Planning Your Carpet - Atmosphere Planning Your Carpet - Atmosphere

The colors and textures you select for your carpet can help determine the mood of your room.


Colors: Warm, bright, and dark colors seem warm. Warm colors are the colors of fire: reds, red- oranges, orange-yellows. Bright and dark colors seem warm because they come closer. What is closer is cozier. What is cozier is warmer.

Textures: Soft textures can actually insulate. Just think of getting up in the morning and puffing your feet on a cold bare floor as opposed to a warm soft rug. Rugs and carpeting keep the floor from looking or feeling cold. The thicker the carpet, the warmer the feeling.


Colors: Pale and cool colors are cooling. Think of the pale blues and greens of water. Light colors feel open and airy - even the pale neutrals.

Textures: Hard and slick textures contribute to the sensation of cool. However, if you want a soft carpeting, choose one with a smooth even surface. The rough natural texture of sisal makes a cool looking floor covering.

Changeable with the Seasons

Basically you're going to want warm colors and thick textures in the winter and cool colors and slick textures in the summer.

Size: Choose portable area rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. You can leave floors bare in the summer and cover them with rugs in the winter. If you already have a neutral wall-to-wall that you don't want to pull up, you could layer area rugs over it in the winter.

Lighter and Brighter

Colors: Choose warm colors that have a lot of white in them. Pale colors make the most of what light there is. They reflect it and bounce it back into the room.

Textures: Shiny, smooth surfaces reflect light too. If you choose carpeting, choose one with a smooth surface, say, a Velvet Plush.

Darker or Dimmer

If the light is too bright, you'll want to absorb some of it to make the room feel comfortable.

Colors: Choose cool colors that have been toned down by the addition of gray. Dark colors absorb light and keep it from reflecting back into the room.

If all that light is also making the room feel too warm, you will want to choose color colors--blues and greens. Generally cool colors in dulled grayed tones are a good choice for too-bright rooms.

Textures: Rough or uneven surfaces have the effect of softening bright light. Light will hit an uneven surface at different angles, so the light is broken up and not bounced back into the room. For the floor, a rug of any kind is better than slick tile. To keep a cool feeling, rough-surfaced sisal is useful. If you want a warm feeling, choose a deep carpet, or one with a multi-level surface.


Colors: Colors don't actually change the noise conditions of a room, but they do have a psychological effect. Dark colors feel quiet like a cave.

Textures: Texture is the key to controlling sound. Soft textures suck up sound. You may want carpeting to cover the floor - and walls. With a carpet, the higher and thicker the pile, the more sound it will absorb. (Incidentally, cut pile absorbs more than looped pile.)

Underlay: Don't forget the carpet underlay. That too, helps absorb sound.


Sometimes noise is a positive. Vigorous activities, play, and parties are stimulated by some noise. Some constant soft sound can block out or blunt sharper, more irritating sounds.

Colors: Light, bright colors can make you feel like whooping it up.

Textures: Hard, slick surfaces bounce sound around, almost make it echo. If you want the room to be noisier, take up the carpet.

This article by Cathy Crane has a DIY Video available

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