Tired of stepping on my cold, wood bedroom floor, I began my search for a small—but funky—area rug at West Elm, $89. I was drawn to a green-and-white covering with a geometric pattern, which I liked mostly because the size was right—it was a small three-by-five-foot rectangle. The almost-friendly salesman told me that the carpet was woven using traditional Indian methods from wool and cotton. Much to his horror, I removed my ballet flats and tested my bare feet on the goods—which were itchy. 112 W. 18th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-929-4462.
At Urban Outfitters—where, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’ve purchased a household item or two—I instantly liked a red, nubby cotton rug. With a printed French-country toile pattern of flowers and vines in white on red, the five-by-seven-foot style had a funky, almost retro look that would match my bedroom’s quirkiness. Plus, it was very soft. I was okay with spending $68 on a rug because I spend twice that on shirts I only wear once! 526 Sixth Ave., nr. 14th St.; 646-638-1646.
Bed, Bath & Beyond
I walked into Bed, Bath & Beyond, where I quickly filled up my cart with unnecessary (okay, ridiculous) items like melon ballers and electric ice-cream scoopers. In the rug section, I found an assortment of carpets hanging on cords from the ceiling, including a floral print in tans and browns, $29.99. The rug was small enough (two feet by four feet) for my room, but it looked cheap because of its synthetic material. The remaining rugs on display—some of which were even fraying at the edges—were clearly marked down for a reason. 620 Sixth Ave., nr. 19th St.; 212-255-3550.
After Bed, Bath & Beyond, I decided to look for an art rug at Moss. Hanging on the long wall was a series of blended wool rugs, which resembled dead sheep dyed in all colors of the unnatural rainbow. Designed by Claudy Jongstra, the “DH/WD/SI” rugs, came in blue, yellow, red, and tan and, at a whopping 59 by 94 inches, were way too large for my bedroom. These artful pieces could look fun in a very large, architectural loft somewhere. But I live in a studio. 146 Greene St., nr. Houston St.; 212-204-7100.
Pearl River Mart
Pearl River Mart has inexpensive, Asian housewares, the best gummy candies, and downstairs, amid the paper lanterns and ceramic teapots, rolled-up straw mats. I shadily hid in a corner and did my best to unwrap it as stealthily as possible. Unrolled, the mat was about five feet by seven feet, tan, with thin, multicolored stripes and a green fabric edging. Though I loved the subtle, almost plaid pattern and the beach-house look, I realized that the mat wouldn’t provide any kind of warmth or coziness. I did my best to roll it back up, paid for my half-eaten candies, and headed on out. 477 Broadway, nr. Broome St.; 212-431-4770.
Twinkle by Wenlan
At Sleep, the bras were plentiful, but thick, plush rugs sure were not. The one I found was quite cute, however. A small two-by-two-foot square from Twinkle by Wenlan, the thick, plush “Glamour Girl” was made from hand-tufted wool and felt soft and warm under my toes. The image, a girl’s face outlined on a gray and mauve background, was subtle but pretty. Everything about the rug was adorable except the size—I needed something larger to fill the space next to my bed. 110 N. 6th St., nr. Berry St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-384-3211.
Across the street at The Future Perfect, I found a very fun felt mat underneath a big table. Large and round, the “Birdie Walk Mat” by Donna Wilson was solid brown except for the bird-feet cutouts in trail patterns throughout. The rug, $750, was very entertaining, and the felt was soft—plus, my kitten, Norma Jean, would love chasing those little bird prints around all day. 115 N. 6th St., nr. Berry St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-6278.
Just next door at A&G Merch, I found a very pretty floral rug, $189. “Bruce’s Rug” was 100 percent nubby, thin wool and the ideal size at three by five feet. The pattern had large flowers and light-blue words that read “Bruce’s Seeds for 1915.” The print echoed my apartment décor perfectly—vintage with a modern edge. Some colors in the rug were faded in an antique style, but others were just too bright for my room. Plus, I couldn’t imagine having to stare at those big blue letters all day long. 111 N. 6th St., nr. Berry St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-388-1779.