Carpet is coming back in from the cold and looking good again. Here are a few great reasons to consider it.
Many of us grew up with wall-to-wall carpet, but in recent years the trend for hard flooring has ruled. However, there are lots of reasons to still consider laying carpet – including the fact it’s cosier during winter. If you live in a flat, your lease may also mean you’re not allowed to put down often noisier wooden flooring.
Even if you don’t want carpet in every room, you may prefer it in the bedrooms, or on the stairs. Fortunately, the latest carpet styles are modern and chic, and a million miles from the headache-inducing patterns of the 1970s and 1980s. Here are 10 beautifully carpeted rooms to inspire you.
To warm your toes in the bedroom
No-one likes chilly toes in the morning, so carpets make total sense in the bedroom – explaining why many people choose wooden floors downstairs in their homes, but carpets upstairs.
Don’t want your carpet to show every bit of fluff? A mid-grey can be practical and neutral, and will add a boutique hotel feel – though you’ll want to ensure you have sufficient natural light, so the room doesn’t seem dark.
When choosing a carpet, research the pile you want and the use your room will have. Something plush and extra-soft may be a good choice in a bedroom, where you’ll be padding around in bare feet. However, a shorter pile, with a heavier, denser weave, will wear better in high-traffic areas, such as the hall.
Wool or wool-blend carpets tend to look and feel more expensive, while some man-made fibres may resist stains better. Woven carpets are the more expensive traditional-style carpets; tufted designs are the most common and come in a wide variety of piles, including loop, twisted and velvet.
To cosy up your living room
We’re used to seeing wooden floors in living rooms, but carpet can still have the wow factor. Think about the finish you’d like – and don’t automatically assume plain cut or looped pile are the only options.
This embossed finish adds interest and pattern without being too busy, while the pale grey is unobtrusive and calming. Carpets can also be treated to guard against stains for those inevitable coffee and red wine spills.
To enjoy the natural look
Natural coverings, such as coir, sisal or hemp (used here), can be a good-looking, neutral alternative to conventional carpet if you can’t have or don’t want a wooden floor. They will inevitably be scratchier underfoot, but will still feel warmer than hard flooring.
Look into which finishes work best for your space – for example, seagrass can be slippery, so may not be a good option for stairs.
To soften your stairs
As in the bedroom, carpet on the stairs has remained relatively popular. It’s quieter than wood, especially if you’re clomping up and down multiple times a day or have a large family.
Try using it to add a welcome jolt of soft colour, as this rich raspberry carpet does so brilliantly in this London home.
To make a statement
Striped carpets are common on stairs, especially in the form of that modern staple, the stripy runner. However, a stripy carpet can also make a real statement in living rooms, especially if your home style is bold and eclectic.
There are some lovely colour combinations around, including this red, white and blue number.
To add pattern (while still blending in)
You might think that a checked carpet would be hard to live with, but actually this classic design goes surprisingly well with other patterns and details, especially if you stick to neutral walls. It also adds something of a heritage feel, bringing to mind Scottish tartans. It looks lovely in this child’s room, adding to the bright, happy feel.
To hide your sins
Carpet in a smaller living room can add a cosy note – and you won’t have draughts coming up from all the cracks between the floorboards. Carpet also quickly covers a multitude of sins – for example, if your boards are less than lovely and you don’t want the effort of replacing, sanding or repairing them.
This soft green carpet adds a restful feel, and is more interesting than cream or beige.
To lighten up
Pure white carpet may be a byword for impractical, but the owners of this Scandi-chic US penthouse have taken a risk on it, and it looks amazing.
Hard flooring would have changed the impact of this luxurious space meant for lounging, escaping and enjoying the view.
To enjoy florals on your floor
Floral carpet might make you think of your local pub, but actually it can add an interesting, vintage vibe, as seen here. Try two-tone rather than multi-tone, unless you’re super-confident your choice will whisper ‘style’ rather than shout ‘last orders at the bar please!’.
To introduce bold colour
Many modern carpets tend to be grey, oatmeal or beige – pale, neutral colours that are easy to live with. However, if you’re prepared to take a gamble, a rich colour can look amazing, as this gothic space demonstrates. The purple complements the black walls, and means colour isn’t needed anywhere else.
Another bonus is that carpet will improve both thermal and sound insulation, especially if used with a quality underlay.
To sink into
For many, shag pile carpet brings to mind the 1970s – and not necessarily in a good way. However, a longer pile can look surprisingly stylish and add a warm, comfortable feel that’s perfect for a den or snug, as well as for a cosy bedroom, as here.
It makes you want to hunker down with a good book and a glass of something warming in that rocking chair – perfect for these long winter evenings. Slippers off…