Preserving an 1800s Ranch House with Custom Sisal Rugs

Preserving an 1800s Ranch House with Custom Sisal Rugs

House restorations must maintain historical accuracy, creating a challenge when trying to find floor coverings that are the right material, size, and shape, but can also take a beating from visitors. Find out how our custom sisal rugs can help.


Pamela Young Lee, the Executive Director of the Rancho Los Alamitos historic ranch and gardens, had a difficult and ambitious project ahead of her. Managing the restoration of an 1800s adobe-core ranch house is no easy feat. In fact, the restoration has already been underway for 30 years with over 150 recommendations that had to be executed. 

One of those recommendations involved stabilizing the ranch house for seismic activity. But because stabilizing the home meant drilling into the main floor walls, Pam took this as an opportunity to do additional work on the house. 

However, unlike most restoration projects, Rancho Los Alamitos has to maintain its historical accuracy. This created a bit of a challenge for Pam when trying to find historically accurate floor coverings that were the right size and shape, but could also take a beating from visitors. Luckily, this led Pam right to our door. 

Below we detail Pam’s restoration project, as well as how our custom sisal rugs helped save the day.

Completing the Master Plan

The master plan for Rancho Los Alamitos involved a whopping 167 recommendations for the entire 7.5-acre historic site . However, easily one of the most laborious recommendations was the seismic stabilization. 

While it’s one of the last steps of the master plan (there’s only one recommendation left to be completed), it also required a lot of additional work. 

“We had to take the roof off to have enough height to drill into the adobe walls on the ground floor from above,” Pam explains. “Considering the roof was already removed, we decided to re-roof, upgrade our electrical, fire detection, dehumidification, paint the exterior, and countless other improvements.” 

However, all this additional work caused the ground floor to also take a beating as artifacts, art work, and original furnishings were constantly moved throughout the home to create enough working room. 

One of the areas that took a beating was the front porch, causing Pam to add restoring the front porch to her ever-growing list of work.

Finding an Exact Match

The front porch at Rancho Los Alamitos is a large space that was central to the original family’s daily lives. 

“Because the front porch faces east, it was a cool place for the family to hang out in the evenings. They also did a lot of entertaining on the front lawn, making the porch a natural gathering place while they were hosting guests,” Pam describes. 

This also meant that they front porch had a lot of original furniture and rugs to decorate the space, provide some comfort, and protect the hardwood. With the job of recreating the front porch space to its original likeness, this meant that Pam had to find new, accurate rugs that would serve the same function. 

“The home was appraised in 1931, and we used those findings to determine the correct furnishings we needed to purchase. In reviewing the appraisal, we found that they had two oval rugs and four rectangular rugs on the porch,” she says. 

However, even though she knew what to look for, Pam had a hard time finding those six rugs. 

“We looked for a long time for someone who made oval sisal rugs. We constantly found rectangular rugs in standard sizes and had trouble finding someone who would make a truly custom rug for us,” she claims. 

After a considerable amount of time was spent researching, Pam came across our site and discovered that we could create a sisal rug to her exact specifications. 

“It was so wonderful that we could get the sizes and shapes we wanted and didn’t have to settle for a proximation,” Pam adds. “It was also important that these rugs are durable and help us preserve the original hardwood floors. The outdoor sisal rugs were exactly what we were looking for.” 

Plus, because Pam took advantage of our free rug samples, she was able to make sure she found the perfect rug before they were purchased, not after.

Struggling to Find Your Ideal Rug?

As Pam’s story goes to show, searching for the perfect rug can take up a lot of valuable time. Make sure that you’re finding the best rugs for your home by using our Try Before You Buy program. We’ll send you six free rug samples based on your unique style profile to ensure that any rug you purchase matches your design style, room function, and more.

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