Should Carpet Be Lighter Or Darker Than Walls?

The type of carpet you install can instantly make a room appear larger or smaller. Your sense of aesthetics should serve as a guide when choosing a carpet with consideration for color and texture. But if you wonder whether it should be lighter or darker than the walls, read on. We researched color theory, the brain response to visuals, and how carpet makes or breaks a space.

Select a carpet that is two shades lighter or darker than the walls for optimal visual interest. When in doubt, a neutral-color carpet is the best choice, no matter the color of the walls. Consider installing darker color carpets in rooms where there is significant foot traffic to hide dirt and stains. Overall, lighter color carpets make a room seem more spacious and brighter. Darker color carpets may make a small room have a “boxed in” feeling but can make a larger room feel cozy and warm.

Enjoy experimenting with carpet and wall color options, enhancing neutral palettes with accessories, and make a room feel complete. Continue to learn more information about carpet flooring.

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Desirable Floor and Wall Treatments

Creating a dynamic home that exudes the right mood is influenced by the colors of your walls, flooring, and furniture. When you install light or dark-colored carpet in a living room, bedroom, or nook, you want to make that area feel lively, spacious, cozy, or calm. You can create a cohesive look when your wall, floor, and furniture all fall within the same color family. Utilizing carpets in neutral colors like beige, cream, sand, or light grey allows for flexibility with decor and makes rooms appear larger. 

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Don’t be afraid to embrace carpets in jewel tones of blue, green, or earthy browns. The texture of a carpet creates visual interest in a large room, often making it feel cozier. Seek to create harmony between your carpet and walls with complementary colors. You can test out color theory ideas using swatches or reviewing trending Pantone colors. Do consider whether you want to place light color carpet in areas where there is heavy foot traffic. Dark carpet provides plenty of drama, but jet black or deep blues may quickly display wear-and-tear.

Different Carpet Types

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Color is an essential element for carpets because it sets the tone and mood of a room. You should also consider how the construction material and style of your carpet will influence how you decorate. When checking out swatches and samples, you will most likely encounter the following types of carpet.

Berber – A durable, popular style of thick carpet often available in neutral colors and includes speckles

Cut and Loop – A mix of varied piles and loops that is a single color, patterned, speckled, or mottled

Frieze – A thick, plush style of tufts that lay in varying directions, i.e., shag carpeting

Plush Cut Loop Pile – A common type that is typically monochrome and consists of cropped tufts

Be mindful of the color carpet you choose in addition to how its texture will reflect light and withstand foot traffic. Choose tan, sand, and oat color carpet to create a roomy living room or dining room. Select carpet that is plush and in a pastel blue, green, or gray for a peaceful bedroom or den. Read on and discover your perfect carpet and wall treatment combination.

Does Carpet Look Darker When Installed?

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If your carpet looks lighter or darker after it is installed, you are not seeing things. Usually, a carpet seems lighter than it did when you selected a sample swatch because of the lighting in your room, its texture, and color. In a room with plenty of natural light, light color wall treatments, or during the daytime,  a carpet looks lighter. When the light inside a room is dim, or it is naturally darker outside, a carpet seems closer to its sample swatch or darker.

Aside from considering how reflected light creates an optical illusion,  lighter color carpets make rooms appear more extensive, and dark color carpets are eye-catching. The style of your carpet, any specks, and the type of loops or pile will change your flooring’s appearance.

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Does Carpet Texture Affect Color?

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Indeed, carpet texture can change how the color appears in a room.  A plush, textured carpet with lots of multiple level loops can create a varied, toned effect. In comparison, a carpet that has a smoother finish on the surface will look lighter. A carpet with a ribbed texture naturally makes it look like there is a color variation because of how it catches the light. Cut and loop carpets provide plenty of visual interest and change how color is perceived because of how the fibers are combined.

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What Color Carpet Hides Dirt the Best?

Stylish carpet with pattern on floor in room

Increase the longevity and brand-new appearance of your carpet by routinely vacuuming your flooring or giving it a shampoo. However, specific carpet colors are better at hiding dirt and reduce your need to clean. Install a carpet that is dark brown or dark charcoal gray to hide dirt. Opt for a durable, loop pile carpet that is acrylic or polyester to mask stains, dirt, and foot traffic. 

Remember, you don’t want to choose a carpet that is exceptionally dark because it will show signs of foot traffic and lighten the color of the carpet. Over time, dark-colored carpets can show where dirt gets absorbed if not regularly cleaned.

Some feel that a medium-toned tan carpet with flecks will hide dirt better than a solid, dark-colored carpet. If you opt for a tan carpet, look for flooring that has multiple tones of the color to minimize the appearance of dirt. Stains are best hidden with carpets that are multi-colored, chocolate brown, or have a busy, colorful pattern.

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What Color Carpet Makes a Room Look Larger?

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Make a room look larger with a darker colored carpet paired with light color walls. Keep furniture to a minimum and show off as much carpet as possible. Ceilings appear higher, and a room looks more extensive when you have shelves in high places, install floor-length curtains, and low-level furniture. Avoid a carpet that has too much texture or a pattern that will distract the eye, making the room appear smaller.

Plants and carpet in white living room interior with candles next to grey couch. Real photo

If your wall treatment is a bright, white hue, opt for a matte finish, so the ceiling blends in with the walls or choose a high gloss finish. Select furniture with a long and lean profile or has design elements that move your eye up and down. Add some vertical stripes to your wall treatment in a color that complements your dark carpet but doesn’t steal the show visually.

Rooms that are small with low ceilings may look cramped instead of cozy with a dark carpet. Since a dark carpet naturally grabs the eye’s attention, choose a light color carpet and bright, white walls in a small room, so it looks huge. Don’t forget that installing the same type of style and color carpet throughout your home will make it appear larger. Berber carpets and cut and pile carpets are ideal choices that make a home feel luxurious and open.

Click here to read more articles about carpets and home decor.

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