Using a Rug for Carpet and the Primary Closet

· Reduce. Reuse. Save Money. Drive Husband Crazy. ·

Sep, 21, 2022

When we first began talking to the Ramsey family about purchasing the farmhouse, a main point on the con side of the spreadsheet was rehab exhaustion. We had *just* finished a major remodel of a home that we also had lived in while it was being remodeled. To go through that process again – and so soon after we completed it – sounded almost excruciating. Our kids were sick of living in a construction zone all of the time. But, kids are resilient, that farmhouse is….well, THIS FARMHOUSE(!), and, much like having a baby, you forget the painful parts over time. And so we moved.

To me, houses tell you who they are. Putting mid-century modern furniture in an old Victorian just doesn’t work, even if the homeowner loves that style. The house we had *just* finished (ya’ll, I’m serious, we were probably 6 months into a completed renovation) was a 1970’s home – a farmhouse too, but nothing with the character of this farmhouse. It spoke to me differently than this one does. So all of the rugs I had painstakingly researched (and paid good money for) to put in our “forever” place just a couple of years ago now looked silly to me in this 150 year old home.

Okay, okay, I know you just want to see the end result of the closet. First, though, let’s get you situated:

You may remember that the main house was built circa 1872. Almost 100 years later, an addition that included a laundry room, sun porch, and primary suite was built. The window on the right in this photo is showing you where we planned for the new primary closet to go:

Now, let’s take it inside:

When planning the closet, I thought a lot about the floor covering. We have these great, old hardwood floors in the original section of the house and I didn’t want to use a different type of wood that visually separated the 1972 addition with the 1872 home (I think real designers call that a cohesive look, but whatever). Tile was definitely too cold of an option for standing in the closet without shoes on. And I had all of these great rugs from the last house. So, I went to my friend Google and started searching. Soon, I found this blog explaining how she transformed her closet floor by using a ready-made rug. Sold! We did a few things differently (ahem, that really means “not as finished” because that’s how we roll, people) but, in general it went like this:

After cleaning the plywood subfloor underneath pretty well, we laid out the rug pad outside and cut it a little larger than the room size. Once we brought it inside and laid it out on the floor, we razor cut around the edges for a perfect fit. *Tip: never assume your walls are straight. And using new razors are your best friend here.
Using those same measurements, we cut the rug (hahaha, CUT THE RUG. Young people, that’s slang my parents used for dancing) This was scary for me, as I remember splurging on this rug and now I was ruining it if this method doesn’t work. (the rug is on sale now if you’re interested in it.)
Next step was laying out the rug in the closet room, making sure to pull it tightly so it didn’t wrinkle. In my opinion, this was the hardest step (okay, admittedly, Randy did all of the other work and I just supervised except with this step, so maybe I’m biased) and you need two people to pull opposite sides. And I think a thicker rug like this one is hard to make perfectly smooth up against 4 walls.
Randy then repeated the process he used after he laid the rug pad of razor cutting around the border so the rug was snug to the walls.
This is how it looked after we laid it out smoothly.
We tried to make sure the bound edges of the rug were kept at the thresholds (we have two in this closet) so there would be a less chance of it shedding or unraveling, and it would look more finished. This is the threshold between the future primary bathroom and the closet. Hopefully it will be okay once the bathroom tile gets installed, although I can see now that we overlapped that room a little bit.

The closet system is from Easy Closets and, once they were delivered, we installed them right on top of the rug. We still need to add molding around the floors that don’t have a closet cabinet, but we believe that once it’s completed, those boards will hold the rug in place even better and again, keep it from unraveling.

A look at the finished project.
And here’s the entire view of the closet.
I did go from this:
Well HELLO, lover….

To this:

But honestly, Randy and both need to declutter and admit *ahem* that neither one of us are the same size as we were when some of those clothes were purchased.

One last thing in the closet – the ceiling. We covered up the popcorn ceilings by simply nailing natural bead board directly over them.

This room and our utility room (you can sort of see it framed in the above picture) will be the only rooms with recessed lights – I just couldn’t bear to do something that modern throughout the renovation. The house is telling me who she is, after all.


  1. Reply

    Theresa Ramsey

    September 22, 2022

    So glad you guys purchased the Farm. From popcorn to headboard-with each improvement, your dream home is feeling the love!! Great rug in the closet!

    • Reply

      Theresa Ramsey

      September 22, 2022

      Spellcheck!! I meant beadboard!

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Molly, lover of history, old homes and wine (maybe not in that order). Discover our journey of renovation and restoration of an 1870s farmhouse in Southern Appalachia.

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