Recently, I received an Instagram message asking me how to design around carpet. The short answer is, I just do. I’ve never believed in allowing things like textured walls, vinyl windows, or wall-to-wall brown carpet stop me from creating beauty…all of which I have by the way.
Want to know how I do it?
This is the exact question I received about carpet:
Hi! I’m new to your blog and absolutely love your style (and budget friendly upgrades!). How do you work around your carpet?? I despise mine and can’t seem to overlook or design around it. Many thanks.
1 | Design As If You Have Your Dream Flooring
If I were to let my discontentment with our carpet take up residence in my mind, I wouldn’t be here, sharing the beauty I’ve created in our very imperfect home. And I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it, make it a safe haven for my family, or welcome friends in to break bread.
So, I ignore it and decorate as if I had the most beautiful hardwood floors. I lay down rugs and decorate everything else the way I would if our flooring was different.
And you know what?
Oh, I still struggle with the desire for clean, fresh hardwood floors. But there’s no way I’m going to allow that one (glaring) detail keep me from creating beauty in my home.
In Hannah’s room, literally the only thing that needs to change is the carpet…and it is being replaced soon. But until then, I’m going to decorate as if it’s hardwood. This helps with the budget as well, because most people want to get all new décor items once updated floors are installed. That’s very cost prohibitive though. If you work on updating the design elements you can afford while you’re saving for hardwoods, then the room will be the way you want it when new flooring is installed.
2 | Speak Kindly About Your House
HGTV and home improvement shows have made it normal to call anything we don’t like in a home disgusting or horrible. But in reality, they’re just things that aren’t our taste or are maybe outdated.
I fall into the trap of thinking I need to explain to everyone who comes into our home (and on Insta) that we have plans to lay hardwoods. I don’t want anyone to think I’m okay with what we currently have.
Such a first-world problem, I know.
I’ve had to train myself to talk nicely about our flooring. I say things like “We aren’t in love with our carpet, but we’re grateful it’s a neutral color and fairly new.” Once you start speaking like that, your brain falls in line and starts thinking differently about something you don’t like.
Look at all that shag carpet in our family room. I could refer to it as hideous and spend a lot of energy hating it OR I can refer to it as a future project and spend my energy dreaming of what we’ll have one day. Also notice that I did lay a rug on top of this crazy shag carpet. I’m telling you, it works to just ignore the carpet.
*You can see the updated family room in this post.
3 | Create Future Design Boards
This is definitely one of my secret weapons for getting out of my head when it comes to our carpet. Sometimes I find myself staring at a space in our home, and I am paralyzed by what’s in front of me…the carpet.
In order to break out of that paralysis, I create a beautiful design board on Photoshop and forget all about the carpeted floors.
It’s just so refreshing to step away from the design limitations of carpet to the limitless possibilities of creativity. Even if you have to cut pictures out of magazines and paste them on a poster board, it will help you envision and design your space without carpet holding you back.
I just wrote a blog post all about our plans for our formal living room in 2021…and they didn’t include new floors! But it sure was fun creating that design board. I know that when we’re ready to do the floors, they’ll just be catching up to the space that’s already fully decorated.
4 | Know Your Limitations With Carpet
In a more practical sense, you do have to consider the type of furniture you’re putting on carpeted floors. In our shared office, I couldn’t use a rolling desk chair because, well, it wouldn’t roll. So, I purchased a beautiful, unique chair that somewhat distracts from the floor and is still functional for working at the desk.
If you’re trying to re-create perfect images from Pinterest or Instagram, you’ll continue to be discontent with your carpet. But, if you can do the best with what you’ve got, you’ll discover a new kind of gratitude for the beauty you create despite imperfection.
5 | Change your perspective
Each month, we financially support a little girl in Ethiopia named Tsion, who sleeps on a mat on top of a dirt floor every night.
We fully recognize that this is not our reality or even in the realm of our understanding as Americans. However, Jeff and I like to check each other’s perspective when we’re struggling with our desire for new floors.
We pray for Tsion, and we have conversations with our girls about how different her life is on the other side of the world. We do this so that we can all remember what’s important in this life…and it isn’t floors.
Let me ask you a question.
When you look at the photos I share, do you focus on the beautiful furniture, paint colors, and styling?
Or do you stare at the carpet (literally in every photo I’ve shared) and forget all the beauty?
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12
We must train our minds to see the beauty in our own homes, day after day, when we’re tempted to cave into complaining, in order to have the right perspective. I don’t know about you, but even stronger than my desire for new, clean, light, beautiful hardwood floors is my desire to glorify God, serve my family, and love on my friends with my home.
I’m not going to let carpet deter me from that mission.
I’ll let you in on a little secret…right outside the frame of this image is shag carpet. Our cozy reading nook is located in the family room with all the shag carpeting we dislike so strongly (trying to be nice). If I had waited until we had hardwood flooring, or even just better carpet, we would still have an old, unused dry bar where the reading nook is.
Create beauty in your home despite carpet. Oh, and set up a savings account for your hardwood floors. Seeing that account grow each month will motivate you to keep making the best of what you’ve got until you can afford what you really want.
I hope this was helpful for those of you who are struggling with wanting to replace your carpet but can’t right now. Know that you are not the only one, but also that you don’t have to let carpet hold you back from creating a home you love.
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