Many homeowners today are making a conscious decision to put less carpet in their homes. They are choosing hardwoods, tiles or laminates instead. However, it’s hard to believe that carpet is falling out of favor if you follow home interior trends. Carpet is still the number one choice among consumers, covering the floor in nearly 70% of homes. Carpet does something to people that these other options do not. It makes you feel good. It makes you feel comfortable. It makes you feel warm and cozy. It makes you feel more at home than all other surfaces.
How many times have you looked at a tile or hardwood floor and said to yourself, “I can’t wait to lay on that”. Never. Sure, you want your home to look fabulous, but you live there too and you want your family to be comfortable. This poses a dilemma for most homeowners. They want their home to look fabulous so all their friends know they have an incredible taste but that means they can’t just put carpet flooring throughout the home.
Modern Carpet Decor
There has to be a compromise between aesthetics and comfort (and the size of your home will impact those options).
Let’s say you live in a large home and you want to make it a show stopper. Most people will take the entryway, hall, kitchen, living and dining rooms and put something like laminate, tile or an exotic hardwood in… but then they’ll overlay a gorgeous rug on top. This is the most beautiful and rich combination you can find today.
For families that pursue this happy medium, they often have rugs that lead from one room (say the kitchen) into the next (the living room) – this is the kind of austere elegance you want. In the meantime, carpet can cover most of the other areas in your house, including bedrooms, bonus rooms and hallways in between.
So let’s say you live in a smaller home and you feel limited, like you cannot possibly drape long, rugs from one room into another. What do you do in a 1200sq ft. home? You are more limited on your options, but it can still look gorgeous. What most homeowners do is add carpet flooring everywhere except the entryway, bathrooms, kitchen and family rooms. In those areas, rather than hardwood, they’ll apply laminate, tile or sheet vinyl. This way, you can have a bit more regality when guests visit, but your bedrooms are a pure comfort.
Regardless of the size of your house, most homeowners today combine carpet with another form of flooring. Just look at a home decorating magazine today. Flip through the pages and you’ll find hard surface flooring covered with pretty rugs in just about every room. The movement away from a wall to wall carpet is very real, but carpet hasn’t disappeared from the marketplace at all. Instead of completely covered homes, we’re seeing a hybrid of tile and carpet; rug and hardwood.
The way we live and decorate is evolving. People are segmenting their homes for comfort and style instead of one or the other. People are essentially taking the parts of the home that could involve guests and dress them up: dining room, living room, foyer, etc. In the areas where they really live however, they almost always place wall to wall carpet flooring (i.e. bedrooms, family rooms, and playrooms).
The Flooring Trends
Wall to wall carpet flooring has been around since the 50s. Prior to that, everything was hardwood or tile flooring. Carpet revolutionized home interiors, making people excited to walk on warm and soft flooring throughout their homes. No more wet floors from humidity, or icy walks to the restroom in the night – it was a dream come true. Back then however, it was very expensive and only the rich could afford it; in other words, the opposite of today.
As with most trends though, these move in cycles with some tweaks. In the fashion world, you can see “flared jeans” coming back in style – or what the 70s referred to as bell bottoms. But that’s the point, there are improvements made to the old as it cycles into the new. So how is carpet changing?
The carpet mills have changed several things over the last decade to make carpet as appealing (if not more so) than it once was. For a while, a criticism of carpet was that it wasn’t soft enough. So the mills have come up with new fibers that are five times softer than the old fibers. They’ve spent a fortune developing new styles and patterns as well. Of course, that’s another criticism carpet received for a lengthy period of time; there weren’t enough color options for carpet. As a result, the carpet mills have introduced hundreds of lines in a huge spectrum of colors with everything from subtle to heavy patterns. In addition, they’ve developed different textured carpets, so you can have a short & squishy crop or a full-blown shag.
Wall to wall carpet is by and large the most comfortable flooring a home can have. It insulates, warming the home and keeps things calm, lessening the sound from footsteps. Carpet flooring costs less hardwood and is usually more affordable than hardwood/rug combinations. It allows parents to comfortably play with their children on the floor with no fear of hard falls, scrapped knees, or other injuries. The new fiber softness and styles that carpets come in can make a room look and feel captivating. Plus, the new generation of carpets wears and clean so good that mills are putting unparalleled warranties on them. Finally, carpet is significantly less maintenance than its “fancier” counterpart as well. Dust on tile and hardwood can be seen a mile away and takes constant cleaning.