When I moved to Hawaii, I had to get used to living with certain customs. Growing up in a Filipino household, I had grown accustomed to many of these before, although they were usually reserved for other Filipino friends and relatives: kissing on the cheek, bringing food to friends’ houses and taking food home from a party.

I also learned to embrace the customs I hadn’t adopted before: bringing omiyage for friends and coworkers when coming back from a trip, going all-out for a first birthday and removing shoes when entering a home. I’ll admit, this last one was difficult to get used to. However, several years later, I have come to fully adopt removing my shoes, so much so that it bothers me when I’m told to leave them on.


Besides keeping dirt from entering the home, being barefoot is also just more comfortable. It allows you to feel the floor in a home and appreciate when textures change underfoot, which can help you appreciate a good area rug. When choosing one for your home, there are many things to consider. Start with these basics:

Size it up. Consider where the rug is going, and make sure to measure before you buy. For dining rooms, the rug should be big enough so that chairs remain on the rug even when they’re pulled out. For bedrooms, the rug should be big enough that nightstands can sit completely on top of the rug on both sides.

Find a fitting fabric. How you use your rugs will help determine which fabric will work best. Synthetic and cotton rugs wear quickly but are also relatively inexpensive, which makes them perfect for swapping out periodically. Wool rugs last longer and are easy to clean, but they also cost a bit more.

Use protection. Carpet pads are relatively inexpensive and can help extend the life of your rug by reducing friction, which is the main cause of wear and tear. The pad should be just a couple of inches smaller than your rug all around.

Maintain. Cleaning routines will vary depending on fabric choices. Deep clean at least once every few years or more often, if needed. Keep wear even throughout the rug by rotating it at least once a year.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.