A while back I talked about choosing a colour palette for your home. It’s a bit overwhelming deciding on the look of a whole house, in your imagination. And when I spoke with a colour consultant about the process, her advice was to start from the ground up. That’s all very well, but when it comes to floor coverings where to start!
The type of flooring in a room can change the look and feel dramatically. It also needs to work with your lifestyle and budget, which for us means being cost effective and able to withstand the rigors of the Lego Engineer and Destruction Specialist.
We also wanted the bedrooms to be warm and soft underfoot. Solution? Cavalier Bremworth. They’re a New Zealand owned and operated company that likes to make finding the right carpet for your home and lifestyle as easy as possible. And the more informed you are about your preferred choice of carpet, the better I say.
Cavalier Bremworth has a great buying guide and videos from an independent interior designer about the different steps you need to consider when purchasing carpet. There’s even a 3D Floor Designer Tool to mix and match your desired carpet against a Resene wall colour of your choice if you like getting busy on your computer before you step into a store.
Our process. Step One: Fibre
As I said, our main concerns were warmth, comfort and durability, along with sustainability. For all of that, wool wins. Especially in a nation of around 60 million sheep. It’s naturally beautiful, durable, family-friendly and very easy to clean (contrary to what you might think). Wool’s scaly structure acts as a natural stain resister and will repel most liquid spills – stains can be easily removed if you get to them quickly. It also naturally regulates the humidity of an interior – absorbing moisture when the air is damp and releasing it when the air is dry. This can help prevent mould growth and improve the indoor air quality of your home (keeping you warmer in winter and cooler in summer) – making it a great choice for those with breathing difficulties. Cavalier Bremworth has the most extensive range of wool carpets available in a range of different styles.
We weren’t too worried about fading as the bedrooms are predominantly on the southern side of the house, but if you are, a solution-dyed nylon (SDN) carpet is the way to go. SDN’s are also very durable and are a great family-friendly option – most having very good stain and fade resistant warranties. Cavalier Bremworth had plenty of those as well, just to dazzle me with choices when I was making decisions.
Step two: Style and texture.
In carpet terms, that means whether you want cut pile or a loop pile. Cut pile carpets are usually more luxurious underfoot and can range from a hardtwist (set like a perm to hold the twist) to a plush pile (where the fibres stand up straight). It’s important to note that all cut pile carpets will develop shading over time which gives the effect of light and dark patches on the floor – especially plush piles – quite like velvet or suede. However this doesn’t affect the durability of the carpet. Loop piles on the other hand can offer a classic or casual look and are very easy care. They don’t show footprints and are great for busy families. They provide real texture on the floor too. For me, I just like the look of loop pile. I’m not sure I can put a finger on it, but aesthetically it works for me, and for Mr Building Boxes who has more opinions about aesthetics than he likes to admit, even to himself.
Step three: Colour.
This is really the start and finish for many people. It’s all about the look. But there is a science to how it works in your rooms, just like paint. Darker carpets absorb light and will make a room feel smaller and cosier whereas lighter carpets reflect the light and make a room feel spacious. In our house, there is also the all important - can it hide that trail of muddy footprints test - to consider.
Make sure you take a sample home and look at it in different lights throughout the day to make sure it will achieve the look you’re going for. Carpets can generally appear around 20% lighter on the floor when laid, compared to a small sample. It’s also pretty difficult to get an idea from a small patch, so if you can get a decent sample size to take home, and a tip someone shared which worked well for me is to slide it under a piece of furniture, make a square with your hands and focus in on the carpet and furniture, somehow it makes it look like its “in” the room. Either that or I really haven’t had enough sleep lately.
Result? We’ve gone with Lisburn carpet in Holland. A 100% pure wool carpet in a fairly dark grey-blue, with a pale thread. We had a piece on site for a while and even in the filth that is a building site, it dusted off well, so we’re hopeful it will hide at least a fraction of the mess that the Lego Engineer and Destruction Specialist like to create on a daily basis.
A family of four: writer, scientist, lego engineer and destruction specialist. Our previous home is featured in New Zealand Interior Style and this new project promises to provide plenty of great, green, smart and maybe madcap solutions to new building in New Zealand.