The decision has been made. You want to purchase new carpet and the time is now! Your mind is already shifting into fast forward with such issues as: Light or dark colors? Soft and velvety or tight and firm? Smooth or textured? Wall to wall or bordered? There's so much to consider.
'HOW WOULD A DESIGNER DESIGN MY SPACE?'
If a designer were to help you design your home, they'd begin with you. So you begin with you! Put yourself through an initial interview - ask what a designer would ask.
The Top Five Things You Should Know ...
1. Determine whether you are doing one room or several.
2. Know which colors are right for you.
3. Decide whether you want casual or formal carpeting and which type of carpet you prefer.
4. Avoid cheap carpet; It's easy to spot.
5. Buy high-quality padding. It will extend the life of your carpet.
Start with the size of your family and the age of your children (if any). Are there pets? Is there the possibility for grandchildren or elderly parents moving in? Are there family members living outside your home who should be consulted?
Are you doing one room, several rooms, or an entire apartment or house? Now take a hard look at how your family lives. In which rooms do you spend most of your time? Is your living style relaxed or formal? Do you like everything in its place, or do you consider a casual room more comfortable? Do you entertain? Are the groups small or large? How often do the children bring friends home? These are practical matters you must consider.
THE MAGIC OF COLOR
You may have heard that dark colors make a room look smaller. It's true. So you should stay away from dark colors - right? Wrong! If your objective is to create a warm, cozy and sheltered look, a smaller "feel" is exactly what you want and dark, rich colors, like hunter green or burgundy can work great. If a dark color is what you love, and it helps you capture the mood you want, go for it!
Pastels and color tints tend to enlarge a space. These colors create a restful and soothing mood. They're ideal when you want a formal, orderly and romantic tone.
Strong contrasts of colors are lively, exciting and energetic and can be a bold statement for your family's style of living.
Color can also change the feel of a room. In rooms facing north and in cool climates, you can "warm up" the room with a warm color scheme featuring reds, yellows, oranges, peaches and apricots. In south-facing rooms and in warm climates, a room can be made to feel more comfortable by using colors such as blues, purples, greens and teals.
WHICH COLOR IS FOR YOU?
If you're redecorating, often an existing fabric or a cherished piece of furniture can be a starting point and can stimulate your creativity. Working around an existing piece is an excellent way to start when making your color choice. Important: It is rarely desirable to match a color exactly. More visual interest is created by blending colors.
Carpet color is an emotional issue. But with these color selection tips, you can enter a carpet retailer with more confidence!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CARPET "TYPE" FOR YOU
To shop with confidence, you need to know what kinds of carpet are available and what each is designed to do. All carpets begin with a "loop pile." To make a "cut pile" the tips of the loops are sheared off, which produces the smooth finish of velvets and other styles. Cut pile carpets are by far the most common type bought by consumers because they have the most luxurious look and feel.
Specifics of Different Carpet Styles:
* Multilevel Loops - Consists of loops of varying heights creating a wide range of styles. Some look like carved patterns while others offer a more random effect.
* Level Loop - The visibility of each loop and the way light reflects from the surface gives this carpet a charming appeal that blends well with any decor.
* Cut and Loop or "Traceries" - Combines cut & loop piles to offer an infinite variety of effects. In solid colors, their subtle shading creates a unique style of multi-toned beauty.
* Velvets - Are the ultimate in elegance. All the pile fibers blend together in these extra-dense, cut pile carpets to give you an ultra-smooth sweep of rich, luxurious color.
* Saxonies or "Plushes" - A cut pile, versatile beauty. Not as formal as velvets, but easier to live with. Also called Saxony plush.
* Textured Saxonies - The most casual and rugged of cut pile carpets. Tightly twisted yarns curl back on themselves, creating a distinctive nubby look or pebbled texture.
* Friezes - Classified as a cut pile berber, probably the most durable carpet made. Soft, luxurious feel, seams together excellently, developed to replace wool.
OTHER CARPET BUYING CONSIDERATIONS
Avoid bargains. Cheap carpet is easy to spot; it's thin, lightweight and flimsily made. Buy good quality padding; it absorbs up to 90 percent of the impact of foot traffic. A higher investment in carpet padding will extend the life of your carpet. It's worth the extra, initial cost.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOUR NEW CARPET ARRIVES
If painting, do this first and save some paint for touch up. Find out in advance who is moving the furniture. If it's the retailer, it's only fair that they charge a fee for the labor. Know who is removing the old carpet. Some retailers charge for this service; others don't. Check the clearance at the bottom of doors and make sure the doors swing freely over the new carpet. If not, arrange to have the door bottoms trimmed.
WHERE SHOULD I GO TO PURCHASE FLOOR COVERING?
Always buy from a reputable dealer. If in doubt, contact the Better Business Bureau. Independent dealers are a good bet. They usually have a wide selection of custom goods at their disposal, plus better-grade carpet pads and qualified installers. Many also have decorators who will come into your home to help coordinate the carpet with the rest of the decor. Independent dealers also have the product knowledge to help you match the right carpet to your particular needs.
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