Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We interrupt this broadcast....


Ok, so I am trying to make this week "Status Anxiety Week" on the ol' blog, but we do need to attend to grave decorating matters.

My fresh-out-of-college associate is moving into an apartment that she is SUPER excited about... it's new, clean, bright, and has an excellent deck with nice views. What she doesn't love:

The carpet.

Oh, you know the kind... the kind a developer puts into a new apartment building. Beige-y and basic.

C, we will call her, likes clean spaces, pops of color, nothing too Ikea-y. You get the picture. I have included some of her favorite rooms to give you an idea for her tastes.

Can anyone give her advice on the carpet issue? (Let's assume for now that she can't convince the landlord to let her replace it with berber or whatever... although, she's pretty tough. She might end up making that happen.)

I am sure, for some many apartment dwellers out there, such advice on the carpet situation would be much appreciated.



16 comments:

Anonymous said...

If it were me, I'd just get some larger but not quite wall to wall rugs I liked and put them down on top of the existing carpet. It'll protect them from wear. But when furnished you won't see too much of it all anyway right? The rest seems obvious since her tastes seem well defined.

Cote de Texas said...

well, you posted a picture of what would look best - that faux zebra rug - it's so large and wonderful! it would take the eye right off the ugly carpet and onto the zebra pattern. The problem with her type of low pile carpet that builders use is you can't really layer upon them. Now, with a berber or a flat weave, she could buy a large area rug and put it on top of the carpet - but with a pile carpet - you just can't do that - it will move and bunch up and look awful. BUT with something heavy like a zebra skin or a cowskin (with a zebra pattern - plus much much cheaper) - the skin is so heavy it will stay pretty still on top of a pile carpet. She doesn't have many alternatives unless she just removes it - have it rolled up and stored and have the exposed concrete, get it stained, etc. but that would be expensive. Now IF she can convince her landlord to let her get a new carpet - there are fabulous polyprophelene carpets on the market that are flat and CHEAPCHEAPCHEAP! they have great patterns she could pick from or just plain. She could probably get a room done for 600 or 800 dollars. If she's planning to stay there it would be worth the cost. Good luck!

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Beige may be boring, but it is an excellent neutral background. Tell perplexed C not to worry and start buying other carpets she does like and place them on on top of the existing fitted carpet. Very simple, very easy. Next question?

Anonymous said...

where is that top photo from? i LOVE that artwork and need some pops of fuschia in my room

Anonymous said...

cheap alternative: Don't look down.

I love the idea of zebra rugs dying out with an older generation. It's enough already. Then the grandchildren can re-discover them and consider them "retro" and "vintage" and wet their pants over them all over again.

Tara said...

Waaaaay back in the last century a friend on mine convinced her landlord to get her carpets dyed. I'm sure it would depend on the fiber content and all that, but it was significantly less expensive than new carpet.

I've noticed that rugs move around on wall-to-wall carpet with pile, but I've seen pads designed for rug-over carpet (carpet-over-rug) use, so maybe those minimize that. Unfortunately part of renting seems to be learning not to see what you can not change.

beachbungalow8 said...

i agree with joni. except, joni, i think that mushroom biege in rentals would even make the zebra rug look crappy.

i'd try to convince the landlord to put an industrial, synthetic sisal down. i have this in a rental, that we have and it's held up really well. and looks really clean and modern.

Anonymous said...

Put up some really eye catching art on the walls so you forget about what's underfoot and notice only whats at eye level.

Anonymous said...

"industrial sisal" sounds like it'd feel like hell on bare feet, no? (Real sisal is bad enough that way.)

Anonymous said...

Didn't know about the carpet moving around. Good point. Devils advocate: Since it's pile carpet, couldn't you just nail your new lovely base rug right on top and pull the nails out later? If they were small, I bet they'd be invisible in the original carpet. Check whats underneath first though. Maybe its parquet or something really nice and you could just get permission to have the floors done.

Louryne said...

I don't know if anyone has noticed but the 2nd photograph has wall-to-wall beige carpet and it looks nice there. One of the apartments I used to live in had that wall-to-wall crap and my mother's solution was to add area rugs with punches of color throughout the space. It broke up the space well and took your attention away from the carpeting. Plus we made sure to stay away from beige-brown tones on the walls and in the furniture.

Anonymous said...

I have been fighting this same issue in my rental. I have tried a couple of rugs but basically I have found it best to just let it be and try to focus more attention upward with large artwork, etc. It also helps if you can paint the walls - then the beige carpet acts as a relief. Also, I think that a large colored coffee table would help cover it up, too. I definitely think that the zebra rug would look funny plopped on top. It just draws out the contrast of style (rug) vs. lack of style (carpet).

Amy said...

I agree - floor rugs over the carpet are a must!

Amy said...

I agree - floor rugs over the carpet are a must!

kate m said...

Quick question: can you tell me where these images are from? Are they all from that Ruthie Sommers book? I love all the pictures, especially the one with the turquoise bench -- want to use that for inspiration and will run out and get the book if that picture is indeed from there... Thanks

decorno said...

Hi Kate - the turquoise bench photo is a room by Tia Zoldan (featured in Cottage Living). Google Tia and I think you can find her contact info and ask about the bench.

Good luck!