Rugs can be a royal pain. While they most definitely can pull a room together, deciding on the right one for your space can sometimes tear things apart (i.e. your cleaning routine, your finances, your chill about pets and kids). If you’re on the hunt for a rug that meets all of your indoor needs but doesn’t break the bank, listen up. Using outdoor rugs inside is a great option for a select group of people, and there’s a good chance you might be one of them.
An indoor/outdoor rug may be for you if you are a…
You like patterns. All the patterns. Unfortunately, splurging on a gorgeous indoor rug with a bold pattern doesn’t come without its (financial) consequences. When you’re dealing with bold designs, you run the risk of getting sick of your rug at an accelerated pace, and indoor rugs aren’t known for being cheap. Retailers like Overstock, Wayfair, and even World Market offer a wide array of both unconventional and uber trendy patterned outdoor rugs made of fade-resistant synthetic fibers. The best part: outdoor rugs are a fraction of the price of indoor rugs so you don’t have to feel guilty when you swap them out once a month (or collect and layer them until you create the house version Iris Apfel).
Yes, outdoor rugs are good for both ends of the “how many things are going on in your house” spectrum. Here’s why. While some outdoor rugs are made from plastic-based materials that retain saturated, vibrant colors for those who want to make a statement (maximalists, see above); simple, natural fiber rugs like jute, sisal, and bamboo are also durable materials found in outdoor rugs. A good, neutral jute rug like the one in this room featured on One Kings Lane can add the perfect touch of organic texture to an indoor space without overwhelming a minimal color palette.
If you feel like your child exhibits disastrous tendencies on par with Mother Nature, you may want to consider the durability of an outdoor rug. Made to withstand the elements, outdoor rugs are often woven with mold-and-mildew-resistant materials that are perfect for preventing major stains and odors. Save yourself hours of dabbing and scrubbing next time your little natural disaster brings the outside in (or lets the inside out…if you know what I mean).
Pet hair is really cute as long as it’s still on your pet (or you’ve been Crafting with Cat Hair…but we’re still skeptical). High pile indoor rugs are like the rough side of velcro when it comes to indoor animals who shed their coats on the regular. The smooth surface of a polypropylene woven outdoor rug is like…the opposite of velcro, making it a great option for those with hairy housemates. Another selling point: pets that haven’t been house broken yet.
(Image credit: Rebecca U.)
Outdoor rugs are almost always cheaper than indoor rugs. Why? Manufacturing processes aside, wool and silk are more expensive than twine and synthetic fibers. Don’t be deceived by that rock-bottom price tag, however. If you’re creative, outdoor rugs can be worked in to a variety of design schemes and look just as good as their pricier counterparts. Layering styles and textures, like a large jute under a smaller synthetic woven rug, is a foolproof way to up the style ante.
We’re in full support of letting your freak flag fly—especially if your freak flag is spot-free and neatly pressed. I think we’ve established that the two best things about outdoor rugs are their affordability and ease of cleaning, so if you like to run a tight ship (and have your home look like the ever stylish Erin Fetherston’s, above, via One Kings Lane), you can rest a lot easier knowing spills and smudges have no permanent place on your indoor rugs.
GCP (Generally Clumsy Person)
This one could very well apply to your roommate or significant other, but don’t be afraid to admit if you’re the klutz of the house. Before you go getting down on yourself for always knocking over wine glasses and tripping on your own feet, just think about all the great protagonists who wouldn’t be nearly as lovable without their iconic buffoonery. However, there’s one thing Bridget Jones, Mia Thermopolous, and Jack Tripper could’ve improved upon, and that’s their regular proximity to outdoor rugs. Messes are much less catastrophic if they happen on things that are easy to clean, and isn’t a life with less catastrophes what we’re all after?
Conclusion: Basically, unless you are a kabillionaire who loves stains, outdoor rugs are a great option for pretty much everyone!