I was a little worried that I may be writing this piece during a heatwave, happily for me (and the topic) it is decidedly cooler at the moment, though if the warmer weather is listening I haven’t quite finished with you yet! I am not massively sold on the design DNA of the majority of modern carpets on the market. Contemporary and beautiful with interest and pattern is what I look for, but they are fairly slim on the ground. So today I am going to share my thoughts on what makes a good carpet investment, and what I look for when considering the choices on the market.
The only carpet I have ever bought has been a natural weave carpet, it’s also the type I am most likely to suggest to clients. What I like about natural carpets are the texture and pattern the more robust materials allow (a sisal herringbone being my favourite) and the way their natural tones are complementary to any design brief. With carpet I want to add some interest but not so much that I would invest in a colourful and loud pattern which would dominate the room.
As a firm believer in mirroring the natural world in interiors as much as possible, I would never recommend a synthetic carpet. Which is why, whilst we discuss the advantages and pitfalls of choosing a carpet, I am going to introduce you to Kersaint Cobb who produce both carpet and hard wood flooring options sourced from natural materials. Kersaint Cobb are also going to offer some of their expert opinion based on their years of experience in the trade on how to choose the best carpet for you.
So, what should you be looking for in a carpet? What I personally look for is a mix of style and what I am going to term Hooverability. We’ve all had the kind of dust grabbing carpets I’m referring to, right? The ones that feel great underfoot but hold on to dirt in a vice like grip which results in very sweaty hoovering, and, if you are me, far less frequent cleaning!
Your flooring is, like lighting, one of your most important outlays in home design, but it’s definitely not as sexy as paint colours or decorative accessories. However, well chosen flooring will have a far greater life span than your accessories and should outlive paint decisions. It can really alter the feel of a room so it’s something worth giving careful consideration to. Having asked Kersaint Cobb what they suggest when choosing a carpet and how you should weight it within your planning,
Kersaint Cobb suggested ‘Use carpet as the starting point for your décor and a rug as the finishing touch. A bold pattern in a strong colourway will make a statement piece out of your carpet, whilst a more simple design in a neutral colourway will add a subtle element of textured design to your room.’
I am a big fan of the pattern woven into natural carpet and it’s something which is pretty uniquely visible with this natural weave. The patterns really pop when woven from sisal, jute or coir where the effect can be dulled in other materials. As you see from the image above, the pattern looks different with each material, those which are softer underfoot tend to hold pattern more subtly. I love lines, simple or in blocks of herringbone as per the image below. In our old house we carpeted our hallway with a simple lined design, very similar to the Pampas Nordic Stripe at top of piece (if you dig very deep to this old diy article on Colour Pop chairs from 2013 you can see the one we had) in a natural pile and I absolutely loved it, it was minimal but stylish. A quick look through Kersaint Cobb’s range shows that the pattern possibilities are pretty endless, from waffled or herringbone to lines and stripes.
I think one of the things that perplexes a lot of us is which materials work best in which areas of the home. Kersaint Cobb suggest the following;
“When choosing floorcoverings you need to think about how the room is going to be used and take into account practicalities; different floorcoverings are suitable for different conditions. Wool floorcoverings are ideal for living rooms as they are hardwearing and soft underfoot. As a natural fibre, wool is also breathable and it will be warm in the winter but remain cool in the summer. Sisal and seagrass have smooth fibres and offer a crisp, neat effect. Coir is a suitable for those seeking a rougher, more casual effect. Lastly Jute is the softest of the natural floorcoverings, giving a comfortable feel underfoot. However it is less hardwearing and more absorbent.”
I would also caution that practicality should be extended to who your inhabitants are! I love light carpets but know they wouldn’t last very long with the sippy cup disasters our three year old is prone to so I would be most likely to choose a much darker neutral these days, a dark grey or perhaps even a black, and I may stay clear of Jute as it is the most absorbent of the natural materials. As a home with both a boisterous little boy, and a cat whose favourite past time is to scratch carpet (apparently scratching posts are completely uninteresting but a nice rug, carpet, sofa or even leather soled shoe are a completely different story), hard wood flooring has become our practical go-to in this home. And, if you’ll excuse the probably deeply boring mantra you have heard me often preach on here, some things bear saying countless times – you can’t fake natural materials. There is so much natural beauty in organic materials, something like the natural oak image below is just stunning and worth investing in as a material you will never tire of. I also really like a lot of the wool range from Kersaint Cobb, and you can’t argue that it feels most luxurious underfoot.
What is your flooring preference? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
All images in piece belong to Kersaint Cobb.
This post is sponsored by Kersaint Cobb, as ever I only work with brands I really like and think you will too. All opinions are honest and my own, thanks for supporting the brands that support me.