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If you’ve ever been faced with the decision of replacing flooring in your home, it can be a bit overwhelming.  Hardwood, carpet, tile, stone, laminate, and I could go on!  What type of flooring should you buy?  What’s going to look best in your house?  Should you use a variety of materials, or just one?  I recently had a reader ask me about replacing her living room carpet, and she and her husband had different opinions about what they should do (Really?  I’ve never heard of that!). : )  She asked if there are any design rules about flooring, and the answer is, absolutely!  Here are some guidelines to think about, before making your decision:

  • Consider Form AND Function ~ When selecting anything for your home, from flooring to furniture, consider how you need that product to function for you.  It’s important to get the look you want, but even more important that it function the way you need it to.  You may love the look of plush white carpeting, but it definitely won’t function in your family room with sippy cups and puppy paws!

  • Maximum of Three ~ When considering how many different flooring materials to have in your home, this is a rule-of-thumb to remember:  While standing in any one place in your home, it’s best to not see more than three different flooring materials within your view.  More than three, and it’s too busy.  That said, I believe less-is-more, and less than three is even better!  Whether it be hardwood, tile, or carpet, try and keep your flooring materials cohesive.  That leads us to …
  • Go For the Flow ~ Think of your floors as the “backdrop” of your home.  Ideally, it’s good to have a seamless flow from room-to-room, and having the same flooring throughout the common areas of your home provides that flow.  Common areas would be your main living areas, such as the living room, family room, dining room and hallway.  And, if you can include the kitchen, that much better!  This is the photo that my reader sent of her home, and her question was whether to replace the carpet with the exact same laminate as the adjoining areas, or a different style and color of laminate to separate the spaces.  I think you know what I recommended!  I also gave her the idea of using large area rugs in the living and dining areas, which would give them the definition of spaces that one of them felt they needed.  One last idea is to do an inset of carpet within the laminate flooring, as shown below.  If it works well with the shape of the room, it’s a nice way to break up the expanses of hard flooring and provides the same effect as an area rug.  I’ve used this design idea before, and with great results!

  • How to Break it Up ~ If you do want to change flooring from room-to-room, the bedrooms and bathrooms are the best choices for mixing things up.  If you like the feel of soft carpeting underfoot when you step out of bed in the morning, then, by all means, put wall-to-wall carpeting in your bedroom!  Tile in the bathrooms?  Or course!  This makes perfect sense, and these are natural areas to break the flow from the common areas.  That said, many people like to have tile or stone flooring in their kitchen, and that’s fine too, IF there are doorways or other areas that create a natural break in the spaces.

I hope you’ve found these flooring tips helpful!  Choosing flooring for your home can be challenging, especially with the myriad of options available.  If you’re in need of a little help, my Designer Download™ session is a great way to get the ideas, information and resources you need to get you pointed in the right direction.  Contact me today and I’ll be happy to chat with you about your design needs!

Design should be fun, not stressful!

~ Kathy