had an exciting lifestyle change in the works the past several months as we prepared to sell our country home to relocate to this sweet stone cottage in the "city" about 10 miles away.  Well, not exactly a city - more like a small adorable country hamlet - population around 4,000.  

We're told our little stone cottage was built in 1900.  We've yet to discover the full history of our home and hope to research it soon.  We do know that an addition was added and it contains the kitchen.  And we've learned that the stone was not original to the home - originally it was typical wood sided farmhouse.  The photo above is an older one from a few years ago we found online that shows our home in all its well maintained glory.  Isn't it charming?

In a nutshell, a few of the features we immediately fell in love with are .... original wood floors throughout most of…