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9 Ways To Design Around Bad Carpet

By on Jun 24, 2016
9 Ways To Design Around Bad Carpet

Carpet, while soft and cushioned on top, can sometimes wear both on your feet and eyes. When it comes to the touch, there is little you can do to bring it back to its original life. With sight, there is plenty you can do to draw attention away from the carpet that was so vogue 10 years ago.

Despite relatively cheap carpet cleaning prices, many homeowners are finding new ways to design around the carpet they can’t stand. While some ideas below are costly, all of them take the focus away from your dated carpet to a more pleasant design in the room.

Add A Rug

1. Remove It

The first option you must consider is removing the carpet altogether. Looking at current flooring trends, more and more homeowners are choosing hardwood over carpet and tile. As opposed to carpet, hardwood is easy to clean and offers a wide array of options. Then again, it doesn’t offer that homey feel we all seek in our bedrooms. For a full comparison, please see Carpet & Hardwood Flooring: How They Compare.

2. Cover It Up

Going the less drastic route, you could always just cover the carpet with a large area rug. It’s not only the fastest and easiest way to cover a dated carpet, but also the cheapest. Additionally, if your carpet has grown thin over the years, a new rug offers extra cushion as well. Your feet will certainly thank you later.

If you really want to go bold or have to cover a large carpeted area, you can always stich together a few different rugs and lay over your old carpet. It’s not the cleanest of looks, but it will surely take attention away from that carpet you demise.

3. Use Your Furniture

Depending on the location of your ugly carpet, you could always use your furniture to cover it up. Smart designers know how to use every inch of the room. They, and well-read homeowners, know how to cover as much carpet as possible.

In the bedroom, add a small dresser, a bookshelf or an extra nightstand to cover up that dated carpet. In the living room, add that side table you always wanted. For a dining room, add a leaf to your table and extend it out.

Finally, if the room has a focal point, such as a gorgeous fireplace, a big screen TV or a fabulous dining room table, create a seating area that makes that feature the focal point of the room. All eyes will be on the feature as opposed to your dated carpet.

4. Change Your Wall Color

No matter how unpleasant your carpet may be, the dominant color in most rooms comes from the walls. As such, if you are ready for a bigger change, consider painting the room.

Fortunately, a coat of paint on the interior can help any space look newer, brighter and even a little more spacious. Even better, new paint always takes the attention away from any unsightly views in the room.

Tip: If you do decide to paint the walls, be sure to cover every inch of that carpet. Once paint hits that carpet, it is very hard to remove.

5. Add An Accent Wall

Poor carpet is a terrific reason to finally add that accent wall you always wanted. Accent walls look terrific in virtually any room around the house (not the bathroom) and it will almost certainly draw attention away from your carpet. Just beware that this décor choice will most likely overwhelm the room. Make sure you choose a design you will be comfortable with for years to come.

6. Call Attention to the Ceiling

If you can’t bring yourself to painting the walls or don’t have a dominant feature in the room, consider drawing attention upward. In fact, we have seen certain homeowners go as far as painting the ceiling pink (not sure this would work in any room besides a kid’s room). On the other hand, you could always have a pro paint a mural on your ceiling.

Besides paint, you can go the lighting route. Go big with a new chandelier or if you prefer a subtler look, install simple pendant lights in bold colors.

7. Bleach or Paint It

Believe it or not, you can bleach or paint your entire carpet. As long as your carpet has a flat design, you can disguise its horrid look with paint. Synthetic and natural carpeting can handle large amounts of acrylic fabric paint or high gloss latex paint. Furthermore, some homeowners go as far as using painter’s tape to create carpet patterns.

Before you paint your carpet, I highly recommend connecting with a local painting professional. They will have all the tips you need to ensure a safe carpet painting project.

8. Install Carpet Tiles

Unlike rugs, carpet tiles give more control over the entire carpet. Carpet tiles are a unique type of flooring material that straddles the line between tile floors and carpet. It comes in multiple shapes, sizes, colors and designs. Therefore, many homeowners buy more than enough carpet tiles and then cut them to fit their floor. Don’t go too overboard though. According to our carpet tiles material estimator, the average minimum cost of carpet tiles is $1.10/sf.

9. Cover It with Laminate

Homeowners tend to stay away from laminate nowadays, but due to advances in colors and touch, some homeowners, and renters, are choosing this cheaper alternative. Think you can’t install laminate over carpet? Think again.

Watch below as Sumit Basu shows us how to install laminate over carpet.


Never feel tied down by your ugly carpet. There are always creative, cheap and efficient means to improve a dated design and that rule holds true even with your old carpet.

For more carpet tips, please see 4 Ways To Clean Your Carpet.

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