If you want to switch up the dynamic of your dining room easily, quickly, and without the expense of a complete re-design, a carpet is the way to do it. Whether you opt for wall-to-wall carpeting or a statement rug, carpeting can inject a big shot of style, warmth, and color into a room. Choose the right one, and you’ll get something that offers as many practical benefits as aesthetical ones. But how exactly do you go about choosing ‘the right one’? Color and patterning are obviously big considerations, but are there any rules to remember about size? And what kind of materials are best? Find out as we take a deep-dive into everything you need to know about choosing the right dining room carpet.
A Statement Rug or a Wall-to-Wall Carpet?
First of all, the biggest question of them all. Do you go wall-to-wall, or keep things simple with a rug? Ultimately, there’s no right answer here. Some people like the plush luxury of a full carpet; others prefer the practicality of a statement rug. As you’re deciding, it may be worth considering what you have in the rest of the house. If you’ve opted for full carpeting elsewhere, choosing the same for your dining room can add continuity. Equally, decking your dining room out in full carpeting while the rest of the house boasts bare floorboards can make the room stick out – and not in a good way. If you do decide to go the way of wall-to-wall carpeting, don’t think you necessarily have to give up on a rug. The layered carpeting look is a big trend right now, and can add a gorgeous warmth and vibrancy to a room.
Color and Pattern
A carpet can warm your toes, sure, but it can also add a decorative touch to your room. Choosing the right color and pattern, then, is one of the most important decisions to make. If you plan on redecorating your dining room from top to toe, opt for a carpet with the kind of colors you can use as the basis for the rest of the room. If your decorating plans begin and end with buying a carpet, look for one with colors that complement the existing decor – they don’t have to match (the matchy-matchy look can look good in the right circumstances, but can be a bit much for most rooms), but think long and hard about how they play against each other. Chosen well, a carpet can add warmth to a cool hued room or a cooling touch to a warm one. Think about the overall look you’re trying to achieve before picking a carpet that fits into it.
As for patterns – well, the world is your oyster. Graduated, block, abstract, striped, floral, graphic… the options are limitless. Again, choosing a style that harmonizes with the rest of your decor is important – a striped, primary-colored carpet is probably not the best choice for traditional rooms with more antiques than the average auction house. But as much as it’s important to consider patterns from an aesthetical standpoint, don’t forget to consider practicality. If your room is narrow, stripes can add width. If your dining room table is huge, an allover pattern will make more of an impact than a medallion one. If you have a houseful of clumsy kids, a multicolored, extravagantly patterned rug is going to be more forgiving than a plain white one.
The biggest mistake people make with carpeting? Choosing something too small. Obviously, this doesn’t apply if you’re going for wall-to-wall carpeting, but if you’re sticking to a rug, take capitolfile.com’s advice and look for one that errs more on the side of too-big than too-small. Ideally, you want the rug to stick out at least 24 inches from each side of the dining table so diners can push their chairs back without tripping over its edge.
If your family is anything like most, your dining room floor is going to end most days with at least a few more crumbs of food than it started with. Accidents happen, no matter how careful we are to avoid them. But it’s not just food spills that carpets have to contend with. Unless your dining room is reserved for special occasions, it’s likely to see a lot of footfall. Combine footfall with food spills and you’re looking at a lot of potential for wear and tear. Choosing a carpet in a material that’s tough enough to stand up to the pressure is crucial. Silks and cottons might look lovely, but they’re not up to the job. If you’re happy to splurge, opt for wool. If you’d rather stick to your budget, you’ll find plenty of great options in synthetics that offer easy upkeep and a great price point.
Don’t Forget about Shape
As rugs.com mentions, rugs are traditionally chosen to complement the shape of your table – i.e., a round rug is teamed with a round table, a square rug with a square rug, and a long, rectangular rug with a long, rectangular table. You’re not obliged to follow this rule, of course, but you’ll probably find that matching the shape of the rug to the table creates a sense of cohesion and harmony that no dining room is going to say no to.
Remember a Rug Pad!
Again, don’t worry about this next point if you’ve decided on wall-to-wall carpeting. But if you’ve chosen to warm up your bare floorboards with a rug instead, forget it at your peril. As The Spruce notes, some people think of rug pads as an optional extra, but they’re really not. Unless you want your rug to spend its life traveling from one side of the room to the other, secure it with a rug pad. Not only will a rug pad stop your rug from buckling, wrinkling, and looking untidy, it’ll also reduce the risk of any of your guests tripping over it.
The Choice is Yours
Remember, this is your dining room and your carpet. As much as we can help guide you on what materials might be the most functional and what sizes are going to look best, the final decision is yours. Choose a rug that speaks to you, that says something about your own personal style. And if you don’t like it… well, taking a carpet up is no harder than laying it down in the first place.