On a Roll: Different Carpet Options for Your Home
Wednesday Oct 13th, 2021
Hardwood and laminate floors have taken a prime position in our homes over the last decade, but nothing compares to the soft, plush feeling of walking across luscious carpet. If you’re considering updating your flooring, it might be time to give carpet a second chance, because it could be the missing piece that ties your room together. Let’s dig deeper into the pile—pun intended!—to learn more about carpets, choosing the right options for your rooms, plus some key advice from a feng shui expert.
While some carpet requires more care and maintenance than hardwood or laminate, the wider range of choices and applications, coupled with affordability, make it a prime option for many rooms. Carpets provide a softer, non-slip surface for walking or playing, plus it can help reduce sound reverberation for a more peaceful space.
Function, form, and flow
Mark Ainley, a 20-year international feng shui consultant from Sense of Space, reveals even though the connection between carpeting and feng shui in interior design isn’t commonly considered, they’re in fact tied closely together.
Because feng shui is the fusion of function and aesthetic, providing energetic enrichment and balance in a space is important for all aspects of a room, including the floor!
Low pile carpet serves better in a highly trafficked room, hall, or stairway, as the energetic intent aligns with feng shui principles—that is, the smoother the surface, the faster the energy flow in a space. Low traffic means a slower, more relaxing energy, and therefore a thicker, softer (high) pile carpet is most appropriate in a living room or bedroom.
Colour is also an important consideration when selecting your carpet. Ainley believes colour can have a strong impact on your mood, with reds giving the sense of uplifting vibrance and blues can be calming—though too much can leave you feeling a little “blue”—while neutral colours are used to increase depth and balance.
“Aim to complement and balance, rather than matching everything too much,” says Ainley. “If items in your space are colourful, then a neutral carpet will help to highlight those pieces.”
You can also use colour and pattern to calm down or subdue a room if there are a lot of energetic pieces used already. Ainley also points out, much like in nature, it’s important to maintain a sense of orientation in your space—keep the floor darker than the walls and ceiling, and your ceiling the brightest.
Speaking of pile
The term “pile” refers to the height of a carpet. Three categories—low, medium, and high—are used when referring to carpet pile and are associated with the durability, plushness (or density), and the level of traffic expected on it.
Low pile tends to be more dense with a tighter weave, making this category ideal for high-traffic areas of your home, requiring less maintenance. In contrast, high pile carpets have longer, looser weaves for a softer, plush texture—though they’re prone to capturing more dirt within the fibers and require deeper cleans regularly.
Let’s talk fiber
Fiber is the material used to weave the carpet, and can include wool, polyester, olefin, and nylon. Nylon and polyester offer the best stain resistance, with nylon working best in high-traffic rooms, while wool provides natural beauty and soil resistance—not stain resistance though, so keep that in mind if you have little ones and/or pets.
From a feng shui perspective, natural fibres are more welcoming, plus due to lower VOCs (volatile organic compounds), they can also enhance the overall quality and health of your space.
A little cut and twist
Carpet texture and density are determined by the type of cut as well as the amount of twist in its fibers. The three types of cuts are:
- Cut pile: This type incorporates yarns that have been cut at the ends, and its durability comes from the amount of twist in the fiber. This is the broadest of the carpet textures, and covers a wide range of carpet styles like frieze, shag, cable, saxony, plush, and textured plush.
- Loop: A loop carpet means that when the carpet is woven, the yarn loops are left intact. There are two styles for this type of texture; level loop and multi-level loop. A popular style of level loop is berber carpet, and multi-level loop piles are notable for the pattern effects and texture created by the different loop lengths.
- Cut-loop: This texture incorporates both looped and cut yarns, and comes in a large variety of patterns and geometric designs, often giving multi-colour effects that help to conceal dirt.
Twist refers to the number of twists in each carpet fiber. The higher the number of twists, the more dense and durable the carpet will be.
Open concept or multi-function rooms
When considering multi-function (think kids, guest, or family rooms) or open concept rooms (combined living and dining), Ainley highlights area rugs are great for delineating space without using vertical barriers. You can maintain your sense of openness while clearly defining different intentions for specific areas of the room.
Selecting and purchasing carpet for your home is certainly an important decision requiring careful forethought and planning. But, if you approach this task with the intent of matching the desired function, energy flow, and aesthetic of your rooms, you’re sure to be pleased with the results, while enjoying the process along the way (and beyond!).