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How Carpet Complements Wood Floors

No one has the same flooring surface throughout their entire house — you wouldn’t want a tiled bedroom any more than you’d want a carpeted bathroom. But how do you choose between carpet and hardwood?

On the one hand, carpet provides a soft, cozy feeling, a sense of warmth, and a comfortable surface for your kids and pets to play on. On the other hand, wood floors have an air of elegance and luxury about them. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to choose! Carpet and wood floors serve different purposes, and with a little consideration, they can make a great team.

Think About What the Room Means to You

It’s a given that bathrooms and kitchens will have tile floors or some sort of vinyl, given the likelihood of spills and how often they need to be cleaned. When it comes to the carpet vs. hardwood debate, we’re talking about other areas — hallways, entryways, living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms.

Hard floors amplify sound and feel solid underfoot, which gives people a sense of alertness and energy. For a dining room or a front entryway, that makes sense! Places where people are moving around, talking, or entering and exiting all the time are perfect for the enthusiasm that hard floors emphasize.

For bedrooms, the opposite is true. Your bedroom isn’t a place where lots of people gather or lots of loud noises are welcome, so you want your flooring to reflect that. A soft, luxurious carpet will enhance the sense of peace and quiet that you want on your mind as you wind down for the day.

Carpet makes sense in bedrooms for practical purposes, too. Carpets and the padding underneath act as insulation from both heat and sound — the people downstairs won’t hear you walking around in the bedroom, and you won’t hear them staying up late to watch a movie.

The flooring you use in your living room is a subject of some debate. For some people, the living room is a lively, high-energy space where you host parties, have a few cocktails, play board games, and talk into the late hours of the night. If that sounds like you, then a hard floor will reflect that energy best, making a seamless transition from kitchen to dining room to living room.

On the other hand, the living room is a place to relax in front of the TV, curl up with a good book, watch the fire crackling in the fireplace, listen to the birds outside the window, or build a block tower on the floor with your kids. If your living room is more of a low-energy zone of relaxation for you, then carpet is the way to go. A soft, comfortable carpet will encourage guests to take their shoes off, lower their voices, and calm things down.

Picking Carpets and Hard Floors That Go Together

There will inevitably be places in your home where carpets and hard floor meet — in hallways, at the top of stairs, and in the doorway between rooms. You want that transition to be meaningful, prompting a change in your mental state as you cross the threshold, but you also want your carpets and hard floors to look good together.

Think about the palette of your flooring and your house in general. You probably wouldn’t want to put a deep blue carpet next to a rich brown walnut flooring, but it would look fantastic next to a subtle gray ash or white oak. If you have a dark slate in the kitchen, complement it with a dark hardwood in the dining room and a salt-and-pepper flecked Berber in the living room in a similar color palette.

You’ll also want to be consistent when it comes to the tone and mood you’re setting with your flooring. If your entryway and kitchen have light-colored tiles and bright pine flooring, you should extend that light feel into the living room with a pale cream or gray carpet. If you’re going for a more sumptuous, luxurious look with dark wood, slate floors, and low lighting, extend that mood into the living room with deeper carpets and bolder colors.

Finally, remember that your home is a matter of taste! All of this advice is just that — advice. What’s most important is that you feel happy and comfortable in your own home, so create the space that’s going to make you the most satisfied. Carpets and hardwoods can both help you achieve the look and feel you want — but most importantly, they do it better together.