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We Chose Carpet Instead of Trendy Solid Wood: A Case Study

By: Mary Williams BA (hons) - Updated: 4 Apr 2011 | comments*Discuss
Carpet Solid Wood Floor Flooring Wall To

May and Patrice Demange moved into a run-down Edwardian terrace in London that needed far more work than they anticipated and once they got going with it, they discovered their ideas for the interior of their home were changing.

Patrice explained:

“May and I are lucky. We have been together for a long time now and our ideas on home decoration tend to converge. Occasionally one of us will like something more than the other – but on the whole reaching compromise is easy because we like similar things.

Our Last Home Before Retiring

About two years ago now we moved into a wreck of a home in north London. We had already done up two properties and were moving this time through necessity rather than choice. We bought the house in the state it was because it was a bargain and offered us lots of space. But we both agreed this would be the last time we did up a house and probably our last move until we retired.

Everything needed doing on the home from rewiring, replumbing and replastering to fixing the roof. For six months we lived in incredibly grim circumstances while all the structural work was done and we were able to begin decorating.

We've Always Disliked Wall to Wall Patterned Carpet

I guess the interiors of our homes have always been fairly similar. We like period features but our style in furniture and furnishings tends to be more modern. When it comes to flooring we like a clean, crisp look. Patterned wall-to-wall carpets are definitely not our cup of tea at all but we like bright rugs.

In our first house – the one we moved into when we were in our mid-20s, before we had children – we achieved this look by sanding the pine floorboards in the house. Both of us felt we could immediately make the house look a lot better by pulling up the carpets, sanding the boards and then varnishing them. And it did look great.

We've Always Preferred Wood Floors

By the time we moved into our second – slightly larger – house, we had a bit more money. The plan originally was to Sand the Boards again but when we tore the carpets up the planks were badly damaged and some had been replaced with ill-matched wood. So we decided to splash out and went for a Solid Oak Floor instead that we oiled rather than varnished.

In thinking about our plans for our latest house, we had always assumed we would do the same again. We love trendy-looking hard wood floors with Heavy Textured Rugs thrown on top and comfortable, brightly coloured pieces of furniture. The new house had a large, long living room and a wide hall that initially seemed to cry out for elegant solid wood.

But during the time we were living in the house as the heavier work was going on, we began to change our ideas a little. The house seemed cold and unfriendly as we huddled in a couple of rooms and spent the rest of the time wading through spaces that felt like building sites.

Boutique Hotel Changed Our Minds About Flooring

Then May and I went off for a quiet weekend together in the country. We dropped the kids at my mother’s and then took respite from the chaos at home in a lovely “boutique” hotel in Suffolk. It was just wonderful to be warm and comfortable, and the hotel’s décor was exquisite. The building itself was very old but inside there were modern prints and fabrics, as well as very stylish furniture.

In the morning we got out of bed and our feet sank into a thick wool carpet. In the evening we had a couple of drinks in the drawing room, where a wall-to-wall cream carpet provided a discreet backdrop to the sofas, chairs and tables.

It was me who voiced it first. I suggested tentatively to May that perhaps we should consider carpet rather than the trendy wood we’d been contemplating. But she leapt upon it immediately with surprising enthusiasm. We had both realised we could have a flooring underfoot that was cosy and yet would still work with our style.

We're Thrilled with the Wall to Wall Carpet Now!

It took several more months of grotty building site work before we were in a position to Lay the Carpet but as soon as we did we were thrilled. It did mean a bit of a deviation from our usual style but tastes change, don’t they? And we haven’t regretted our decision to go for carpeting rather than a trendy solid wood floor once."

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