Category Archives: Carpets

Carpet Selection #4: What To Use Where

The right carpet will enhance the look of your rooms

by fitting in beautifully, in a practical way.

A striped carpet/rug used horizontally appears to widen a room
A striped carpet/rug used vertically appears to lengthen a room

The use of loud large patterns and loud strange colors

is questionable in the hands of a novice.

That goes for all but a few very talented designers too.

Just sayin’…

With that warning in mind, a stripe can work trompe l’oeil  magic.  A stripe or a horizontal pattern across the width of a room will make the room seem wider.  The room will seem longer if the same pattern is laid lengthwise.

As categories, tailored flat weaves, patterned neutrals, textured solids are all descriptions that could be considered marching orders to complete the look and comfort of a well appointed home in most style descriptions.  They all lend understated, modern elegance.

A patterned design in neutral colors (tone on tone for example) is a well-mannered graphic statement that won’t shout, while a carpet with a texture in a solid neutral color does the same, but also provides an interesting pattern because of the texture, that won’t compete with any other patterns in the room.

Tailored flat weaves (described as loop or Berber above) work best in living rooms, dining rooms, library/offices or any high traffic lanes like hallways and stairs. Sisals and sea grass fall into this category but aren’t known for durability in heavy use areas.

Practically speaking, as you might assume, a light colored rug is a cleaning challenge.  It also shows any seaming more readily too.  On the other hand, solid and dark colors highlight dirt, lint and dust bunnies by color contrast.  Forewarned is forearmed.  The fail-safe way to go is with a medium color that has flecks of different color.   “Tweedy” weaves and textured solids are great for camouflage as well.

A friendly reminder:  Don’t wait until the day the installers come to check your carpet selection with the rest of your furnishings and lighting.  Always bring samples home to check out in your environment.  You can’t be too careful.

Happy hunting for well-dressed floors!

Related Posts

Carpet Selection #1: Blast From The Past

Carpet Selection #2: Meet The Fibers

Carpet Selection #3: What Am I Looking At?

Rug Selection #1: Practical Design

Small Space Solutions #2: Multi-Task Mantra

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This is one of several articles I wrote for publication on It’s presented here as a foundation for further topic discussion, updates and commentaries…

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