Working With Patterned Carpet: A Designer's Perspective
Flooring is the cornerstone of any design scheme. Once you decide on the carpeting or rug, then the wall color, window treatment, fabrics and furnishings can fall into place. Flooring is also an integral ingredient in setting the style of a room: Choose an animal print, like Bagira from the Shalimar collection, for an exotic, sophisticated look; or La Jolla from the California collection for a contemporary and comfortable look. What’s on the floor—whether it’s a solid color or an elaborate pattern—will create the mood for an entire space.
Pattern is an important consideration when choosing a carpet and there are many reasons to give it special attention. Practically speaking, it can hide a multitude of spills, spots and wear. Even a subtle pattern, created by varying textures for example, will help to conceal blemishes. Pattern adds detail to a room, whether it’s geometric, floral or a simple check. It also brings character and complexity to the overall design.
Some patterns complement certain furniture styles. Geometric patterns, for example, are often used in the Art Deco style; look at Clearwater in the Florida collection or Deco in the Dimensions collection. A formal, traditional room will have carpeting with a classic, decorative pattern like Charles II from the Royal Sovereign collection—such timeless designs are often similar to those found in antique Oriental and European rugs. In a room with modern furniture, carpeting will suit the look when it has clean lines and simplicity as found in Izmit from the Hereke collection.
Designing with pattern requires some thought. It would be difficult to make a space work when the carpet, walls and fabric in a room all have different wild designs competing with each other. It’s much better when patterns work with each other. If there’s a primary fabric in a room that has a big bold print, then consider a simple pattern, such as a check or diamond, for the carpeting. Scale must be considered as well—if a carpet has a large scale pattern, then other patterns in the room should probably be smaller. Along the same vein, if the carpeting has a floral design, it’s a good idea to steer away from competing floral patterns in the room and consider small prints, stripes and solids for furniture and window treatments.
And what are the colors and patterns of carpeting (and fabric, too) that are favorites these days? You’ll notice new styles with beautiful shades of grey, silver and lavender as well as black, gold and rich smoky blues. Geometric patterns are popular, as are florals that are soft, pretty and lightweight in scale. Now, it’s more vital than ever to make green choices, and environmentally-friendly options are increasingly available. Stanton’s Naturally Green Wool™ carpeting products are a smart eco-friendly choice that come in a variety of styles to suit many different looks.
Stylish floor coverings are not just limited to the indoors. Stanton offers a variety of outdoor patterned carpets that are the perfect way to enhance a backyard patio or outdoor kitchen area. In addition to being durable and weather resistant, these designs are made with environmentally safe dyes—making them the perfect highlight for a “green” space.
Q & A: Carpet Dilemmas Decoded: Answers From A Designer
How do I choose a color for carpeting that has to complement a variety of spaces?
When installing the same wall-to-wall carpeting in more than one space, opt for a carpet with a neutral color that will blend easily with a myriad of design schemes. Save bold colors and patterns for individual rooms. Neutrals (beige, ivory, light grey, tan) allow you to take each room in its own design direction. Pale-colored carpeting, such as light yellow, blue or green, also works well in a variety of spaces, though these colors will have a bit more influence on your design choices.
Look at Stanton’s solid colors, solid with an accent and carpets with a subtle pattern. Berber, sisal and patterns like the Aspen or Plaza are all carpets to consider for installation in a few different spaces.
What should I consider when choosing a texture?
Carpeting has pile that is either “loop” (where the strands are in loops) or “cut” (where the strands are cut). Loop pile is sturdier than cut pile, meaning that footprints and shading won’t show up as much. This is why loop pile is often used in high traffic situations such as hallways and staircases. Cut pile has a softer, more velvety, texture and is best in less trafficked areas like bedrooms and libraries. Some carpets are all one color, but have both loop and cut pile that creates a subtle pattern using texture.
Whether loop or cut, pile can be low, about a quarter-of-an-inch thick, or high, over half-an-inch thick. In a heavily trafficked area, such as a front hall, it makes sense to have a low pile carpet. Use the shaggier, high pile carpets in areas that get less wear and tear.
Stanton specializes in a special group of woven carpets called Axminsters. A traditional method of manufacturing cut-pile carpet, the yarn and backing are woven at the same time to produce these carpets with highly patterned designs of many colors. Axminsters are recognized for quality and lasting durability, featuring an extremely tough row-woven construction that blends the natural benefits of wool with the resiliency of nylon, making it a great option for everything from residential to heavy-duty commercial installation.
Wiltons are another type of woven carpet from Stanton. They can be manufactured in a cut pile, loop pile and a combination of cut-and-loop pile. A carved appearance can also be achieved. Normally Wilton carpets come in one to three colors, but can include up to five colors.
How do different carpet fibers compare?
These days, carpets are made with natural fibers such as wool, sisal and jute or with synthetic fibers such as nylon and polypropylene. Many stylish, durable carpets are made with a combination of natural and synthetic fibers.
WOOL is the traditional fiber used to make rugs, and it’s no big mystery why. Besides being luxurious to the touch, wool can be dyed to beautiful rich colors, is fire-resistant, stain resistant, non-allergenic and holds up well over time. Also, wool is biodegradable and a renewable resource, making it a green choice as well as an elegant one. Stanton’s Naturally Green Wool™ carpets are eco-friendly and available in a variety of styles. Look also at wool-and-synthetic blends such as Axminsters.
NYLON is one of the most popular fibers. It’s durable, dyes well and is resistant to stains if treated with a stain guard, which is often the case. Other attributes are its resistance to mildew and its flame retardancy, meaning it doesn’t catch fire easily and will produce little smoke if it does. The look and feel of nylon is similar to wool. Stanton Axminsters contain 80 percent wool and 20 percent nylon for a strong and luxurious blend.
POLYPROPYLENE, sometimes referred to as OLEFIN, doesn’t absorb moisture, making it highly stain- resistant as well as ideal for outdoor carpeting. Indoors or out, it’s strong, fade-resistant and a good value. Royaltron™ and Woolessence™ carpets are made with polypropylene. Today’s newest innovation is UV-stabilized polypropylene, which makes these carpets less likely to suffer damages due to excessive sun, wet or damp weather conditions.
Check out Bella and the Anywhere collection to see this innovation.
SISAL and JUTE are natural fibers woven to produce rugs and carpeting that is flat, with no pile. These are best used in areas that are dry and not heavily trafficked—consider it for the living room, not the bathroom or basement. Since carpeting made with sisal or jute is flat, it’s possible to put a rug over it to add an accent or help to define an area in a room.
What are some things to keep in mind when designing with area rugs?
Custom area rugs offer many choices allowing for maximum personal expression. Choose the size, border, color and pattern of the rug to best suit your design goals. There are many options for materials to bind custom rugs, from textured leather to linen.
Area rugs are a key design element in many beautiful spaces. One great thing about custom area rugs is that they can be made exactly the size you need—whether it’s a rug that fills an entire room, stopping 12 inches from the walls, for example, or a rug that defines a dining or conversation area within a larger space.
There’s no standard rule for how big an area rug should be, though there are some considerations to keep in mind. The ideal size of the rug will be driven by the furniture arrangement in the room. In the case where a rug goes under a dining table and chairs, the rug should extend beyond the edge of the table at least 32 to 36 inches. This will ensure that all four legs of the dining chairs stay on the rug when people are sitting in the chairs.
Sometimes it’s unavoidable that a piece of furniture will have two legs on an area rug and two legs off. Keep in mind in this case that if the rug has a thick pile, you might need to put something under two of the legs to make the piece of furniture level. Also, remember that all area rugs should have a good pad underneath them to prevent people from slipping and also to prevent excessive wear on the rug.
When designing an outdoor area, how can I use outdoor area rugs?
Creating an outdoor living area is like adding onto your house, bringing the best of indoors and outdoors together in one space. In recent years, the popularity of outdoor seating areas has exploded, and there are more and more options for designing them including a selection of carpeting that can be used outdoors.
An outdoor rug will help to define the space and will give the area an even surface. Stanton’s indoor/outdoor rugs are made with polypropylene, which resists moisture and is fade-resistant. Under lounge chairs by a pool, a rug will look elegant and also keep the ground from getting too hot for bare feet. Under a seating area, with perhaps a fireplace and barbeque, it will make the space feel cozy and inviting. Whether outdoor carpeting covers an entire porch or just the conversation area, it will make the space feel even more like an extension of the house.
Can outdoor rugs be used inside, and vice-versa?
The doors have opened for beautiful carpets outside: Previously, the designs were subtle, with the focus more on utility and durability. Now the category has evolved with all sorts of incredible new looks in patterned indoor/outdoor carpets. As outdoor kitchens become more popular, a stylish rug with an eye-catching pattern is just the thing to spice it up! Check out Suzano and the Anywhere collection to see patterns that really can go anywhere.
Outdoor carpets don’t necessarily need to be restricted to outside. Many homeowners use them inside as well since they are easy to clean, durable and ideal for heavily-trafficked areas. They are an inexpensive way to spruce up the design of any space.
Stanton’s indoor/outdoor products are also made with environmentally safe solution-dyed yarn extrusions. This 100% UV Stabilized Royaltron™ polypropylene yarn resists moisture, staining bacteria, mildew and wear, making these specially treated carpets perfect for indoor/outdoor use.
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