Selecting floor material is probably one of the most important decorating decisions you will make. The right material can enhance the colour scheme and the overall look of the room, and flooring provides a unique tactile component to design. There are various types of flooring options. Pick from wood laminated flooring, vinyl sheet and tile flooring, ceramic, natural stone. Then there are carpets and rugs.
In this feature, we will discuss how carpets or rugs can create a textural impact to the décor. Keep in mind that the principles of colour, texture and pattern have to be considered in relation to your selection and to the rest of the room.
The terms 'carpet' and 'rug' are often considered interchangeable, but they are not the same in terms of manufacture. Both are made in rolls ranging from just over 2 feet to broad loom that measure as much as 18 feet wide. Carpeting is usually laid wall to wall, and used over another finished flooring surface. A mat is a small rug.
Carpeting can be made of natural wool, synthetic fibres, or blends of wool and synthetics. Fibres commonly used in area rugs and sitter rugs are jute, sisal or grasses.
Advantages of carpeting: Wall-to-wall carpeting adds warmth and richness to a space. Use this type of floor covering in formal areas, such as living rooms or working spaces. It also muffles noise, and when installed on upper floors, reduces the amount of sound that is transmitted to rooms on lower floors of the house. When carpeting was first developed, it was costly and required high maintenance, and thus only the wealthy could afford it. Today, new manufacturing techniques and improvements in fibre chemistry have produced carpeting that is more durable and economical.
Pattern and Colour: The appearance of the carpet surface also affects a person's choice. Geometrical patterns are very much in vogue today, while the traditional floral motifs and Persian and Indian styles never lose their appeal.
Colour is the most noticeable feature of carpeting and greatly influences the decorating scheme of a room. It should be matched with furniture or upholstery or drapes. Sometimes a bold colour, such as red or orange can create a lively, warm atmosphere for the room.
Selection: If a room is large, you can make it cosy with a number of area rugs that define intimate furniture groupings. A country-style room may benefit from textured tile that has rustic appeal and braided rugs. A formal entry hall will make a stately impression with an intricate parquet border, a chequered floor, and a Persian carpet on the floor.
Asians are traditionally used to sitting on the floor level, and thus make use of different types of rugs. The Japanese prefer tatami floor rugs, which are made from compressed rice straw, while people of this Sub-Continent used sheetal pati or satranjis, or in wealthier households, processed animal hides. These indigenous products may still be used for a different textural appeal.
Care: Carpeting and rugs are easy to maintain. Vacuum-cleaning is often all that is required for regular maintenance. Many small rugs are machine-washable; others can be dry-cleaned. Nowadays, stain-removal fluids are available in the market as well as professional steam or shampoo machines that will keep good-quality carpets looking and smelling fresh over years of use.
In the end, select your floor treatment according to your requirements. Create a welcoming mood in your living room with wall-to-wall carpeting and a small rug under the centre table or dining table; you can even do the same in your bedroom to make it cosy.
By Nazneen Haque Mimi
Photos: Journeyman Archive