After a few days of trying out the cowhide, I decided to return it. It was like saying goodbye to a good friend, and I was sad to part with it. I returned it for a couple of reasons. First, and most important my husband didn't like it. I was hoping that it would grow on him, but it didn't. He hated it. He grumbled every time he walked in the room.
Secondly, it was impossible to keep flat, after walking on it, it would bunch up and look messy. Being in a high traffic room, that just wasn't going to work out. Last of all, it made the space look too visually busy. You can't really tell from the picture, but it always looked cluttered in the living room when it was in there. It's a strange phenomenon, but in a room with really heavy, dark pieces like our couch and mantel, it looks cluttered and messy very easily.
I can imagine this rug looking fabulous in a room with white floors, white couches and so forth. Someday, when my kids are grown, I will have a white couch and an amazing cowhide. But for now, I am keeping the floor bare. Yes, it's like a man without a shirt, but sometimes, it's just more functional for the room to not have a rug. We already have carpet, so it's not like we need it for comfort.
So, it's back to the drawing board with this room. I need to pull it together with a really great coffee table. Every time I go to the thrift store I look for one, but they are hard to come by around here. For now, here is the room as is: