Simply Dashing

We've been renovating/restoring our 1850s farmhouse in Orono for six years now, and the end — of nasty floors, anyway — is in sight. Since 2003, we have lived with hardwood floors whose finish wore off sometime in the 1980s. This makes them pretty much impossible to clean. Add two dogs, a cat and two adults who tend to track all sorts of gunk into the house, and you have a recipe for a dirty disaster.

This weekend, our floors will finally be refinished and we cannot wait. Our friends will be able to take off their shoes without fear of black soles. Now, when we drop something — say, a piece of chicken or a spatter of pasta sauce — we won't want to leave it there and hope that the dogs will come clean it up. The only downside is, they're going to look so good, we aren't going to want the dogs playing with tennis balls or scratching things up with their toenails.

Our solution? Dash & Albert throw rugs. Chances are, you've seen them in home/design magazines. They come in great colors and patterns and they're ridiculously affordable, especially if you opt for cotton or polypropylene, which is great for indoor/outdoor or high-traffic situations — unless you're up close and personal with them, you'd never be able to tell they're synthetic. The rugs are designed with pets and children in mind, so they can stand up to wear.

We first discovered them in an issue of Country Home (back in her newspaper days, The Maven got tons of free magazine subscriptions) and were shocked when we went to the Web site and saw the prices — a stair runner is comparable to something you'd find at The Home Depot, only much, much more attractive.

We checked them out at The Cherished Home in Belfast and found that they're even better in person. The company is based in Massachusetts, not Maine, but you can find Dash & Albert at The Cherished Home, along with Margo Moore in Camden.

After this weekend, we'll be cutting a rug. And taking our shoes off at the door, for once.

To see the full line, visit (above image from The Cherished Home)


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