One major thing that our living room has been missing is a rug.
I wasn't too keen on getting a regular rug because although Louie is 90% potty-trained, he still has some "accidents." I couldn't imagine spot cleaning every time he made a mess on it. Several spills, messes and accidents later (I consider the living room is a high traffic area), you got yourself a ruined rug. After doing some research I thought the perfect thing for us would be carpet tile. You can configure them in any size you want and if one of the carpet tiles gets dirty, all you have to do is clean/replace that single tile. Completely Louie-proof.
I originally had my heart set on getting some FLOR brand carpet tile (the Sophitikat pattern to be exact), but after taking into consideration the price of the pattern I wanted (about $13/tile) and shipping (more than $50), I realized it would cost nearly $300 to make a rug the size we needed (8x6). The price is somewhat reasonable when you're talking about rugs, but I'm not reasonable, I'm cheap. ;)
One day while Justin and I were lounging around watching TV during our winter break in Kentucky, a commercial for a place called iCarpetiles came on. They specialize in commercial and residential carpet tile and they're based right in Louisville, so I figured we might as well stop by and see their selection.
Upon entering their showroom (which is in their warehouse), you can see a bunch of framed plaques. It looks like they've been featured in several publications so that must be a pretty good sign.
We perused their samples and although their patterns weren't as trendy as FLOR, they were still pretty solid. Since we have a blue motif going on in the living room we decided on the blue strata pattern. They sent our request to the warehouse and they loaded up our car with the tiles. Note: These carpet tiles are heavy! When we flew home we had to distribute several of tiles in our suitcases since the carpet tile package exceeded the 50 pound weight limit.
When we got back to DC we put the carpet tiles together and it was super easy. We laid them out in our living room and unlike some carpet tiles where you have to use double sided tape and stick it to the floor, we used the iCarpetiles' product called "Tac-Tiles." All you do is stick them in the corners where floor tiles meet, and voila--instant rug.
Action shot of Justin putting the carpet tiles together
Here's a picture of the finished product. (Louie approved :)
I know it sounds cliche but it really anchors the space! To me, it looks like a large rug and you wouldn't know that they were carpet tiles unless you looked at it real close. So far I really like our rug but the best part of these carpet tiles was the price. For an 8x6 rug (with five extra tiles to spare) it only cost us $96 dollars and no shipping (since we brought them from Kentucky), which to me is definitely a good deal!