10 Beautiful Cleaning Tools

I can promise you that upon starting this blog, I never thought I'd be posting on well designed cleaning tools and supplies, but a lot has changed since they, and here we are 8 years later and that's the very topic I'm about to talk to you about.  

Ever since I saw this beautiful photo on the feed of Amanda Watters, @mamawatters, I have been aspiring to have a cleaning arsenal as pretty as this.  With closets often in limited supply, it would be so wonderful to have items beautiful enough to keep in plain sight, instead of hiding my baby blue broom and dust pan in the garage.  But, it would be so convenient to keep one of the pretty choices below next to the fireplace to sweep up wood debris on the spot.   I wish I had thought of this during my apartment living.

Cleaning Corner

here are 10 items I would happily stick in the corner when I'm finished, instead of taking it back down to the basement. 

Beautiful Cleaning Tools

And a few more!

Rugs and Rug Pads

Today I'm going to talk to you about two topics, one everyone loves and the other, I've never heard anyone mention in conversation: rugs and rug pads.  

First, the more exciting subject, rugs.  I waffled about sharing my favorite rug sources, since I am almost always shopping for vintage, there is not an unlimited supply in the looks and price points I am shopping.  First up, my favorite rug in the house, a vintage medallion rug from ECarpetGallery.  I actually bought this rug through their eBay shop, where they have A-MAZING "weekly deals."  They have an even greater selection on their website.  This shop sells both new and vintage, so if you are in the market for vintage be careful, that is actually what you are searching.  

vintage medallion rug

The newest addition, our bedroom rug, is also from E Carpet Gallery. 

Vintage Rug

Next up, a rug I've moved with me a few times, a pink and chocolate flat weave rug from PB Teen.  While this particular rug is no longer available, the teen and kids shops of your favorite stores are great places to search for rugs, as they are often sharper price points.  

flat weave rug

The runner in our front window is an eBay find, a seller called tribalkilim. There is so much out there on eBay, like too much, so I have a go-to strategy to search first I search "vintage rug" or the specific type of rug I'm looking for, for example "vintage kilim" or "vintage Oushak," then I narrow by color.  As you can see, I gravitate toward warm oranges, pinks and peaches.  If I'm searching for a specific size, like a runner or "large," I filter that next, and finally, by price, since I am on a budget and rugs can just go up and up.  I have almost always been able to find a smaller rugs with a $100 budget. 

kilim runner

More eBay finds, searching "vintage kilim," then filtering by price (under $100), and looking and looking until I found the colors and size I was looking for.  Both were from the seller turkishkilim.  Plus, here is a sneak peek at my bathroom update! 

Vintage kilim rug

My kitchen rug was a lucky find on Craigslist.  It's a beautiful, traditional, rust-colored Persian rug.  I have a list of things I search when I'm just casually browsing Craigslist, and "vintage rug" is one of them. 

vintage traditional rug

Finally my kilim dining room rug from Etsy.  I bought this rug for a great price from a seller called Kilim Warehouse, though I couldn't find them on Etsy anymore, but it looks like they do have a website.  I use the same basic strategy for searching Etsy as I do for ebay. 

vintage kilim rug

On to the less exciting topic, but as I have recently learning, as essential to the rug searching process, the rug pad.  

With one exception, all of the rugs in our house are flat, and several are very very thin, that's just the nature of these kilim styles.  You NEED a rug pad.  I tried to resist this fact for so long, when you're already spending hundreds on a rug, who wants to throw the "add-on" into their cart?  Not me!!  So I've had cheapo rug pads, one that stuck to and ruined the floor of one of my apartments.  Then I tried another type that did nothing, except bunch up and make lumps in the rug.  Then my life changed, Rug Pads USA reached out and sent me a few rug pads to try with the collection of rugs I talked about above.  Of course, I happily obliged to try them out and my life is forever changed!  

With a crazy dog, racing through the house, a crawling baby and normal everyday traffic my rugs were always moving and shifting and I was constantly pulling, tugging, fixing, taping, etc.  This was all with a a rug pad, so I thought the product as a whole was completely worthless.  Not the case.  I tried Rug Pad USA's Premium Lock (pictured below) under several rugs in the house, and all my problems were solved!  I am not joking!  This thing is that life-changing!  It adds padding to my super-thin, flat vintage rugs, and not even the dog can move it when chasing after the ball (nor does it get caught in the vacuum), yet its so easy to lift up and sweep around the edges.  Plus the pad comes in several thicknesses, so if the rug is in front of the door, you won't have trouble opening.  Nothing worse than setting up your rug and realizing it doesn't work with the door.  

I also tried the Eco-Solid under the kilim runner pictured above.  It also holds really well and because there is a lot of dirt near the entrance of the house, I have found that it also moves easily to sweep and clean.

Beyond the great quality, Rug Pad USA's pads are made in the US and are eco-friendly!  Amazingly, they are made from natural rubber and will "grip" the floor.  The natural rubber has very low VOC and comes from real rubber trees.  It's pretty rare, but so refreshing to find great products, from a great company at a great price!  Thank you Rug Pad USA.  Now I just need to upgrade my new rugs with this little luxury.

Rug Pad USA
vintage kilim rug

Etsy Shops for Little Dudes

When I first found out we were having a boy,  I was a little bummed, mostly because there weren't going to be bows, sequins and glitter in my foreseeable future.  Of course I got over it quickly and learned to love shopping for a little dude.  There are so many many adorable options beyond onsies with trucks, balls, etc.  I love shopping for Oliver at the mainstream stores, Old Navy, Gap and H&M are probably my favorites, and if I'm going for something really cute and special, Zara.  But as I try to look beyond these mall staples, I am not find nearly as many options for little boys as I am for little girls.  After much searching Etsy, I have rounded up five of my favorite shops for cool little dudes.  Check them out and let me know if you have other favorites I should see.  

Etsy Shops for baby boys

1. Play Date Apparel is your shop for Baby muscle tees, skinny sweats, harem style rompers, funny onesies, floral kimonos (for the little girlies), slouchy knit beanies and cozy raglans.  Items are handmade and printed for boho babies, city kids & modern moms in sunny Los Angeles, California.

2. Two Lil' Bros cute tees for your Toddlers.  They specialize in fun, creative and cool designs that every parent and child will love.

3. Strawberry Moth is a great shop for illustrated and screen-printed Items including tees, raglans and pennant flags.

4. Wild and Free Company of-the-moment and throw back pop culture references that your kid won't get, but you'll think are hilarious. 

5. TuliBert has unisex baby rompers, boys harem pants, baby knee patch pants, kid tops, kids sweatshirts, kids jackets, shorts for boys, kids beanies, scarves and more!  In tons of cool prints!