For the past few months, we’ve been making all kinds of fun decisions about our new apartment in New York. During the renovations and decorating process, our focus has been on making animal- and eco-friendly choices that reflect our personal style and fit our family’s day-to-day lifestyle.
Typical of a pre-war co-op, ours has beautiful hardwood floors; so the pups definitely needed some carpeted areas that wouldn’t be quite so slippery under their paws, and we wanted some areas that were warm and soft under our own feet, too. The challenge with area rugs is that most often they are made of handwoven wool. As I’ve written about before, I do my best to seek out wool alternatives (see my previous post, What About Wool?). Finding rugs for our new home was no exception.
I’m delighted to report that there are a variety of rugs now available in the marketplace, such as those using natural fibers like jute or synthetic fibers like olefin. Many make use of recycled materials. Again, for our own home I was looking for cruelty-free, stylish, and practical: while a jute rug can be a wonderful accent in the right room, I wanted something more cozy for my pups at nap-time (probably 60% of their day). My search led me to FLOR Carpet Design Squares.
FLOR rugs are comprised of squares roughly 19.7 inches in size; the use of squares lends itself to incredible versatility both in size and look. For an 8 x 10 area rug, you’ll purchase 30 squares. Need something a little smaller, or not quite standard? Just use fewer squares. Also, many of the squares that feature patterns have a random placement — that is, no delineated top, bottom, or sides. So your placement creates a wholly unique pattern. And, although we decided to go with one particular pattern in each area, a FLOR representative also will help a customer mix and match patterns, colors, and textures for a totally unique creation.
This is a DIY operation, but the squares are super-easy to install: using adhesive “dots” on the floor, the tiles stay in place (no padding underneath).
A perk of this DIY approach is that it’s as easy to remove or replace one square as it is to install it. If there’s a spill, it’s easy to lift just that one square, wash, and put back in place. What a great thing for families with canine kids and human kids alike! Also pretty handy if you tend to throw your fair share of cocktail parties, where it’s just a matter of time before someone’s vino winds up on the floor. And if one square gets damaged beyond repair, no need to buy a whole new rug — just purchase a replacement square (prices range from $12 per square to $28 per square).
FLOR does make some carpet squares with wool, but most — and the ones we chose — are made from alternative, recycled fibers. In addition to using recycled fibers, FLOR has a Return & Recycle program that allows customers to return old squares so they can be used to create new FLOR products.
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Other easy ways we went cruelty-free for animals & the planet in our home
- In our kitchen, new counter tops by ECO by Cosentino, just as pretty as granite but made from 75% recycled materials; also, energy efficient large appliances.
- For living and dining, furniture of sustainable construction when shopping for new pieces at Design Within Reach; and any cushioning or bedding is feather-free (see my previous post, Are You “Down” With It?). Not only are our sofa cushions and alternative down comforters/pillows more animal-friendly — both for the birds spared theplucking and in terms of holding up better with our canine kids making themselves right at home — but they also are more Sharon-friendly (allergies!).
- Throughout the apartment, LED light bulbs by Philips, which use less energy than most other types of lamps, are mercury-free, and each bulb will last approximately 22 years (reduced waste). Our new Smart TV also is LED.
- With a simple request to Con Edison, Green Mountain Energy provides our electricity — 100% from wind/solar sustainable sources.