Carpet, Rug Possibilities
Sometimes considered the fifth wall, floors demand both practical and decorative consideration.
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Sometimes considered the fifth wall, floors demand both practical and decorative consideration. The selection of floor covering will have a big influence on the way a room looks, so choose wisely.
So how do we make the right selection? Considering that eye appeal and function are the two most important "jobs" a floor covering has, the choosing carries a lot of weight.
Regarding eye appeal, the choices are almost infinite. Carpet installed wall-to-wall gives softness, color, texture, sound absorption and hominess. Area rugs offer the same qualities as wall-to-wall, though on a lesser scale. These rugs can add just the right punch of color or pattern to complete the room.
Vinyl and tile offer easy maintenance and a variety of color choices. Ditto for wood flooring. Marble and other stone flooring add elegance but need a bit more maintenance, though not much.
As far as function, how a floor covering will be used should have a big influence on selection. All the above-mentioned coverings are durable simply by nature of what they were made for. But, pattern, color and texture must be considered for each individual use.
In heavily trafficked areas, a top-quality product is essential. Hard flooring such as wood or tile would be the first choice. Heavy-duty carpets that are tightly woven and have a short pile work well also. If carpet is the choice, use a medium-to-dark color, preferably with some pattern in it to keep the floor looking good.
In relatively unused areas, delicate colors and ultra-plush carpets are OK. It's common sense, not rocket science.
To make a small room look big, avoid the use of pattern on the floor. Don't forget that the grout around tile makes a pattern too. A small tile with a bright or contrasting grout will create a checkerboard pattern that can shrink a room quicker than hot water on cotton.
If defining a space is what you're trying to achieve, area rugs help do the trick. To unify, one great expanse of one type of floor covering achieves the goal.
Did you ever consider having the floor be the focal point? It can happen. Exquisite Oriental rugs or creatively designed rugs can accomplish this with flair.
Whether the floors in your house are bold or subdued, they make a fashion statement, like it or not, so choose wisely.
(Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of Mystery of Color.)
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