There’s lots to think about when it comes to buying a new carpet
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Property columnist Jane Howdle weighs up practicality vs aesthetic
In a world of home, child and pet ownership, carpets are a tricky thing to purchase. There’s no point in buying plush, squishy ones as they’ll be looking squashed and stained very shortly, but the more practical, stain-resistant options often look a lot like big, expensive doormats.
The thing I’ve always hated most about our house is the brown carpet on the stairs and landing. It’s threadbare in places, has been compared to underlay by one delightful friend and is visually in no way pleasant. However, with three kids and three pets, we’ve stuck with it because splashing out on anything decent seemed risky when it would almost certainly be weed on within days. Brown’s fairly forgiving for that kind of thing, it turns out. Now our youngest is four, it’s time to get rid – but what to get instead?
We visited a carpet shop, hoping for some inspiration. Fancying a runner up the stairs, we were both taken with a bright, stripy number – a splash of colour as a cheery change after years of gloom. Turned out it cost £150 per sq m – it wasn’t really a runner, so we’d need to buy loads of excess that we couldn’t use so the stripe could be property aligned. Who knew carpeting a staircase could set you back a grand? We’ve decided against that one.
As well as being surprisingly pricey, there’s also a whole world of carpet types, textures and price brackets to choose from, not to mention countless colour options. And do you want ‘extra heavyweight easy clean’ or something involving a ‘wool twist’? So much to consider.
When you narrow it down, the ones that are stain resistant, not squishy (not ideal for stairs and halls, apparently) and easy on the eye without looking like a doormat, you’re sorted. We’ve borrowed some swatches from the carpet shop and are trying to visualise the reality from a small rectangle shape. I don’t think life could get any more exciting.