Plush, velvety carpet is a wonderful thing to wake up to in the morning. It’s also a practical choice, adding warmth and acoustic protection to a room that’s all about relaxation. We’ve asked three experts to discuss what you need to know if you’re in the market for new soft flooring for your bedroom.
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The bedroom is a sanctuary for many of us — somewhere we can escape to and recharge for the day ahead. Few things say relaxation better than the feel of soft, luxurious carpet underfoot, says Harriet Isaac-Cole, interior architect at design firm The Designory. “Carpet adds a layer of softness and warmth that hard floor sometimes can’t give you,” she says.
And unlike busy parts of the home such as the hallway and family room, where practicality is likely to steer your design choices, low-traffic bedrooms give you license to indulge in sophisticated materials such as plush and oversized loop-pile carpet.
“Most of our customers will select a more luxurious carpet option for their bedroom compared with the carpet they choose for other areas of the home,” says Jason Verstak, group manager for marketing at Choices Flooring.
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Darker hues are dominating in bedroom carpet color choices these days, Isaac-Cole says. “This year it’s all about creating a cozy, luxurious atmosphere in the master bedroom, a retreat away from the rest of the house. As a result, we’re seeing darker colors in plush finishes coming through.”
Maria Roussos, interior decorator at design firm Schemes and Spaces, agrees. “For some time now, sandy and taupe textures have dominated,” she says. “But now there are so many more options in the gray palette in both loop and plush piles, which are gorgeous for the bedroom.”
Consider the Room Design When Selecting Color
“When choosing a carpet, color is the most important element to get right,” Isaac-Cole says. “It needs to link to the rest of the palette as well as complement the other textural elements in the room. Think about your wall color and finish, window treatments, furniture style, even bedding.” Consider what the focal point of the room is and look for a carpet that complements it rather than overpowers it.
You should also consider the feel you want to create. “Ask yourself, ‘How soft or layered do I want the texture and pile of the carpet to be? How do I want it to feel underfoot when I step out of bed?’ ” Isaac-Cole says.
“For versatility, the best carpet shades for most schemes are charcoal, taupe and sand,” Roussos says. And if you have children and pets dashing in and out of your bedroom on a regular basis? “Midtones are the safest choice, as they will disguise dust and stains.”
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You should also think about which pile type suits your decor and lifestyle, Verstak says. “Ask yourself what decorating style you want to achieve. Plush and twist styles will give you a more luxe look, for example. If you have a very textured room scheme, you may want to consider a loop or textured carpet.”
A loop-pile carpet can also be used to add a casual vibe to your bedroom, Roussos says. “There are some gorgeous loop piles on the market, in a variety of textures and shades that will give you a relaxed Hamptons or coastal look.”
Tip: “If you’ll be allowing pets into your bedroom, then a twist style is best as their claws won’t get caught in the fibers,” Verstak says.
Pile Height and Density
When choosing a carpet, pay attention to pile height and density as well, Roussos says. “If hotel luxe is the mood you’re aiming for, a long, plush pile carpet is the ultimate choice. Shorter, tighter piles are harder- wearing and will show less wear and indentation.”
There are several materials to choose from, including wool, nylon, wool-nylon blends and more luxurious options such as alpaca and wool-silk blends. “For softness, luxury and graceful aging, pure wool carpet is hard to beat,” Verstak says. “In addition to its natural, sustainable and insulating properties, wool carpet is also easy to maintain.”
Isaac-Cole is also a fan of wool: “It’s definitely an enduring favorite, low in allergens and with perfect softness.”
That’s not to say you should rule out nylon, particularly the latest high-quality solution-dyed nylons. “Thanks to technological innovations, synthetic carpets are becoming softer and more luxurious all the time,” Verstak says. “Generally speaking, they are more cost-efficient, hard-wearing and stain-resistant than pure wool carpets.”
For the best of both worlds, consider a wool blend, which will give you the durability of a synthetic and the natural appeal of wool, Verstak says. “They are perfect for those wanting a wool carpet that also keeps up with the practicality of busy lifestyles,” he says.
Be Aware of Shading
If you have your heart set on a plush carpet, be aware that shading is a feature of this style. “Plush carpets are created by cutting the loops and then shearing the tips of the fibers,” Verstak says. “Pile reversal shading is when there appears to be a color difference in the carpet when you walk or vacuum over it. For that reason, plush carpet is generally best used in the master bedroom or other quiet spaces in the home.”
Color also plays a part in how noticeable this effect is, Roussos says. “Carpet shading is usually more obvious in darker shades than lighter ones.”
Do Your Homework
With so many options available, choosing the right carpet style can be a challenge. But there are a few things you can do to make the process easier.
“It’s a good idea to take along images to the showroom of the look you want to create, as well as materials and colors that you’ve selected for the room,” Verstak says. “When you’ve narrowed down your options, take home samples so you can see what they look like at different times of the day and under different light conditions.”
And of course, don’t forget to put your favorite styles to the most important test of all: the softness test. For this, all you need to do is slip off your shoes and let your toes sink in.