I was a creative writing major in college. I'll always remember the admonition of our Senior Seminar professor to "kill your darlings." This means you have to cut those favorite sentences (or paragraphs, or characters!) that you love and have become attached to, but aren't working or furthering your aims with the piece.
I was always terrible at that.
Last week I showed you a design board for what the office could be, but isn't. Why not? Because of this rug.
This rug is my darling.
I got it at the tender age of 24, at the ABC Carpet and Home outlet in the Bronx. It was my first major house purchase (and remains one of the more expensive things I've ever bought.) It's big, and Turkish, and I think it represented "being a grown up." Standing in the vast warehouse and watching the men flip back rug after rug in stacks was intoxicating. The palette includes colors that are still favorites (aqua! chartreuse! terra cotta! Look no further than my portfolio to know I love these colors still.) And honestly, it makes a lot of sense, stylistically, in the space I lease, which has very pretty white tin ceilings.
The other reason I based by scheme on this rug? I already had it, and rugs are expensive. I liked the idea that using this rug would stretch my budget. Then I started looking for a table to use as a desk, and realized the rug was kind of bossy, and the table I needed was pretty specific. A french farmhouse table. Not too rustic, not too chunky, light of wood tone and elegant of line. You may be shocked to know that craigslist did not offer up such a table to me, and certainly not at a bargain price. All of a sudden, I was looking at spending close to $1000 on the right table to work with the rug I already had. I also started considering splurges on other items that would complement the rug, but which I might not otherwise buy. I bought chairs to make the rug "more modern" instead of using the Ghost chairs I already own.
When I made the neutral-scheme design board that I shared last week, and realized that the rug didn't belong in my real vision, I had to kill my darling.
And then, in a glorious mixture of metaphors, I remembered that there's more than one way to skin a cat:
Neutral rugs like the ones I was envisioning are fairly cheap.
Craigslist has tables aplenty that work in this scheme (tomorrow I'm picking up a table I previously looked at and passed on because it didn't go with the rug. It's only $100.)
I'll return the guest chairs I bought, use my Ghost chairs for guests, and get myself an actual task chair instead.
I'll splurge on fabric to reupholster my cool vintage chair, but now I can choose any fabric I want (and I think I might want zebra.)
I'll still splurge on a lamp, but instead of keeping the one I used to want, I'll get one that represents my style, now.
And perhaps the best part? In this scheme, I can hang any art I want.
I'll be a little sad to roll up the rug and send it back to the basement, though.