This post is for those of you who live with wall to wall carpeting that you can’t get rid of. This is my dilemma and has been ever since I’ve lived in apartments or condos on the West Coast. I don’t think this isn’t an issue on the East Coast since hardwood floors seem to be everywhere. Look how nice and smooth this rug looks on the wood floor.
Before I share my tips, I’d like to give you background for how I came to write this post. As you are probably aware by now we live in a condo. I love that we live on the third floor. We have high ceilings, a great view, and no noisy neighbors above us. The big downside is that we live in a complex that does not allow any of the top floor owners to put in hardwood floors. Apparently, a couple bought one of the top floor units with hardwood floors already installed (a big selling point for them). After they had already moved in, the condo board found out and attempted to sue for breaking the covenants. Boo!!!! Luckily the owners had their own lawyer who fought for them and they won to keep the floors. So, unless I want to get involved with lawyers I am stuck with wall to wall carpeting.
The reason that I’m telling you all this is because after we moved (2006) I decided that I really wanted to put down a rug in front of my brand new sectional couch that we had gotten as a wedding gift (nice, right?). I got online and Googled things like “rug over carpet” or “area rug and carpet”. I don’t know if my searching abilities were just not up to par, but I found Nada, Zip, Nothing to help me. What I really wanted to know is “What kind of rug should I buy to put over carpet?”, ”Should I put a gripper pad underneath the area rug to keep it from slipping?” and most importantly, “Does anyone else out there do this (yes, part of me wants to keep up with the Joneses.)?”
Once I figured out that there were no answers to my question I winged it. I went to World Market and bought a big Jute rug and put the front couch legs on top.
As you can see in this pic, the rug was too thin to handle the weight of the couch and the coffee table. See how it’s bubbled up near the left leg? We kept the rug for about a year, but once my son was born we removed it (Jute is not kid friendly nor is it wine friendly I found out).
Recently, I decided that I would try an area rug again. It makes such a difference to have your couch framed by a pretty rug (unless you have gorgeous carpet to start out with). I chose a shag area rug online (took a chance on that one) in the colors of room. I wanted stripes to make my room appear larger. It turns out the the area rug is very heavy and and doesn’t bunch up under the weight of the sofa. I love it!!!
Now that I’ve found the right type of area rug to use over wall to wall carpet I can share with you my tips.
- You can make an area rug work over your existing carpet. Don’t be discouraged when you don’t find others talking about this subject. We’re out there. Many apartments and condos have hardwood floors so this is not an issue for these dwellers.
- Make sure that the area rug you choose is within the same color scheme as your existing carpet. It’s easy to ignore the carpet once you’re focused on covering it, but you need to treat it like your furniture or wall color. If it doesn’t match it will stand out like a sore thumb. This seems like a duh? comment, but I have a tendency to forget the big picture sometimes and I’m sure there are others like me.
- Make sure the area rug is heavy enough to stay put on your carpet. I’ve tried using light area rugs in my carpeted entryway when I lived in an apartment and it was always moving around which made it look tacky. Experiment with using carpet gripper pads if your carpet isn’t heavy enough.
- When choosing an area rug for a small room, make sure that it’s not so busy that you don’t notice all the other design elements of the room. It doesn’t have to be boring, but it should blend in with the room. I like that our area rug grounds the space so that your eyes aren’t floating up toward the high ceiling.
- Buy your area rug at a store where you can see it, feel it, and make sure that it’s heavy enough for the carpet. I lucked out buying mine online, but I realize now that it’s a big expense to take a chance on. Often times the colors are a bit different looking online than in real life and you may be disappointed.
For those of you with carpet, have you tried an area rug? How did it work out? Do you have any other tips than the ones I gave? Send pics if you have a rug that you love. I’d love to see others doing this since there aren’t a lot of examples out there.
Your Fellow DIYer,