Decorating Dopers: Help me pick carpeting for my new apartment!

Okay… to make a long story short, I will shortly be acquiring a coop studio apartment. The current occupant was… less than tidy, and in any event I’d like to redecorate to suit myself. Because of coop rules, I unfortunately can’t expose the hardwood floors (too many complaints about noise); I have to have at least 80% of the floor covered by carpeting. I’ve been looking at carpeting, but am having a tough time settling on a choice. Anyone want to lend me a hand?

Here’s a rough layout of the place:

                     |                                    |            
                     | w                                 |             
                     | w	     main area       |
                     | w                                 |
        _______ |____                    _____|
	|   w	  |w        |		        |__cl _|
	|    B     |    K    |      front       _____   
	|__     _|_     __|      area       |        |
	|                                         |   cl   |

The main area is about 19’ x 12’; the front area is about 10’ x 10’; the hallway is about 10’ x 3.5’. (B and K = bathroom and kitchen, respectively; w = window; cl = closet.) I have already picked out paint colors I would like - a light peach for the main area, and a pale cream for the front area and hallway. Neither color is dark, but there will be a noticeable contrast between the two.

Now, what to do about the carpeting… I was leaning toward something like a berber (looped carpet) so traffic and vacuuming marks won’t show. Ultimately, I would also like to put down some colorful area rugs in both the main and front areas, so the carpeting probably shouldn’t be too showy in and of itself. Should I -

  • go for a solid light neutral color?
  • go for a neutral light color with a “tweedy” look (flecks of other colors woven into the carpet)?
  • go for a solid, slightly darker neutral color (like a camel brown)?
  • skip the berber and go for something a little less conventional, like sisal carpeting?

Cost IS a consideration, since there are a bunch of other things that need to be done to the place, but for now I’d like to hear people’s decor recommendations. Queer and straight eyes for the straight gal are both appreciated. :smiley: Many thanks!

For about $5 at any Home Depot paint department, there is a great little CD you pop in your computer and lets you see what everything will look like, in any color - even the floors and sofas and curtains. The program has some generic rooms, or if you have a digital camera you can download your own rooms and see.

The program is made by Glidden Paint (and of course they want you to use their products, but you don’t have to), but it will give you the chance to try out the colors you suggested, and then try out some wild options just for the fun of it. I wound up painting my den purple (acutally, Lilac Splendor) after trying it “as a joke” on the computer. It looks great.

Regarding the type of carpeting…again, a lot of the Home Depots or Lowes or whatever is in your area have some large basic carpets in neutral colors and different textures that would cover most of your floor for little money. Too bad about not being able to use the hardwood floors…I think they look so much better. Be sure to get those rubbery under-carpet mats to hold the carpet snugly to the floor so you don’t take a flying leap on a slippery carpet!

If I had to put carpet in again (I went to hardwood floors due to dogs, when they were puppies they ate the carpet) I would love to have 2 colors. An outer border area that is about 3-4 feet wide. Then an inner complimentary carpet. It would really be neat if the 2 carpets were different textures. Maybe a plush type for the border and a loop type for the center section.

Colors for this could be fun. You could make the outside a dark green and allow the inner carpet for be a shade of red. Or if you want maybe you could have the inner carpet be multicolor. Or how about the edge a very very dark color and the inner a bold color.

I love using different textures for a room. I also think we get into a mindset that doesn’t allow for mixing of different woods. In my family room I have a wood ceiling, the beams are dark while the slats are light wood. The final effect is very stunning. Plus it allows me to mix in different wood tone furniture.

I had an apartment that had ‘berber’ carpeting.

I use the quotes because I don’t know if it all berber is made in this style or if this was because the carpet was your typical cheap apartment carpeting:

One day a loop came undone. No biggie. Until I forgot and ran the vacuum over it.
The vacuum sucked up the loop and it sucked up a whole row of berber all the way across the room. Think of what it looks like to unravel a sweater and you’ll get the idea.

I have this in my bedroom. I hate it so much (in addition to the rest of my carpet) that we are removing all of it. It is a royal PITA to clean. This is however, compounded by my dogs (with messy paws) running through the bedroom. YMMV.

It’s really hard to say what type of carpeting you should put in your place. It all depends on the shades of paint you use, the type of furniture you have, the lighting, do you have pets or kids, are you an accidentally messy person ("oops! grape juice!), etc.

I know that the Martha Stewart line of paints often has swatches of colors that all go well, including flooring. Regardless if you use her brand or not, you can still get some ideas.