I'm often asked about our outdoor rugs. What do I do with them when it rains? How do I spot clean them? Do they hold up against dog hair? Crayons? Extensive foot traffic? Over the years, I’ve used a mix of rugs-types. But here’s a roundup of my favorites, and where and how we use them.
FOR SOFT SURFACES
For grass, turf or other soft surfaces, I actually prefer to use this type of inexpensive indoor printed rugs. They’re technically not supposed to be machine washed, but I’ve washed mine for years. They fade a bit, but I actually prefer them to look a bit desaturated. They hold up in high-traffic, and they can be folded up and brought in during rain. Or, if you accidentally leave them out, they can simply be washed afterwards.
COVERED OUTDOOR SPACE
I’m currently in love with this patio rug from Urban Outfitters due to its natural fibers, unique pattern, and soft texture. We styled it in our back garden, but I plan to move it to the covered patio, which is West’s playroom. We have another as a doormat on the bedroom stoop, which works well and looks much prettier than a standard entryway mat.
FOR DINING AREAS
Pappelina makes high-quality, washable patio rugs. I use ours for outdoor dining spaces. These rugs are wonderful, non-slippery, and durable. They feel like a thin rubber mat underfoot. We use a smaller version for our high-traffic front stoop. I leave them out in the rain, and drape them over the fence when they need to dry off.
FOR PLAY AREAS OR MESSY GARDEN CORNERS
MadMats and similar brands make fantastic, reversible, outdoor mats. They can be blasted with the hose, which makes them handy in areas of the garden that collect a lot of organic debris, and/or for spaces with pets and kids. These mats don’t provide any real cushioning— they’re more like decorative coverings. These are ideal for taking to the beach, as you can shake them clean. They do not need to be brought in during rain. Don’t drag table legs or other heavy objects over these— they will start to come apart quickly. Otherwise, I’ve found they’ll last for years!
Dash & Albert, Target, and Wayfair all have an extensive outdoor rug collection, many of which are thicker and softer like indoor rugs. While they are resistant to the basic elements, I can’t imagine that they would withstand heavy rain or snow without rotting. As such, I rolls ours up and bring them into the house in the event of rain.