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The Insider: so, apparently carpets are back

According to a reliable source (OK, well not really – it was the PR for a carpet company) wall-to-wall carpets are back in vogue.

But no need to take their word for it: the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) confirms that carpet sales are growing at their fastest rate since 1996.

Do you have carpet? Are you hankering after some? Dreaming of ripping yours up? I live in a house of bare floorboards and not enough rugs. In fact, we have just one rug the size of a tea towel. And I get cold feet. But could I live with carpet? I'm sure I'm not the only one to have been conditioned by years of beautiful interiors images to see carpet as a bit incongruous in most situations. Perhaps these will change my mind...

It's an easier transition if you think giant rug rather than wall-to-wall fitted. This one is from Alternative Flooring. It's called Sisal BouclĂ© Bitterne and is priced at £35.95 per square metre. Sisal was big in the late 90s when I had my first sisal carpet (they were everywhere in the 90s) and lovely as it was underfoot, it loved crumbs. Refused to give them up even to the Hoover on full blast. A tighter weave, like this, may not be quite so hungry.

Colourful carpets can be overpowering and garish in the wrong setting. Choose bold and work a room design around the carpet rather than trying to make it fit into an existing scheme; use it as the starting point for your palette and accessories. It's not for the faint-hearted, but matching the carpet's drama by colour-blocking with different bold shades on the walls works brilliantly.

And who could resist a striking stair-runner? Not me. This design, Quirky Skinny Black is also from Alternative Flooring and costs £96 per square metre. If you can't stretch to that, I love Abigail Ahern's clever DIY trick of using assorted rug runners and staple-gunning them to your stairs. She shares a how-to in her book A Girl's Guide to Decorating (Quadrille).

 Too much – or too cool?

This big design of this floor-filler shapes the rest of the room, picked up in the walls as well as the cushion on the bed and working well with the equally strong wall-to-wall glossy wooden under-window cabinets to unify the hint-of-70s appeal.

Now we're talking. Like the lavish and brilliantly ridiculous bathroom carpet in the top image, this is my idea of carpet heaven. Deep pile, open fire, crazy 70s circular sofa... That's surely the way to enjoy some wool under your feet. Just need my own chest-rugged Magnum look-alike to recline with now...

Images: Alternative Flooring; Hideaway by Monarch Carpet MillsM Design InteriorsNewSpirit-Square; ABC Rugs


  1. I have lived with rugs and carpets all my life so the idea of a fluffy fitted carpet in at least one room excites me a lot. As soon as one thing becomes the norm ie floorboards, then people start wanting something different, or looking back so I could imagine it coming back into fashion.. I also see coloured bathrooms suites making a coming back soon, what do you reckon?!

  2. Thanks for the amazing post. All carpets are awesome.

  3. Thanks for sharing. All carpets are stunning.
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    Flooring in west london