The Color of the Carpet

Categories: The Guide to Carpet

In past posts, we’ve talked about numerous aspects of carpeting, touching on everything from padding to what pile types work where. Something I haven’t discussed is color, partly because until now I wasn’t very familiar with color matching technique. With research under my belt, however, I now feel I can give you a guideline that will help you identify the shades of carpet that will work well for you. So without further ado, here is the Oxi Fresh Guide to Carpet Color Selection.

I. Function – Mood – Tone : What’s the Room?

When you first consider redecorating a room, you first need to identify the Function of the room. Is it for casual entertainment? Formal dining? Is it a simple hallway or an important family gathering place? Identifying a room’s Function will help you discover the Mood you want the room to encourage. Take a sun room/living room for example – the room’s intended for simple get togethers, coffee, reading, etc.

Based on the room’s Function, the Mood is meant to inspire calm, to feel simple and light. The Mood of the room then informs the Tone you will aim for with color and texture choice. If the Mood you want a room to have is one of coziness and warmth, the Tone will consist of dark reds and browns, warm, rich, deep colors. That Tone will enhance the overall Mood of the room, which will in turn make the room more fit for its Function.

II. Make the Room

Before you choose carpets that will match the desired Tone, be sure the rest of the room is prepared. Choose your paint color, what furniture will go in the room, pick out wall decorations, etc. The carpet is meant to compliment these other factors and not to be the center of attention, so put the rest of the room first. Either have it ready or at least have your colors and pieces pre-selected before you move onto carpet.

III. The Carpet’s Tone

Now that you have the Tone of the room picked out, brainstorm on complimenting colors for the carpet.  Keep in mind that the goal isn’t to match colors – the walls and floor shouldn’t be the same color. Rather, the colors need to work together while still remaining in the same Tone.

Pale blue walls need a light color carpet to encourage a soothing feel. Strong blue paint in an energetic room, though, can be complimented by a bright carpet with, let’s say, contrasting green highlights. Think of colors that will blend well or of contrasts that look good. Once you have a few ideas ready, it’s time to experiment.

IV. To the Store!

Head to your local carpet retailer, or several of them, and start looking around. Have the colors you want in mind, but you should also browse, talk to their experts, and brainstorm while at the store. You’ll want to bring samples of the paint color you’re using and, if possible, samples of fabrics that will be in the room (bring in a seat cushion if necessary.) Once you’ve found the colors you want or have been suggested to you, gather up samples and variations of those samples.

V. Back Home!

Test your samples at home – place them in various positions in the room, next to furniture, next to the wall, with natural light, at night, under lamps, etc. Try out the variations you picked up and see if those colors look better under your lighting. Keep the samples for several days and see if the color wears on you over time. After all, you don’t want to install carpet and have it become obnoxious three days later. Most importantly, though, is whether or not the carpet works with the Tone, Mood, and Function of the room.

VI. Back to the Store!

Once you’ve found the right carpet or eliminated all you’re first round of samples, it’s time to head back to the store to either purchase the carpet or to get another round of samples. Don’t worry if you weren’t able to find what you wanted the first time round, just talk to the professionals there, get some suggestions and keep trying until you succeed.

Well, that about does it for this guide. Good luck and remember this when you make your choice: Function informs Mood. Mood should inform Tone. Tone should reinforce Function.

Thanks to,, and for the tips on carpet color.