When choosing carpet for your living room, the standard questions apply, such as: What will you use this room for most? How much foot traffic will the carpet endure?
If you’re carpeting a living room, not a family room or den, it’s likely that you will reserve this room for more formal occasions, and the foot traffic probably won’t be as heavy as in some other rooms of your home.
If that is the case, you can focus your attention primarily on choosing the carpet you want for this room based on color, style and quality. Sound like fun? It can be if you know what to look for when you begin shopping.
Consider Color, Light and Space When Choosing your Living Room Carpet
Choosing color and style for your new carpet is a personal choice, and there are many options for you to consider. A lot depends on where you’re beginning with your room. It’s true that color, light and space all have a specific influence on your room’s ambiance.
Coordinating Your Décor and Your Carpet
Assessing your personal circumstances will make the choice easier. Are you starting from scratch with your carpet and furnishings, or do you have furnishings and draperies you want to coordinate with your new carpet?
If you are building a new home, you might decide to shop for your furniture before choosing your carpet. Then, you can have a better idea of which carpet will complement your décor best. If you’re remodeling your room, you may have furnishings and draperies you will continue to use with the new carpet.
Either way, an important thing to remember is that you can highlight your carpet, or you can highlight your décor and allow the carpet to become an elegant backdrop.
The Effects of Lighting
Light has an enormous effect on the way your carpet looks in your home. So even if you choose a great color at the store, it may look vastly different in your home.
Always remember that the lighting in the carpet showroom is very different from the lighting in your home. The best solution is to obtain samples to take home with you, if at all possible.
Having samples at home will give you the opportunity to look at the carpet during different times of the day and in different types of light – natural sunlight, under lamps, and under overhead lighting.
Choosing Your Color
How big is your living room? What kind of atmosphere do you want to create? These are important questions to ask yourself as you choose the color of your carpet.
- Lighter colors tend to make rooms feel larger
- Darker colors make rooms appear smaller
- Light colors reflect light
- Dark colors absorb light
- Warm colors – reds, yellows, orange tones – tend to stimulate
- Cool colors – greens and blues – convey a more calm feeling
This doesn’t mean you are limited in any way with your color choice; it’s just a consideration. You may prefer a cozy feeling for your room, or you may prefer that your room appears large and open.
It’s all a matter of choice, and it’s up to you to choose exactly what you want. You get to decide on the ambiance you want to create and then go for it!
Quality and Your Budget
Most everyone would love to buy the highest-quality carpet for their homes, but if you are on a budget, there are some things you should consider.
When you’re choosing carpet for your living room, the traffic should be lighter than in your den or family room, so you don’t have to purchase the most expensive carpet you can find. You can balance your budget and choose the higher grades for the areas in your home that will take the heaviest use.
Pay Attention to Carpet Performance Ratings
All residential carpet is rated to help you choose the carpet that best suits your needs. These ratings result from thorough carpet performance testing. So check the labels as you shop.
Here’s how it works:
The scale goes from 1 to 5, with 5 being the carpet that maintains its new appearance best after rigorous industry-standard testing. Naturally, a carpet with this kind of rating would be a perfect choice for high-traffic areas in your home.
- A rating of 4.0 or above is outstanding. This carpet is also great for high-traffic areas.
- Ratings of 2.5 to 4.0 are expected to offer normal durability and can be used practically anywhere in your home. With proper maintenance and care, this carpet should perform well for you.
- Carpets with ratings of 2.5 and below should only be considered for use in rooms of your home with very light to moderate traffic to get the best results.
You should use the ratings guide not as a steadfast guarantee, but as a general guide for helping you choose which carpet might be best suitable for your specific rooms. Every family has its own particular lifestyle and practices, but these ratings can help you with your initial purchase.
Other carpet characteristics to consider when choosing the carpet that will work best for you:
- Density – performance and comfort improve with higher density
- Face weight – the more ounces in each square yard, the better
- Twist – higher twist counts aid in resistance to matting and crushing
If you remember these important points, you can feel more confident in making your choice. The main thing to remember is that it’s your living room, and you can decorate in the color and style you will enjoy most. Choose the highest quality carpet you can afford, put proper maintenance in place, and you should enjoy your new carpet for years to come.
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