When a friend moved into the house he'd just purchased, one of the first things he did was repaint the walls. The colors he picked are sophisticated and subtle, but it must be said that the sage green walls in the living room clash horribly with the teal-ish forest green carpets. It turns out that was completely intentional...
Ripping up and replacing carpet (either with other carpet, hardwood, laminate, or other options) is a time-consuming and expensive process. My friend was worried he would drag his heels and not get it done. By painting the walls a color that he loved, but that also butted heads with the carpet, he knew he'd be inspired to act quickly. Of course, a terrible wall/carpet color combination doesn't mean that New Floor Money will magically appears in one's bank account, but it can be a great motivator.
Have you ever tried a similar trick? How did it work out?
(Image [not my friend's house!]: Bower Power)