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Modern carpet ideas and what to know before you buy

From bold colours to sustainable sisal, here’s our guide to selecting the right carpet for your space

curved sofa and curvy carpet in neutral room
ReForm A New Wave

Overwhelmed by choice? Our guide to the latest carpet trends to help keep you stylishly cosy this season. Patterns, textures and materials – we demystify every choice with our helpful expert tips.

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1 Tread Softly
pink carpet in dining room
Studio Pepe

Best suited to low-traffic areas of the home, such as the dining room and bedroom, a thick velvety carpet offers a plush, luxurious look – and feels super-soft underfoot, too. Try the hand-woven ‘Heavy Velvet Mist’ wool carpet, £121 per sq m, Jacaranda Carpets, jacarandacarpets.com

2 Floor Art
busy patterned carpet

In recent years, painterly rugs have become increasingly popular on floors and even walls, but these abstract designs work just as well on fully fitted carpet. Choose a pattern in tonal shades, or for maximum impact, a spectrum of contrasting hues like this stunning ‘Blend’ carpet in ‘Magma’. £147 per sq m, Besana Carpet Lab, besanamoquette.com

3 Material Matters
neutral carpet with daybed
Alternative Flooring

Choosing an individual carpet for each room of your home allows you to mix up materials according to footfall. For instance, hard-wearing natural fibre sisal is ideal for high-traffic areas like the living room and hallway. ‘Sisal Bouclé Brockton’ carpet, £44.40 per sq m, Alternative Flooring, alternativeflooring.com

4 On the Up
photography by douglas friedmanmaster bedroom of casa perfect in trousdale estates, a neighborhood of beverly hills, ca and features the caliche floor lamp by chris wolston  the hourglass stool by reinaldo sanguino both original works exclusive to the future perfect the house itself has a very japanese, mid century feel, and was carpeted for this opening in ‘dried maple leaf’ orangey brown, to really double down on that late 60searly 70s vibesource httpswwwyellowtracecomauthe future perfect casa perfect la matthew day jackson collectible design
douglas friedmanmaster

For a busy area such as the stairs, opt for a low-pile design. Made with smaller fibres and tightly woven loops, they have a smooth, flat surface, so any stains are easy to remove. For similar, try ‘Sensation’ carpet in ‘Siberian Mink’, from £25 per sq m, Cormar Carpet Company, cormarcarpets.co.uk

5 Skirting Around

By painting the woodwork to match your carpet – and opting for taller skirting – it makes the floor space seamlessly flow upwards and appear larger than it is. Darker-hued designs anchor the room and make the walls above look lighter and more airy. For similar, try the ‘Bell Twist’ carpet in ‘Damson’, £39.99 per sq m, Brintons, brintons.co.uk

6 Small Print
small print carpet in hallway
Alternative Flooring

A hallway is one of the most used and functional spaces in a home and an obvious way to make it instantly more interesting is with a subtly patterned carpet. Neat, uniform designs work best, such as this geometric ‘Quirky B Geo’ carpet in ‘Duck Egg’. £103.35 per sq m, Alternative Flooring, alternativeflooring.com

7 Optical Illusion
curved sofa and curved carpet in neutrally decorated room
ReForm A New Wave

Make a patterned carpet the main feature of a room by keeping walls plain and neutral. Set the scale according to the size of a space: the larger the room, the larger the pattern. This wavy line design by Ege adds an extra dimension by creating an optical illusion on the floor. ‘Ocean’ carpet in ‘Beige’ from the ‘A New Wave’ collection by Séché Studio, £30 per sq m, egecarpets.com

8 Mix and Match
helenio barbetta living inside
Helenio Barbetta/ Living Inside

Combining plain and patterned carpets is a simple trick for defining zones within a single open-plan space. This colourful version by Cristina Celestino for Besana Carpet Lab is produced on a roll, so it can be supplied in any size, any shape, with or without a border. ‘Nebula’ carpet, approx £220 per sq m, besanamoquette.com

9 BUYING A CARPET: What to consider
stripe carpet
Roger Oates. (rogeroates.com)

Woven or tufted? The former is made from wool on a traditional loom; the latter uses different types of yarn and includes twist carpets, where the yarn is tightly wound to create a textured surface.

How to make the right match? The denser the fibre, the more durable it is – this is important for busy areas. A hard-wearing carpet should quickly spring back into shape when you walk on it.

Why you shouldn’t scrimp on underlay… Not only does it help retain the heat, it also acts as an extra layer of cushioning to protect your floor and will extend the lifespan of your carpet.

What to consider when choosing colours… Ask to take swatches home and place them in different parts of the room to see how they look as the light changes over the course of a day.

This article appeared in ELLE Decoration September 2020

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