Area carpets: Let’s lay it all out there

Area carpets – let’s lay it all out there! Here are some tips to help make your home comfortable and attractive.

Start with a neutral

Whether you prefer wood flooring, wall-to-wall broadloom or tile throughout your rooms, it will provide a great neutral background for an area rug. Add one on top of almost any surface (with care) to provide another layer of colour, texture, comfort and style. It can tie a room together or separate out different zones in one space.

Right size

Usually, I’m a fair and reasonable person who likes to work with people and their design ideas, but there is one thing that makes me put my foot down – area carpets that are too small. This is one design feature where bigger is always better. A puny area carpet makes a whole room look small, especially if it’s not connected to any furnishings. Don’t settle for a four-by-six-ft. rug when you need eight-by-10 ft. or bigger. All the furniture should be on top of the carpet, with room to spare. Local building centres offer area carpets, but in limited sizes and styles. Consider visiting a local carpet retailer or specialty store where you can see and feel the choices, ask questions and select the right size.

Calm your space down

If your room already has lots of pattern and you want to add a calming element underfoot, consider broadloom. It’s generally a long run of one pattern, texture and colour created on a broad loom in wide widths and used for wall-to-wall applications. But because of its versatility, such as choice of colours, textures and patterns, it can be custom-cut to fit your space and the edges bound to prevent fraying. The binding can also be custom selected to go with your personal decor.

Add an artistic touch

When you want to make a statement with your area carpet, the choices are virtually endless. Today, you can go into many carpet stores and work with a textile specialist to have a one-of-a-kind piece made especially for your space.

As design technology advances, so do your choices, especially with area carpets. Along with a vast array of beautiful floor coverings, companies like Weavers Art (weaversart.com) carry lines that are like fine art on your floor.

Quality matters

With area carpets, you will always get what you pay for. Man-made synthetic carpets such as polyester, nylon and olefin (also called polypropylene) are less expensive but may only last up to five years. Although the colours will last, the fibres may not feel as soft to the touch, will show wear quickly and may not hold up well to foot traffic.

Natural fibres such as hand-knotted wool and silk from the east set the standard for carpets throughout the centuries. The search for new, renewable fibres continues, as companies such as Elte (elte.com) recently introduced organic, natural fibres such as banana and bamboo silk into their carpet collections.

Wool can seem like expensive choice, but it is practical because it’s a renewable, natural resource, it’s environmentally friendly, absorbs sound, is water repellent and retains its appearance for years. Companies such as Speers Road Broadloom (speersroadbroadloom.com) have developed a hardwearing wool carpet that is offered at a terrific value.

Whether it’s a long-term investment, an artistic statement or a warm and cosy solution underfoot, choose wisely.

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