When you move into a property, you want everything to be the best of the best. There’s no point in going halves on things when you could simply save up a little more money and then invest in something that is long lasting and to your taste. Also, as the saying goes, buy cheap buy twice. With this in mind, it’s not too surprising that we take so much time to focus on home design – spending extended periods of time browsing different options available to us and picking and choosing what we are going to save up for and incorporate into our homes. Plus, our homes are where we spend the majority of our lives – they need to be somewhere we enjoy being and so how they look is important to us.
There are various different aspects of our home design that we tend to focus a whole lot of effort into. We tend to spend days mulling over different colours for the walls, painting swatches and samples into discrete areas and stressing over which slightest difference in tone looks better. We will trail through store after store searching for the perfect sofa. We hold debates with ourselves regarding whether to have the television mounted to the wall or on a stand closer to the ground.
But one aspect of home design, that can have an outstanding impact on our interiors appearance, which gets relatively neglected time and time again, is our flooring. This is a big mistake. After all, your floor is a major feature of every single room of the property you live in. Aesthetically speaking it can be muted, giving the spotlight to other features in the space, or bold, taking centre stage for itself. It can also impact your day to day life in a more physical way, as it is what your feet will be in contact with day in and day out. This means that texture and depth becomes extremely important alongside sheer aesthetics.
Another factor that you have to take into account is functionality. Whenever anything is dropped in your home, your floor is likely to take the impact, so you need to choose something that accommodates for the relative clumsiness of your home’s inhabitants – parents of young children and pet owners may consider a different floor to homes where it is just an adult or two. Another thing to consider when it comes to flooring are the areas where shoes are worn as these are likely to have to stand up to more dirt and grime which can influence your flooring choice.
You see, floors aren’t only something that we might wish to be aesthetically pleasing, but also to be practical for the wear and tear they receive on a daily basis.
Here are a few tips for choosing the right flooring for your most used spaces in your home:
Choosing a reliable supplier
Before you get started deciding which types of flooring you intend to use in each space within your home, you should seek out a high quality supplier such as the FLR Group who will be able to ensure that you are provided with the all samples you need, as well as a no obligation home visit. Being able to look at different types of flooring in advance of making decisions will allow you to better visualise what each room could look like once your work is complete. When we chose some carpet for our home it was tricky trying to imagine what it would look like when we were in the store. We arranged an at-home visit with two suppliers who were able to bring samples with them and offer advice on which quality of carpet would work best as it was a high footfall area. They were also able to measure up accurately on site and provide accurate quotes.
The living room
Let’s start with the room in the home where most people spend most of their time – the living room, or lounge. Of course, you are going to want this space to look great. It’s where you kick back and relax on a regular basis and it’s also the room where you are most likely to entertain guests. The priority for most when it comes to flooring a living room is to ensure that the space is as comfortable and cost effective as possible. Bearing this in mind, carpet tends to be the preferred option.
The reasons for this are that it is generally very soft underfoot and can help to maintain warmth within your room throughout the winter months, especially if you choose a carpet with a deep and thick pile. Generally speaking, neutral coloured carpets are preferable, as they can help to open up a space and make everything seem more open. Dark shades in small spaces tend to make a room feel like a cave, however, they are an option that you could consider if you are carpeting a larger and more expansive space with minimalist design. This can work without making everything feel crowded and cluttered.
When you invest in carpet, you need to make sure that you have a good quality vacuum. This will help to pick up dirt and crumbs that may be dropped into the pile and that cannot be easily retrieved by hand. Also make sure to use a professional carpet cleaner every once in a while. This will actually wash the carpets, removing dirt that builds up over time and dulls the colour of your flooring. We had carpet throughout our old home and invested in a carpet cleaner which was a great investment, especially as we had two messy cats at the time!
Although I’d love a living room with a cosy carpet, it’s not practical in the home we have currently. Remember to base your floor decisions on what suits your home and living arrangements. Ideally I’d have a cosy living room with a carpet that was a no-shoe zone and pretty much just for us adults in the evening. Our home, however, has a living room/dining room in one space, which is on the back of the house, with doors out to the garden. With two kids running in and out of the garden, plus a table and chairs and a messy toddler eating, carpet was not a wise option for this room! Instead we have hard floor throughout and then a large rug that acts as a carpet in the lounge part of the room to still give us that cosy carpet feeling, but without the expense of a carpet that may get ruined as everyone comes in and out from the garden.
Let’s now take a look at the flooring that probably gets the most use and wear, the room through which everyone must travel every single day – the hallway. The flooring in your hallway is the first part of your property that you and guests are likely come into contact with when entering your home. It’s not all too surprising that you will want it to look good. But many people make the mistake of using a thick, luscious pile in their hallway for appearance’s sake.
The problem with this is that it won’t look good for long! Your hallway is a high traffic area and people are likely to have to walk on it with shoes when entering and leaving your property. This means that it is exposed to more dirt than many other rooms in your home and a lot more trampling causing faster wear and tear.
You need to invest in a hardwearing option that can be easily cleaned and that masks the appearance of dirt well. Carpet is still an option, but you will want something that has a shorter pile and can be cleaned easily. Also look for natural fibres, as these tend to repel stains and marking a little better. Loop piles will keep on bouncing back in these areas, helping you to avoid a flattened carpet. However, avoid loop pile if you have pets as their claws can easily get caught in the carpet, which is uncomfortable for them and will also result in pulls making your carpet look shabby and old rather quickly. Twist piles are also suitable for this area, as they are textured and rugged, helping to hide marks and resist wear and tear.
Again, I still believe a hard floor is a good investment in the hallway downstairs, particularly if you will be wearing shores through the home. It is so quick and easy to clean dirt from a hard floor with sweeping, mopping, vacuuming and even wiping. Every last speck of dirt can be cleaned away, unlike with a carpet. We decided on a hard floor in the hallway and a long runner which still gives us some softer textiles in the area, but is cheaper to replace than carpet and can be removed easily if needed.
Whilst I am a hard floor fan as I love the ease of being able to clean it and keep it looking brand new, carpet can still be an option in your high traffic areas providing you are sensible with your choice of pile.
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