More rug talk today! A friend asked me to find an alternative for a West Elm rug she’s been eyeing. I love a good challenge so I said, “Hell Yeah!” I’ll share with you all of my finds in a round-up and links to each of the rugs I found.
This is the rug my friend asked me to find for her living room: West Elm’s Traced Diamond Kilim rug. This rug will go over her wall-to-wall carpeting.
The pricing on this rug is similar to how most rugs are priced, which is the smaller sized rugs have completely attainable pricing but once you get into the size that will actually look good in most living rooms (which is usually 8×10 or higher) the prices start feeling prohibitively expensive. The West Elm rug in 5×8 is $299 and the 3×5 is $129. These prices feel more palatable than say $600 for the 8×10. I think this explains why people (myself included) end up buying rugs that are too small for their space.
I wish I could say I hit this assignment out of the park but alas this rug was pretty challenging to find for less but I did learn a few good lessons. More about that at the end.
I first hit up Cost Plus World Market because they always have a good selection of Kilim rugs. When I got to their site I was pleasantly surprised to see they were having a rug sale and thought the stars had aligned for me. But alas, it was not to be. While I found some great rugs and maybe even ones my friend might consider (especially given how inexpensive they are) none were even close to being a good match.
Here’s what I found at Cost Plus…(sorry for the cruddy pictures but for some reason Cost Plus doesn’t want people saving quality pictures of their stuff. Weirdos!)
I think D is the most similar to the inspiration for obvious reasons — colors and the diamond shapes — but ‘D’ is a plushy-wool rug rather than the thin Kilim style of the inspiration. I think the plushy nature of ‘D’ eliminates it because it makes it feel more “First-World-Suburban.” That plus it costs the same as the inspiration. So why settle for something that isn’t quite right.
After striking out at Cost Plus, I went to my go-to site for rugs: RUGS USA (Tip: sign up for their emails because they have 70% off sales all the time, making their reasonably priced rugs even cheaper! Should that sale hit any of my finds then I might be able to say I was successful in my mission to find my friend a cheaper version.)
At Rugs USA I got closer to the inspiration and one may appeal to my friend but most were more expensive than the inspiration:
All of these rugs have the same two contrasting colors so they provide the same high contrast as the inspiration but none mimic the thing that makes this rug really cool — which is the texture of the repeating large diamonds with the background of zigzags. I think this texture gives the rug a primitive or tribal feel. (West Elm describes this rug as their “mid-century inspired take on Japanese textiles”…#givemeabreak)
Anyway, I think any of these would be an okay substitute for my friend however most are more expensive than the inspiration. If she had a cat that made getting a rug with white catnip-like string detailing a non-starter, these may be great options for her.
‘E‘ is technically the best alternative because the blue is most similar, the shape of the white diamonds mimics the inspiration and the color proportions are similar — more blue than white. Plus, ‘E’ is less expensive, coming in at $216 for 4×6 or $324 for a 6′ square. But…I think my friend will think the soul is missing from ‘E.’
- Deconstruct the details of the piece you like to find out why you’re drawn to it. Here, I think it’s the texture created by the string plus the high contrast between it and the background.
- Sometimes there isn’t a cheaper substitute for something.