construction · Design Consult · Home Update · Home-Room Design · interior design · remodel

Carpet oh Carpet: how do I choose you?

No matter what year your home was built, it is most likely you have carpet in your home somewhere. I grew up in a house built in the 70’s and those houses had carpet EVERYWHERE! Shag-a-licious goodness throughout the house. My childhood home had dark brown shag carpet that went all different directions. Talk about a vacuuming nightmare! Plus, it was so long that we would lose things in it all the time. Barrettes, bobby pins, Hello Kitty erasers, you name it. We didn’t have legos but could you imagine cleaning up legos out of your shag carpet? Eeks! Imposible’!!!

Hardwoods are Amazing

I am actually super jealous of those that have older homes that have hardwood throughout. So clean. So consistant. Plus, each room can take on its own aesthetic with whatever area rug you chose to put in the room. As Gloria Estefan says, “Let’s get loud”! Go crazy and get that cheetah rug from Anthropology! Or stay traditional with a classic Persian style rug. Whatever your choice, it is so much easier to change it out, vs. having to change out wall to wall carpet.

For this practical reason, I will always recommend having hardwoods in all the rooms on the main floor of your house. It’s so easy to keep clean and hardwood truly never goes out of style. If you have a ranch style, all one level home, I recommend having hardwoods in the main rooms and hallways. Carpet can start at the door jamb for each bedroom.

But as always, how do we justify the cost? Well…carpet always needs to be replaced. Hardwoods last forever. So, for the higher price point, wouldn’t you rather do it ONCE than have to redo the decision in 10 years, and 10 years after that and … you get the picture. But, if you can only afford carpet, then go for it. There are lots of options that will last a long time! Carpet is a nice, affordable choice and is a lot warmer especially for your cozy bedrooms. Don’t you agree that waking up in the morning sitting up in bed and stepping out onto something warm and plush is much nicer than the cold touch of hardwood on your toesies?

Cost of Area Rugs

Area rugs are also not super cheap, to say the least. I saw this beautiful area run on One Kings Lane recently, $4K for a 9×12 and that’s about mid-range for an area rug. I have a hard time clicking “Buy it NOW” when I know my current Ralph Lauren 9×12 rug was only $500 at HomeGoods a few years ago.

You know what is a great alternative to buying a set size area rug? Having one made from wall to wall carpet options! You can choose any style, color or pattern, have it cut and bound to any size you want! Best of all, it most often will be less expensive than an area rug and you are not stuck to the standard size.

Wall to Wall Carpet

In my own home, we have the luxury of having hardwoods throughout the main floor. However, we are due to recarpet the upstairs (and stairwells) with something new. This won’t happen until next year when we expand our bonus room but I also have clients looking for carpet options, so I did a little research!


I can’t help it. I like the wool. No, I don’t just like the wool options, I LOOOOVE the wool options. I like the clean tight weave. I like the variegated textures offered. I like that it does not look like I am stepping on a teddy bear. Or maybe it’s because I was tormented by growing up in a 70’s house with crazy shag carpet everywhere that I like the look of something that is the total opposite of a shag. Either way, there are so many beautiful wool options.

I thought wool was hard to clean but it is just the opposite. My rep at CFM shared that they were given a demonstration of a white, closed pile wool carpet sitting in red wine for 30 minutes. It was then rinsed with warm water and there was no sign of any discoloration. Plus, as I describe below, the loop vs. cut pile really wears the best and keeps the dirt from absorbing into the product.

Synthetic – Loop Pile

Although wool is beautiful, its one downfall is that it can sometimes feel a little scratchy. A good substitute is a synthetic closed loop. You get the “look” of closed loop wool but with a softer touch. As well, you can choose a plusher, thicker pad that will give the closed loop a squishier feel to the foot. Plus, loop pile carpet is exceptionally durable and can stand up to heavy foot traffic. One downside to loop pile is the fibers can get snagged by pet claws or other sharp objects.

Synthetic – Cut Pile

Cut pile tends to be softer on the foot (like stepping on a teddy bear 😉 ) and nice to lounge on because of its plushness. However, it can be harder to clean and maintain because of the loose fibers allowing dirt, dust, and liquids to spread into the carpet. Plus, over time, the cut pile will bend and get matted down and show wear and tear.

Cut Pile with Varying Colors

A good option for cut pile is the idea of varying color in the cut pile. This example by Anderson gives you a lot of movement, plus the varying color will “camouflage” any stains and as well as any wear and tear on the cut pile.

What About Stairways?

What about those stairways? They get a lot of constant traffic. This is a beautiful place to do something a little different whether it is the same or different from the rest of your house. I like to do a runner that has a neutral color palette but with a pattern. A subtle animal print or something with a linear pattern like this closed loop herringbone adds a bit of texture and interest as well as with-holds a lot of wear and tear.

Do What’s Right For YOU!

This is the thing: both options have their benefits. Closed loop wears well but may get snagged. Cut pile is plusher but shows wear and tear over time and is harder to clean. Whatever your choice, you just have to decide on what is going to work best for your family, how you use the space, and what the overall aesthetic is that you want for your home!

Need a Second Opinion?

As always, I am here to help! Give me a buzz and we can figure out this hard decision together!

xo, Melissa

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