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The Great Rug Throw-Down

I love my husband. Let’s just start with that. He’s a top-notch father and stellar husband.


After seven years of marriage, I recently discovered something new about him. Something he’d kept hidden all this time. Something important, that impacts my life.

He has sensitive, little-girl feet.

They don’t LOOK like little girl feet, but they are. They are precious and tender and unable to handle adversity.

Let me back up a little. We’ve needed a new rug in our living room for a long, long time. Our current rug worked for a while, but as I’ve been gradually changing the living room, its style has made less and less sense with the new pieces. We started with the giant tannosaurus sectional:

Which I replaced with my slipcovered white sofas. (This is an old picture, but the living room now has two of those sofas. The Chinese Chippendale chairs were just called in to serve picture-taking duties, but they actually live in the breakfast nook.)

Then I added new pillows in the Jacobean fabric, and pulled out the reds, greens and blues in other throw pillows.

(Then I just kept adding throw pillows one at a time to see when Andy finally had enough, just one straw after another piled on the camel’s back, waiting for it to shatter. He still hasn’t said anything. Don’t mention it to him.)

(If the slipcover looks wrinkled and messy in that pic, it’s probably just your monitor. You may want to adjust your settings.)

I replaced the solid blue-gray curtains with my DIY striped curtains in navy blue and white, and everything started to feel more crisp, more colorful and more happy to me. But the old rug lingered, a relic of decorating days gone by.

So the style wasn’t working anymore, but I also was not crazy about the size. I wanted a rug big enough for both couches to sit on, because one couch is always slip-slidin’ all over the wood floor like M.C. Hammer.

All along, I’ve had plans to replace the rug with jute. Here’s a picture of my very first living room plan, from when I still had the tannosaurus. All of those changes have come to life just as I envisioned them, except that pretty natural rug.

So, finally, FINALLY, when Rugs USA was offering a hefty percent off, I took the plunge and ordered this Chunky Jute Rug in 9×12.jute rugMy plans were falling into place and all my wildest dreams were coming true. I would have the amazing texture of jute, for a pretty rock-solid price considering it was a giant 9×12 rug, and I would be done with the paisley rug forever.

The rug arrived just before Christmas. We didn’t want to have to move the Christmas tree to lay it out, so we left it rolled up on the floor of the dining room until a week or two ago, then we unrolled a piece of it “just to feel it.”

Enter Andy’s fragile, delicate little tootsies.

I walked on the rug with my barefeet and promptly had a foot-gasm. It was soft, but it had a chunky, knotty texture.
Jute Rug
It felt like a FOOT MASSAGE. (And nobody loves a foot massage even HALF as much as me. DO NOT FIGHT ME ON THIS.) This rug promised to fill my days with foot-euphoria.

My feet were soaring on a magic carpet ride of ecstacy!

Then Andy walked on it – with SOCKS on.

“Ouch!” He said, certainly not seriously… right?

“What?! Try again,” I said.

He took three more steps on the rug, with socks on. Then he said (I am NOT exaggerating):


The following montage will illustrate what I felt when I walked on the jute rug.
And this is an approximation of what the rug felt like to Andy.
We talked in the last post about finding compromise with your spouse when it comes to decor, which is something I like to talk about in theory but prefer not to actually, you know, do. But we each have a veto right in this house, and it quickly became clear that Andy’s princess feet would win this battle.

(I think this might have to do with Andy growing up in Michigan and always wearing shoes, where I grew up a poor barefoot Southern girl, whose feet quickly developed a superhuman strength and power to withstand afflictions like gravel driveways and jute rugs.)

Regardless. The rug went up on craigslist and found a new home. (If you follow me on Facebook, you might’ve seen the photo of my super-sketchy craigslist-selling clothes from that exchange.)

Now, I’m at a loss. I want a textured rug, in a neutral tone so I can change my decorations with every passing whim, but it must feel like walking upon a gentle cloud so Andy’s poor tender pups are comfortable. Do you have a rug you love and can recommend? Have you ever had to accommodate a spouse’s odd requirements?

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  1. I would buy a piece of broadloom carpet – whatever texture and softness Andy’s tootsies desire – and have it bound as a rug. Most large flooring stores/departments will do that.

  2. Lol, I love your illustrations, they made me laugh out loud. This would totally be my husband. I sometimes think it’s more the fact that men are giant babies/whiners. There is a reason why we bare the children. Haha! Mine hated our sisal rug.
    I went with indoor/outdoor rugs in my home now and they have some that look like natural, textured rugs.

  3. Cait @ Hernando House says:

    First of all, I love the illustrations, and the “If the slipcover looks wrinkled and messy… it’s probably just your monitor”.

    Second, I admit to being the tender-footed one in our marriage, but walking on a jute rug is no big deal to me! Maybe a braided jute (like this) as opposed to a knotted jute? We have this rug in our bedroom and it’s really soft.

    Also, after almost 7 years together my husband threw this shocker at me. We were tile shopping and he casually says “I don’t like marble”. Be kind, rewind. Homie say what now? I may have thrown out a “who are you and what have you done with the man I married?”

  4. This IS me and my husband. He has the tender toes and I used to run around on gravel for fun (why? no idea).

    Perhaps you could find a jute-like rug that has less texture? Maybe like an outdoor rug that is completely flat?

  5. Kelly! I have been eyeing that EXACT rug for months now. Seriously, same one….months. I have wondered many times just how soft it would be…looks like I’m good to go! Plus Adam and I are both hardcore barefooted Texans, so even if it felt more like a gravel driveway we would probably be alright, lol. However, last week I caught Elijah peeing on our current living room rug ON PURPOSE, so I think not buying a new rug right now might be in my best interest. I would say maybe in a couple months, but I have another (even more disgusting) little boy right behind him. Looks like me and my stinky Wal-Mart rug might be together for the long haul!

    Hilarious post, BTW…I love the way your brain works, and I love that Andy is okay with you posting ridiculous stuff about him.

  6. I’ve got a Groupon to Rugs USA and have been considering purchasing this same rug – so it was great to see your review. My husband is also not quite so tough-footed and I’m afraid he might have have the same reaction. I’ve read some of Emily A Clark’s reviews on rugs & she choose the chenille jute from PB because the chenille is supposed to be softer ( But, I’m guessing PB won’t take my Rugs USA Groupon – boo. Good luck!!

  7. Your descriptions of things

    But I am very sorry to hear about your rug loss. I hope you guys can agree on something you both love soon!!

  8. Oh my gosh, this post is hilarious! We actually used to have a soft plush Pottery Barn rung, and switched it out for a jute one and we love it. 🙂 It doesn’t shed and it always looks clean. Hopefully you can find something that fits the bill soon!

  9. melissa pearce says:

    I am so thankful for the laughs you gave me this morning. I needed them. F’real.
    Ikea had some neutral flat woven rugs when I was last there, though not as pretty as your jute rug, no doubt. Sorry it didn’t work out the way you’d hoped.

    My husband makes me squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom. um, hello? What a waste of extra seconds! 😉

    • Ooh thanks on the ikea tip! I’ll totally check ’em out. My husband demands that I put lids on things after I use them! The nerve! 🙂

  10. I know I say this every time I comment but you are funny……………….! Aaron has a cool jute/something else woven rug in his office he got from Target. I doubt they have it anymore, but I’ll check and if I find it I’ll zip you an email. Andy’s tender feet might be able to handle a half jute rug….

  11. so sorry about your husband’s girlie feet…and having to get rid of that rug…I recently purchased a chenile rug at Home Depot here in Ontario (8 x 10) for just $79 – it has the look and colouring of the jute rug but it is very soft. You can see it here

  12. To heck with the rug dilemma, this is one hysterical post top to bottom. How appropo for Andy that MC’s biggest hit is U Can’t Touch This.


  13. I hate to say it, but I think I might be with Andy on this one. The rug looks kind of ouchy to me. Apparently I, too, have very delicate feet, even though I grew up in Georgia :). I have no rug suggestions to offer, sadly. I desperately need to buy some rugs for our house, but I’m paralyzed with indecision.

  14. Okay, now that I’ve wiped away the tears from laughing so hard, I can definitely recommend what not to get. We have a jute rug in our entryway that I looooove! (Luckily my hubby is not tender-footed) So I decided to replace our froo-froo rug in the living room with a sea-grass rug. Love the look, but it’s definitely rougher than the jute. Now, personally, I’m a southern girl as well so nothin’ is getting to these tootsie’s, right? But the sea-grass rugs are definitely a force to be reckoned with. Espeically if you spend anytime sitting in the floor with say like a small toddler or anything. I’ve been eyeing some rugs at HomeGoods, maybe you could find a nice softie rug there! 🙂

    • I LOVE homegoods! I’ll take any excuse to hit it up. I’m glad you said that about seagrass, because I’d been wondering if it was any better!

  15. My boyfriend had the same problem with our old jute rug. I loved it but he hated it. When we had the hardwood floors installed in our old condo, I was at work and the rug needed to be moved so the guys could rip up the existing carpet. My boyfriend conveniently put it outside on the porch RIGHT NEXT TO where the guy was cutting down pieces of hardwood so it got ruined. I almost burst into tears when I came home on lunch and saw my beautiful rug covered in sawdust and other outside debris 🙁 He’s not a huge fan of the rugs we have in our living room now but I’m winning this battle since he won the last one haha

  16. I think our husbands were separated at birth. I’ve tried on 3 separate occasions to slip a jute rug into the house. Every time he has put up a stink and used his veto power. He didn’t even like it when I tried to put it down on the porch (OUTSIDE!) I’ve given up on Jute. I have not suggests, but will be watching your progress in hopes that you find a solutions. PS – I also grew up not wearing shoes May to September. I can walk of cut glass if need be.

    • Oh no! I’m sorry to hear you’re having the same struggles. I just didn’t think to put “tough feet” on my list of husband-must-haves before I got married.

  17. Oh no! How sad that his sensitive feet have dashed your design board dreams! I noticed a bunch of large rugs at Home Depot that looks soft and neutral and affordable … something I’ve been thinking of for our family room redo …


  18. This post has a higher ‘number-of–laughs-per-paragraph’ rating than ANY OTHER POST. EVER. The end.
    PS re rugs – I’ve just spent my life savings on a jute and cotton rug from a department store called John Lewis which I’m guessing you won’t have on your side of the pond BUT the cotton makes it softer. Could try googling that particular blend (downside is you may have to sell Andy or a kidney to pay for it – if you sold Andy that would render the whole debacle pointless). Rugs are tricky.

  19. oh no!!!!!! what a bummer! maybe instead you could buy andy some awesome comfy slippers???
    we got the platinum shag rug from mohawk and it’s in our dining room… i LOVE it! it’s flecked but gives an over all greige look and it’s comfy. so comfy the dogs can often be found sleeping on it.

  20. I’m gonna be really mean and confess that this post made me happy. I’m sorry for you and your dreams of a jute rug BUT I’m glad I’m not the only one with a sensitive footed husband! Because of my husband and his constantly “cold feeties” I’m not allowed to have hard wood floors in the bedrooms or living room. So I’m glad I’m not the only wife with a husband whose feet can mess up great design! 😉

  21. wahaa!!! Love the post. And the montages, so funny! I say you put a pair of flip-flops right next to the rug that he can slip on and off when he wants to walk across it. Maybe with a tiara :). Just kidding, just kidding. Don’t turn up a chance to do some rug shopping!

  22. Now that is funny! Hey all guys have a sensitive side, just not all guys have sensitive feet.

  23. I am laughing so hard right now, because I completely feel your pain. My husband too has sensitive little girl feet and jute is NOT allowed in our home. I discovered this a couple years ago and I am completely jealous every time I hear bloggers wax poetic about how amazing they are. I do have faith that good style can still happen without them, but it would be nice to have a neutral, textured, beautiful jute option sometimes 🙂

  24. This is HILARIOUS! Not just because you’re pretty stinkin’ funny, but because the hubs and I went through the exact same thing. I came across a giant jute rug from Pottery Barn on clearance at the outlet. I seriously started dancing from excitement, so the hubs KNEW how much I loved it. I did love it’s chunky neutrality for several years, but he NEVER did. He complained that it shed (it did…ew!), wasn’t comfortable or plush, and wouldn’t be fun for a baby to crawl on (see the shedding). He ended up being right. But dang, that rug LOOKED good! 🙂

    • Hahaha! I know, it probably wouldn’t have been ideal for the babes, but I was prepared to just not let them on it, ever. Like, they could just hang out behind the sofas and not be allowed in our actual family room where the toys are. It seemed totally reasonable. 🙂 Ahhh… it’s hard to let dreams die.

  25. That is a total bummer. Cuz that rug ROCKED. I’ve heard the chenille jute rugs are good? We’re jute rug peeps with feet as tough as nails around here. You can tell we all grew up/are growing up in the South!
    xo Heidi

  26. So funny! I really do think walking barefoot on hot Texas concrete as a girl toughened my feet for life. Love it! I have nothing in the advice about rugs dept. Still need to find one for my living room after 2 years. Its hard!

  27. Laughed out loud through half this post! Sorry to say I don’t have a rug to recommend but I sure did have fun reading this 🙂

  28. Haha I grew up barefoot, too. In good ol’ Georgia. I can walk barefoot on hot asphalt any day of the year. That rug sounds amazing – I’m bummed you had to get rid of it!! I hope you find an awesome replacement that works for both you and your husband!

  29. Leave it to our sensitive husbands to stomp on our decor dreams. Heh, I kind of made a pun. I suggest getting the rug of your choice and buy Andy foofy bunny slippers to wear on the rug. My husband is refusing to put wood floors in our bedroom because “it’ll be cold on his feet”. I didn’t know I married a princess.

  30. Two options come to mind. First, seagrass! I love seagrass so so much. It has the same look as jute, it’s a natural fiber rug, but it doesn’t have the little fibers that stick up so it isn’t so pointy! It’s a tighter weave than jute. I wouldn’t say that it’s soft on the feet, but it’s no different than walking on hardwoods. It’s just a hard surface. It is quite hard when you first lay it down, but I think it softens with wear. Maintenance of seagrass is also laughable. It vacuums really well, never stains (I even spilled red wine on it and you can’t even see the discoloration unless you actually crawl on the rug to look for it!), and crumbs become invisible when they hit the ground. I adore it.

    My other thought is that you could look for a jute/chenille blend. The chenille gives it a much softer texture (I got a small 5×9 at Pier 1 a few years ago and it’s super soft!), but it still has the look of jute. I can’t speak to the maintenance of it, but it is soft!!

  31. What is it with these guys and their tender feet? They can do all kinds of stuff outside and get splinters and cracks in their hands…but watch out for those feet. 🙂 Wonderful post! Glad that you and your Mr. can compromise. 🙂 k.

    • SO true! They could accidentally shoot a nail clean through their hand and barely even notice, but one step onto a jute rug and they’re crying. 🙂

  32. I love your visual pictures of your different experience with the rugs – TOO funny!!

  33. Hehe you crack me up!! We have a new rug arriving on Friday, but it’s not neutral so I’m afraid I can’t help you here!! I’m sure you’ll find a nice plush rug for those fragile feet of his!

  34. I’d resolve the ORIGINAL problem….which is hubby’s feet. Guys generally don’t go barefoot because their feet arent as pretty as a woman’s.

    Paint his toes, let him walk around for a couple of months…..then buy your rug back.

    Just kidding….I’m with a previous post. Homegoods is a good source

    • I like this train of thought of yours. We need a strict regimen of foot torture to toughen them up. I think you’re onto something.

  35. HAHAH this post is hilarious because my husband is the same way. a delicate little flower when it comes to his tootsies! I like that rug you bought but we’d probably be in the same boat.

  36. Ha! Boys are such sissies!

  37. Oh, the horror! I, too, have dreams of a rug just like that! I can’t imagine how sad I would be if Chris’ tootsies couldn’t handle it. Maybe Andy just needs some slippers!

  38. You seriously crack me up! My husband has lame girl feet too. Being from WV, I don’t have that problem. Sorry about the rug, girl…it sure was perdy!

  39. So, the evil rug I sold had the same husband issues. I just make mine suck it up…until it tries to kill me. And then it’s gone. Nate always told me that he liked the exfoliation from the rug. 😛

  40. I think Berber would suit both you and Andy well! It has plenty of texture, but may be just a tad bit softer than jute.

  41. LOL LOVE your photo collages. NOW I know how each of you feel 🙂 Too bad about that rug though. It looks amazing. We had a jute boucle rub from WestElm that we had to return, but that was because it was just falling apart within weeks of getting it. We went the Dhurrie route after that! – also WestElm.

  42. I love this post…a classic tale of something looking so good, just not working…it happens to all of us! Thanks so much for stopping by and for the “Hey Girl” party! I’m a new follower!

  43. Ok, see? This is why I love you so!!! 😉 You are so funny and you say what we all think!! That could have been myself and my husband in the story!!! Men. There’s a reason God made it so women had the babies.
    And thanks for the review on that rug…I’ve been eyeing it for awhile now! Now I know better. 😉 Here is another rug I found recently….
    I love it because of the light color….but I also worry about it because of the light color! But I do love the texture and neutrality of it.

  44. Rick is the same way. But then I also try to think about how it feels to sit on any rug and usually he’s right. 😛 I really like our bedroom rug; it’s neutral but has a texture:

    And you can see closer pics of it in this post:


  45. Loved this post- I was laughing out loud! The montage of feelings was my favourite part. I like the suggestion for fluffy slippers : )

  46. Bryn Alexandra has said on her blog that she loves the jute/chenille rugs from West Elm very much for their softness. I don’t have the time to get you a link right now, sorry, but I’m sure it would be easy to search her site for the exact recommendation including for colors.

  47. Your visual aids for your foot experiences are hilarious!!! I had to laugh so much. It is rare even with blogs that are known to be funny for me to LOL while reading them, but you do it almost every time.
    AND, my husband has tender feet too!! I grew up on a farm and we ran around barefoot all summer long. My husband never goes barefoot, even in summer.
    AAANNNDD! I had a similar experience with a rug and my husband. I spent hours searching for inexpensive fluffy rugs to go on either side of our bed and finally found something that I really liked. I got it home, took off the tag and put it by the bed and admired it. When my husband walked on it he said he didn’t like it at all because the fluff was not all the same length! He said it was uneven under his foot. 🙂 That one ended up on my side of the bed and I brought the matching one (that still had the tag on) back to the store. I ended up finding the perfect rug for his side of the bed. They aren’t matching, but we are living happily ever after. 🙂

  48. My husband hates the SMELL of jute, but doesn’t seem to mind the texture. Because of his olfactory aversion, I bought a super-low-pile wool rug – actually a carpet remnant – in a color very close to jute. Works for both of us.

  49. I somehow missed this post but was CRYING WITH LAUGHTER over your illustrations!!! Oh poor Andy and his delicate princess feet but goodness, they were good for a laugh 😉 xxx

  50. I had the exact same experience this last weekend with a woven jute rug from Ballard. Husband said he felt like he was walking on rocks. I didn’t entirely disagree. I was hoping the texture would be finer, slightly less chunky. Also I have learned that you cannot remove stains from jute. If you are looking for a family friendly rug, it might not be the most practical choice.

  51. Love the post. What about a sisal rug?

  52. Totall made me snort-laugh with this one…how I missed it the first time around I’ll never know! We have (icky, disgusting, gross) carpet in our house. I dream of the day when I have beautiful hardwood floors, tastefully layered with gorgeous texture and color.

    Had a conversation with The Man a few weeks ago, about the master bedroom. I was showing him an olioboard I made, and he loved pretty much everything. Until…’yeah babe? I hate squares. But everything else looks ok.’ Exsqueeze me WHAT? How does a person hate squares? Squares are everywhere! He won’t even go for a diamond, because he may, at some point in time, see it sideways, in which case it would look like a square and offend his sensitive nature. What. The. FLUDGE?!

  53. I purchased this exact rug! And yes it is a little on the ruff side. My kids didn’t appreciate the roughness on their knees, so out of the family room it went and into the dining room. I also ordered rugsusa-handspun-jute/natural and wow it is glorious! It’s smooth almost silky on the bottom of your feet. It has no fringe on the edge and doesn’t drop as much dirt as the other one did. And today it’s still 80% off!

  54. Lindsey M. says:

    Oh my goodness I almost peed my pants from laughing so hard. Hands down funniest post I have read in a long time. Thank you so much for brightening my day. Hahahahaha I am still dying silently over here as my husband stares at me strangely. Fragile, delicate little tootsies 🙂 hahahaha

  55. Tears, girl…you brought me to tears…sitting here in my comfy chair all alone while everyone else is sound asleep laughing hysterically! It was the collages…I’m cracking up just thinking of them again while I type.

  56. Thanks for finally writing about >Reviews of jute rug softness and
    durability <Loved it!

  57. Kristin Robinson says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I’m a new reader and have basically spent my day going through your projects. I had to comment on the rug issue. My husband is allergic to wool, and it seems that every rug that I find in catalogs or on-line that I absolutely love and are the size we need for whatever room I’m envisioning them in, is made of wool. So while it’s not the same dilemma, I do feel your pain. I haven’t seen the compromise for your living room yet since I got to this post via the entry-way rug post (love the colors!), so now onward to see what you ended up with. I don’t know how my feet would like the above-mentioned jute rug, so I can’t really side with either of you on that… 🙂

  58. Thanks for the tips!I got some nice ideas!!Your guidelines are very helpful.


  1. […] and Kelly at the blog View Along the Way has THE FUNNIEST blog post ever about this same rug. Click here to read it (and to check out her incredible closet makeover at the same […]

  2. […] just that I didn’t know Andy had tender, delicate princess feet until this post, when I finally bought my long-awaited jute rug for the living room and his feet responded with […]

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