Capture the mood with carpet

Carpet brings warmth to a room and plays a key role in setting the mood, especially now that there are endless options in colour and texture.

“Carpet has good insulating properties making it energy efficient. It also reduces surface noise from foot traffic, and it creates an unlimited number of possibilities for decorating,” says Kelly Butler, design manager at Brintons.

According to carpet and rug specialists Crucial Trading, the key trends for 2011 include vibrant jewel tones, nudes and neutrals and bold stripes.

We’re all aware of feature walls – so why not create a feature floor?

“Flooring is the perfect way to incorporate pattern and colour into a scheme and stripes are an easy way to do it,” says Inga Morris of Crucial Trading. “Our wool Audrey carpet with its wide stripes or the finer stripes of wool Mississippi and Tiffany, will guarantee your flooring will become the focal point of your room.”

So, do you tread carefully and choose a plain carpet to create a sense of cohesion between rooms, or make a statement with a motif? Fear not, carpets are not the headache-inducing swirly designs of old! “The revival of all-over pattern in all aspects of interiors such as wallpaper has led to a welcome increase in the use of it on the floor again in homes,” says Kelly. “There seems to be an increased interest not only in pattern but in stripes and colour, particularly to make a statement in hallways and stairs. We’re starting to consider the floor first when decorating a room as we want to express our own style and personality on our homes.”

And Kelly adds, “Contrary to popular belief, pattern can actually make a room. The eye perceives more content and the pattern can still provide flexibility when co-ordinating with furniture and soft furnishings. Plain carpets offer more versatility when initially redecorating and then perhaps later when changing the style of the room in the future. Light tones make a room seem larger while dark shades can make a room cosy and more intimate.”

High-traffic areas like halls, stairs and landings will require a heavier grade. “It’s better to choose a twist wool nylon blend carpet as it’s more hard wearing and resistant to stains,” advises Kelly. “Velvet carpets are soft, smooth and luxurious under foot and suit more formal rooms like the living room. Loop pile carpet is great for adding texture to any room in the home.” Plant fibre floor coverings such as sisal, seagrass, jute and coir, are tough underfoot so good for halls and conservatories. “They’re great for conservatories but shouldn’t be used in the kitchen and bathroom,” says Inga.

Inga adds, “If you have under floor heating in your conservatory, remember to check this is compatible with your flooring choice, and bear in mind intense daylight will lighten natural floor coverings as it is a natural part of the ageing process.”