Time to get floored by carpets

Last Updated 14 October 2010, 11:08 IST

Unfortunately, things aren’t so simple. Not if you have even a minimal taste for aesthetic decor.  Wall-to-wall carpeting decisions are manifold. First, hit upon the right carpet type.

Identify the foot-traffic numbers in various rooms. Pick correspondingly suitable types or let uniformity reign supreme. Next choose the fibre-type (wool, acrylic, polyester, nylon, olefin) depending on one or many of these criteria including softness, durability, price, eco-friendliness or natural/synthetic fibres. Higher density, twist and pile-height spell greater carpet-quality. On offer are cut-pile, berber, frieze and patterned carpets.

Now comes the most difficult decision: colour. Select the carpet-colour that will gel with the hues of wall paint and furniture. Varying the colour from room to room?

A monochrome scheme obscures the seams. Else, these will appear conspicuous at the point of colour change. So, most people prefer a neutral tone fitting into their house’s overall colour scheme.  

At home, place the store samples or swatches in various rooms. Observe how their appearance alters as lighting changes or the day progresses. If you’re at the store, remember, the colour visible under fluorescent lights is different from its appearance in natural sunlight. Check samples under various lighting types (yellow bulb, tube-lights, CFLs, sunlight) before finally choosing one.  

Yet, what finally arrives home could vary slightly in colour from the selected sample owing to difference in dye lots. Plus, laid out in a sprawling stretch, the shade appears lighter than in the small sample.

Different colour groups are comfortable in different rooms. Bright colours (red, orange) evoke excitement. So, they’re ideal for entertainment rooms, living rooms and kitchens. Cool colours (blue, pale-green) infuse calmness into the ambience of bedrooms and bathrooms.

Colour schemes confound? Then, neutral colours (off-white, beige, grey) befriending most other colours are a safe option.

Choice of colours

Room conditions often dictate colour choice. Ease of maintenance makes dark grey the preferred candidate for well-trodden floors or houses teeming with kids and pets. Employ cool or neutral colours to make small rooms appear larger and low ceilings higher.

Warm and bright carpet colours shatter the monotony of a large room and make it attractive. But, throw contrasting colours together with care. The result could be too garish. Dark carpets ally with rooms receiving lots of sunlight. Rooms robbed of adequate light can be turned cheerful with lighter-hued carpeting.

The room’s decorative pieces stand out when you match carpet-colour with wall-colour. But, few would relish the colour-homogeneity here. So, experiment with a spectrum of shades and colour-combinations.

Undertaking painting and carpeting tasks simultaneously? Wall-colour offers more options because tinting is possible in innumerable shades! So, gather colour-chip strips or a complete colour-fan and coordinate wall-colour with your chosen carpet-colour. But, beware! Painted walls appear a hint darker than in the sample colour-chip you’ve fallen for.

If you don’t want to be too adventurous, then, opt for a neutral colour-scheme. But, carpet-colour that’s a couple of shades darker than wall-colour conceals stains better.

Splashing dark colours onto the walls? Then, pick a lighter-hued carpet to offset the shrinking effect. Contrarily, if the carpet is dark-hued, use lighter shades on the wall.

If you find the multi-coloured carpet fascinating, then, select furniture in a neutral colour or in one of the carpet’s colours. But, if your ornate or unique furniture is to be the room decor’s star, choose neutral colours for the wall and floor. Itching to innovate? Then, go for dashing checkerboard/striped patterns or floral designs.

(Published 14 October 2010, 11:08 IST)

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