For reasons aesthetic and practical, I am not a fan of carpeting. Unfortunately for me and many people, wall-to-wall carpeting is a common feature of rental units. Here are a few ways to make the best of a shaggy situation.
Keep it clean/invest in a vacuum. My biggest gripe with carpeting is that it never seems clean. To help it look its best on a regular basis, invest in a decent vacuum. (For guidance, check out our reader survey on the best vacuums.) If you want to give it a deep clean, talk to your landlord about bringing in professional cleaners. Start off seeing if he or she will cover the entire cost, and you can always move to offering to split it. In my last apartment, I told my landlord about my dust and dander allergies, and we went from discussing a cleaning to her approving the carpet's removal. (It was in one one room, and my husband — then boyfriend — and I removed it ourselves.)
Rely on area rugs. If you don't want to see it, cover it! Try something bold or colorful or shaggy. In my white hallways with boring beige carpet, I've added a colorful runner rug.
Draw attention elsewhere. Distract attention away from the carpet with big artwork, stand-out upholstery, an usual mirror — you get the idea.
MORE CARPETS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
• Punch up Bland Carpet with Area Rugs
• Living Rooms with Rugs on Carpets
• How to Shop for a Vacuum Cleaner
• Reader Roundup: The Best Vacuum?
• Pet Hair Removal: Use Vacuum Attachments on a Shop Vac?
(Images: 1. Peggy's White and Light 2. Lonny 3. Maeve Rosalind's After the Rain Room 4. Kim Rinehimer)