The Domestic Goddess has rugs that'll floor you
What could be better for summer than rugs you can hose down?
Thinking about dressing up the floor? You can go plenty of ways; depends on what you're dressing 'em up for. Quick trip to MacPherson's Leather for a cowhide under the white-leather sofa, or an oh-this-is — perfect-for-the-dorm number from Ikea. How about a nice 6-by-8 for the patio, tough enough for rain or puppies that piddle? Maybe you want something more: an investment rug of the finest materials, woven by hand in a foreign country.
Saddle up. We're off on a magic-carpet ride.
On the fine side of flooring, you might take a gander at the work of upstart and Seattle native Erik Lindstrom, who trained in Italy at the Florence Design Academy. He's got custom Himalayan wool and Chinese silk hand-woven rugs from Nepal for the trade (as in, designers) and non-trade (that's us!). Lindstrom, without a showroom, says he can usually beat showroom prices "because we don't have any overhead." Rugs are Goodweave certified, no child labor. Wool and silk are the primary combos, but natural materials such as nettle, cactus, banana-leaf fiber, soybean silk, hemp and linen can also be used.
Designs originate with Lindstrom's photographs that he reworks into patterns. Landscapes, urban decay, "I find patterns in lots of different ways," he says. $45 to $74 per square foot.
Design your own or choose from the lines (see dreamy, organic specimens from the Cloud Cover collection). No piddlin' pups permitted. www.lindstromrugs.com.
Good for women, good for floors
ARZU Studio Hope (Arzu means "hope" in Dari) offers high design for a cause. ARZU is a .org, not a .com., a nonprofit enterprise helping Afghan women weavers and their families with a steady income and access to education and health care. ARZU pays women market-weaving rate, plus a bonus for workmanship. In exchange, families agree to send all children under 15 to school full time, allow all women in the household to attend ARZU literacy classes, and permit ARZU to take pregnant women and newborns to clinics for pre- and postnatal care (93 percent of revenue supports the women, kids and communities).
Lecture's over. So, what about your floor? High-grade, handmade rugs, traditional to modern. Perhaps one designed by, say, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, the first woman to win architecture's highest honor.
In, out, all around
So not precious, yet so useful, let us turn our attention to rugs that start at $48 and clean up with the hose! Rugs woven from recycled polypropylene straws. Shake, hose, reverse to change the look. Designs from Fab Habitat, for example, run traditional to modern and fun. Lightweight and portable (comes with jute carry bag). Take rug with: for camping, picnics, whatever else one might fancy doing outdoors. Anchor with furniture or outdoor Velcro. Plastic rugs laugh at moisture. Laugh, I tell you. www.fabhabitat.com.• Movin' on up, there's always good-old Frontgate. A multitude of options here, about $50 to $1,000, depending. Plush, hand-hooked pile of polypropylene fibers. Maritime looks like a day at the beach. www.frontgate.com.
• For high design? Liora Manné. Rugs are made using her patented Lamontage design process. (Secret. Don't even ask.) Handmade of acrylic fibers. Hoseable! $800 for the 5-by-8 Coral Reef Water seen here. www.lioramanne.com.
• More high design? Jaipur. Hand-hooked polypropylene that can hold its own anyplace. Like Au Pair: bright, bold, inspired by nature. Among other places, find them at Pande Cameron, 333 Westlake Ave. N., Seattle, or 13013 N.E. 20th St., Bellevue, and at Le' Objects, 1226 S. Bailey St., Suite B. www.jaipurrugs.com.