What's the best carpet color? Designers on how to choose the right shade, plus the colors trending right now
Find out where to start when picking the best carpet colors for your home, plus ideas to work for every scheme
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With so many options to choose from, picking the best carpet colors can seem like an insurmountable task. There are, of course, failsafe neutrals that will work with every scheme - but what if you’re looking to create a little drama?
There’s a growing trend towards color confidence in interiors, as we’re all becoming a little braver with our use of brighter hues, and Claire Kimble, Design Manager at Crucial Trading observes this shift in carpet design too; ‘We foresee color being used in a thoughtful manner - still timeless and with a strong emphasis on longevity, but also allowing for personality and character.’
So whether you’re hoping to edge slowly out of your comfort zone, or you’re ready to deep dive into bolder shades to match daring paint color ideas, we’ve got ideas from the expert for every room scheme.
What are the best carpet colors?
'You have to start with something, and I always think the carpet is the easiest thing,' says British antique dealer and interior designer, Robert Kime. And we’re inclined to agree.
Introducing a carpet can work wonders for your living room. As well as their function of absorbing both noise and draughts, they play several roles in reinvigorate your living room interiors.
Unifying a color scheme in your living room is one such purpose, as is enlisting the help of a heavily patterned carpet to act like a piece of art on your floor. We’ve pieced together our favorite carpet colors that use the color wheel as a clever interiors tool, alongside the latest color carpet trends.
Beginning with perhaps the most popular choice - and for good reason - natural colored carpets are often the go-to for decorators and designers. Not only do easygoing neutral shades provide the perfect backdrop to louder moments of color and pattern, they can make for a cool color combination. By going one step further by also choosing a natural material has many benefits.
‘Our schemes always mix a palette of beautiful natural materials,’ says Tom Cox, Co-Founder of HÁM Interiors (opens in new tab). ‘Chosen not just for their inherent beauty, but also because they are often the more sustainable option too.’
There are a few natural carpet options to choose from. ‘When choosing carpet, sisal is ideal for high traffic areas like hallways or stairs, while the softness of wool in a bedroom is hard to beat’ says Tom. ‘Wool has so many great things going for it; it’s natural, easily cleaned, sustainable and a great insulator
If you want to gently ease away from natural tones into something a bit zestier, yellow could be the choice for you. Still incredibly versatile and workable in many different color schemes, it adds a sunny, mood-boosting feel to a room.
‘Yellow is the color of optimism and happiness, and it also amplifies light which can make rooms seem brighter,’ says Lorna Haigh, Creative Director at Alternative Flooring (opens in new tab). ‘There are lots of shades to choose from - deeper mustard shades suit bedrooms, whereas you might want to go for a softer yellow in living rooms.’ Plus, there are lots of colors that go with yellow.
It’s also worth considering a patterned carpet too, and smart stripes are brilliant for adding an extra layer of visual interest into your scheme. ‘Color loves stripes, and this carpet plays with color and scale to create a balanced look that can be used to define different zones within an interior,’ says Lorna.
Another alternative to natural tones, grey carpet is brilliant for giving a luxe feeling to a room. The key is to amp up the texture and subtle interest, as designer Christian Bense, Founder of Christian Bense (opens in new tab) interior design studio, explains; ‘Rather than a flat color, we opted for a mottled grey in this bedroom project which provides depth and life to the room,’ he says.
‘When it comes to grey carpets, it’s always good to go for something that has some depth to it, as well as a visible pattern created within the loop or pile.’
If you’re stuck between choosing a carpet or a rug for your room, think about its size. ‘In this project, we opted for the fitted carpet because the dimensions of the room didn’t allow for a sufficient sized rug,’ says Christian. ‘Bedroom rugs have the tendency to make rooms feel smaller, as they can act as a visual internal border within the room, drawing your attention to its small parameter.’
Going bold underfoot might feel a little daunting, but it can actually be an incredibly successful way to create a room scheme with real personality and character. The key is to plan the carpet choice into the design of the room from the very start – in this cozy snug, the teal carpet was the starting point and informed the teal walls and upholstery for a 'drenched', monochromatic color scheme
‘Colorful carpets are brilliant for creating a statement,’ says Jodie Hatton, Designer Manager at Brintons (opens in new tab). ‘We believe that a design scheme should start from the floor up, with the carpet being the basis for all other design choices in a room.’
We’re always looking for more ways to bring the great outdoors into our home, and bringing elements of green into your decorating scheme is a surefire way to feel more connected to nature. When introduced across carpet in soft, sage tones, the whole room becomes set against a serene backdrop of greenery for a wall-to-wall hit of wellness.
Green is also a surprisingly versatile color, allowing you to build different color schemes around it. There are plenty of colors that go with green well. ‘Green sits in the middle of the color wheel, meaning it can easily complement both warm and cool tones,’ explains Joanna Ramsden, creative director at Brockway (opens in new tab). Its adaptable nature allows you to swap in a range of furniture and accessories - just as you might with a neutral carpet.
Another way to bring the benefits of nature into your home is through earthy colors, such as terracotta. Incredibly grounding and comforting, a terracotta carpet is a great choice for rooms that you want to feel relaxed and calming.
‘We find beauty in pigmented earthy shades that play with light and give depth, as well as restorative interiors with mindful design,’ says Claire Kimble, design manager at Crucial Trading (opens in new tab). ‘Look to nature’s own color bank for statement shades that feel thoughtful and timeless yet contemporary.’
For creating a room that’s welcoming and full of warmth, decorating with a pale pink is tough to beat. Its inherent red tones provide instant heat, yet it’s soft enough to be very livable and gentle on the eye. Soft pink walls have become an increasingly sought-after choice for living room walls in particular, and opting for a carpet in the same shade makes for a room you’ll love to relax in.
‘People are now increasingly bold when it comes to choosing flooring for bedrooms and living rooms, with neutral carpets no longer necessarily the automatic choice,’ says Punam Chada, carpets & rugs buyer at Carpetright (opens in new tab). ‘Instead, we’re seeing more on-trend patterns and colors being used for a far more aspirational room scheme.’
Punam offers practical advice for ensuring your carpet looks and feels its best. ‘Opting for a thicker underlay will boost the longevity and resilience of your flooring, as well as making it feel softer, more luxurious and plusher underfoot.’
Want to take your adventure into colorful carpet to the next level? Exploring multi-colored options will add a whole new dimension to your flooring game, whether for a colorful living room, or a hallway. ‘When our clients adore color, we love to use it in clever and unexpected ways,’ says Katie Glaister, founder of K&H Design (opens in new tab). ‘A colorful stair runner idea gives us the chance to pull palettes from different rooms into a central, unifying element that, literally, runs through the house and joins all the different themes and color schemes together.’
K&H Design had such a positive response to this carpet runner that they decided to launch a retail extension of their interior design studio called No Straight Lines, where the runner is available to buy in eleven different colorways.
What is the best colored carpet to go for?
Neutrals are often favored when it comes to carpet, and they will certainly make for a comforting, timeless scheme. However, if you’re looking to create a look that’s a little different and unexpected, yellows and greens offer similar versatility while also providing a hit of color.
For a bigger design statement, deep tones of teal and terracotta will make a stylish impact – just be sure to factor your carpet choice into your design from the start so that the other elements in the room will work harmoniously and not fight against it.
Interiors stylist and journalist Amy Neason was the Deputy Style and Interiors editor at House Beautiful for years. She is now a freelance props and set stylist, creating work for a range of national publications and brands such as Imogen Heath. She has previously worked at Established & Sons, and her skills include styling still life and interiors shots for editorial features and sourcing unique products to create inspirational imagery.
She is particularly respected for interpreting seasonal trends into feature ideas and style stories.
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