Some people can't get enough of wall-to-wall carpet, and to those people, I say kudos! But for those of us who aren't as enamored but still have to live with it, carpet can be a challenge. If you're stuck with carpet you're not crazy about, here are some suggestions that might make it a little easier to love, or at least live with.
Use rugs to layer. My first apartment had horrible, filthy Berber carpet. The landlord hadn't replaced it in a long time, and no matter what I did, I couldn't get it to feel clean. So what did I do? I covered it with as big a rug as I could find. As you see in Emily Henderson's Oh Joy! room, up top, a bright rug can add pattern and interest, but even if you still want something neutral, it can be worth it to invest in a large rug. In the Studio Matsalla office makeover above, the rug is so large that you can barely even notice the flooring underneath.
Distract and add color. This room's carpet was obviously a part of Melanie Morris' design plan, but it provides a good lesson for carpet-haters. One of the issues with carpet is that it's a giant expanse of a single color, and- especially if you have beige carpet- the room can feel really "blah," really fast. Use art, furniture, mirrors, and colors to draw the eye upward in a room. That way, the eye won't get lost in the sea of floor. Learn to direct the eye away from the features that you hate.
Let carpet unify the space. Alternatively, you could embrace your neutral carpet and let the surroundings and the carpet blend. In this bedroom, white walls, white curtains, white tabletops, white linens, and white lamps combine with the soft-colored carpet to create a unified, dreamy, light-filled space.
Think about its benefits. It's easy to focus on the things you hate about carpet, but if you have to live with it, it could be beneficial to try to reorient your perspective. Carpet can insulate sound, keep rooms toasty, and cushion any roughhousing or clumsiness. It may be easy to get icked-out by the fact that they trap dust, but it's also a plus that you won't have dust-and-fur-tumbleweeds rolling around between cleaning sessions. (In our dog-loving house, these are a common occurrence with our hardwood floors.) With regular cleaning, carpet is pretty low-maintenance, and it's also pretty durable.
Give in to the look. Admit it: sometimes carpet looks absolutely fabulous. This glamorous closet/office features luxurious, leopard-print carpet, which gives a pattern punch that you couldn't get any other way. Remember that carpet doesn't need to be boring. In fact, depending on what style you choose- or happen to have- it can be a much spicier option than hardwood.
Give in to the feel. Sometimes carpet is just downright comfortable. Even if you don't like the look of it, you may be able to get over that if you just sink your toes in and appreciate it. Focus on the feel, instead of the look or the upkeep.