With such a huge array of carpets to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start in making a selection. Aside from the rainbow of colours available, there are also decisions to make about the fibre, the quality and even the thickness of your new carpet. One of the hardest decisions many people face is whether to choose a plain or a patterned carpet, as both types have their pros and cons.

Plain Carpets

Most plain carpets have a subtle effect on the room in which they are placed and allow the furniture and other furnishings to take centre stage. Care needs to be taken in selecting the colour of a plain carpet, as lighter shades will show up marks quite easily. Areas of heavy traffic require a carpet which can be cleaned easily without compromising the colour or pile. Plain carpets work extremely well in a variety of themes, provided that the colour is fairly neutral or reflects the general colour scheme of the room. Where the carpet is intended solely to provide a comfortable floor covering with minimal impact, a plain carpet is ideal.

Patterned Carpets

A patterned floor covering can have dramatic effect on the room in which it is installed. Depending on the colour and pattern you choose, you can make a room seem larger, smaller or even more traditional. You need to consider the size of room, the types of furnishings and furniture and even the amount of natural light which the room is subject to in order to select an appropriate carpet for your needs. Stripes create an optical illusion which can widen or elongate a room, depending on which way they run. They tend to create a modern feel but should not be employed in a room which already features stripes on walls or furnishings as this can be too overwhelming. A bold and dramatic pattern will draw emphasis to your floor and once again should be allowed to stand out amongst other furnishings in order to provide maximum emphasis. More subtle patterns can work alongside other patterns within a room quite well, but make sure the colours do not clash and beware of too many patterns which can be distracting and even disconcerting. Areas of heavy traffic and those prone to spills, such as the dining room, would benefit from a patterned carpets this helps to mask stains. Even a lightly textured carpet can disguise dirty marks and keep a room looking smarter for longer. Patterned carpets work particularly well with more traditional styles of room and furniture, so if you have a collection of antiques it could be worth visiting homes of a similar period in order to establish the most suitable style of carpet to show off your furniture to its best effect.

Mix & Match Carpets

A more recent trend is to mix and match your carpet patterns with many of the carpet manufacturers now offering ‘Mix and Match’ stripes and plains ranges. This allows you to have striped carpet in one area, which can then be matched up exactly to a plain carpet from the same range. A great example of this technique is shown in the image above where the stairway is covered with a modern striped carpet, dovetailed beautifully to a plain colour carpet in the living room. This method of pattern and colour matching creates a unique and timeless look to any living space.